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Career Corner: Time to Start on Your New Year’s Resolution

Applying to new jobs is a bit like playing a game at a carnival. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t win every time. – Courtesy photo

By Angela Copeland

Happy 2019! I think we can all agree that 2018 was a tricky year, but it’s time to start fresh. It’s time to refocus on an awesome New Year’s resolution: finding a new job. And, it’s the perfect time. Unemployment is at a record low. Jobs are being added. For the first time in a long time, it’s a job seeker’s market.

So, let’s get to it. The first place to start is your resume and cover letter. These will be crucial to your job search success. Combine all of your accomplishments into a one or two page document. Go through the details carefully. Review it many times and ask friends to proofread. Then, move on to your LinkedIn profile.

Once you have your materials together, it’s time to run with your search. First and foremost, you have to get into the right mindset. Job searching is a numbers game. You’ve got to start with volume. Set a goal and stick to it. A great goal to start with is 10 job applications per week.

You’re not going to hear back from every one. In fact, you may only hear back from 10 percent (or less). You must prepare yourself for this and be determined to keep going, even when it seems that you’re getting nowhere. Trust that the process takes time. If you keep putting in an effort, it’s going to come back to you. Keep going.

To increase your chances of hearing back, don’t just apply online. Apply online then email the hiring manager. This person is the one who will be your future boss. They aren’t typically all that hard to find. You can search on LinkedIn for the company you want to work for. Then, you can look through the employees who work there. You can even sort by location and title. Once you’ve located your future boss, send them a copy of your cover letter and your resume.

Just remember, you won’t hear back from them every time either. Don’t take it personal. Just keep applying. Apply like it’s your job. Focus on the positive wins. Be happy every time you get an interview, rather than focusing on every time you get a rejection email. You have no idea why you’ve been rejected. It’s possible nobody was hired. It’s possible they had an inside candidate who was preselected. Don’t focus on this. Keep moving.

Applying for jobs is an imperfect process. It’s like trying to win a bear at a carnival. The game could be rigged. There could be outside factors impacting you that you don’t know about. Keep playing and shooting and hoping for the bear. But, if you don’t win don’t let it ruin the experience.

And, don’t take it personally. The job search is an imperfect process that doesn’t necessarily reflect on your abilities. Get going on your search, so we can start 2019 off strong!

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at

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