Many people view the new year as a fresh start. As they strive to make positive changes in their lives, one goal is often to find a new job. Wound up from the excitement of new possibilities and upholding resolutions, job seekers dive right in and start applying.

Not so fast. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you move forward with your job search:

1. Leverage your network. You and millions of other people are all vying for new jobs. While having a polished, professional resume is a key part of landing an interview, that alone won’t necessarily get your resume into the yes pile. Enhance your chances by making the most of any connections you might have at a given company you are applying to, or within the industry. If you can have someone put in a good word for you or deliver your resume personally, it can give you an advantage over the competition.

LinkedIn can be an excellent way of finding connections. See who you know and where you might have 2nd– or 3rd-degree connections that you can build off of. If nothing else, it can help to let others know that you’re looking and see if they have insight into positions that may soon be opening up, or just opened.

2. Bump up your accomplishments. With such fierce competition in the job market, you have to stand out for all the right reasons. Make sure that your strongest and most relevant accomplishments are clearly presented on your resume and include current metrics. You want to show how and why you are the best fit for the role and that you are capable of achieving the objectives of the position. Prioritize your bullet points to list the most impactful ones first.

3. Ask questions. Once you’ve landed an interview, come prepared with questions to ask of the employer as well. You don’t want to agree to a role that turns out not to be what you thought. Find out whether it’s a newly created position that they’re still fleshing out, or one that is well-established already. Don’t be afraid to be selective about the opportunities you pursue or to turn down something that is not the right fit. The right job will come along.

4. Don’t give up. Just because your job search is taking longer than you anticipated, don’t give up hope. Remember, oftentimes employers will need to backfill for the roles they just hired. If someone moves into a new role, that often leaves a different vacancy. You could end up finding a great job opportunity in the coming days or weeks if you keep an open mind and don’t stop looking and networking.

Hit the ground running and be prepared to apply for job openings that you find by having an updated resume ready to go. The team at Grammar Chic is ready to work with you on presenting your experience and accomplishments in a positive light and one that is aligned with the type of roles you’re seeking. Contact us today at (803) 831-7444 or to get your January job search going.