At the beginning of every new year, most people celebrate by making resolutions for the upcoming year. People generally practice their resolutions during the month of January, but are lucky if they get beyond that. There is a common reason why people fail: they don’t set specific, believable, tangible goals. For example, instead of making your goal to “lose weight in 2019”, make it to be at a specific weight by a specific date. Below are 5 New Year’s resolutions that job seekers should consider to help them find a job in 2019.

1- Have a job search plan
Don’t wing it! Things are much more competitive now than even five years ago. Your plan should include:
1) Target list of 50 prospective companies
2) Target networking groups and functions (trade shows, associations,
3) 30 second introduction communicating your job search goal
4) A daily to-do of job search activities
5) A plan for professional development: skills building, classes, certifications

2- Update your image
Most experts agree that a person’s appearance can affect the outcome of their job search, so look the part of a true professional!
Right now and after Christmas are the best times of year to look for deals. If your budget conscious, check out and (haircuts, makeovers, grooming) and for apparel. I’m also a big fan of TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Macy’s has some great deals right now too—watch for their coupons and flyers in the paper.

3- Upgrade your smartphone
People are now expected to be responsive and answers emails from any location, not just from work. Owning a phone that will allow you to communicate via email and utilize web sites and apps should be apart of any job seeker’s strategy. Don’t show up to an interview with an outdated phone and/or talking about your AOL and MySpace accounts. This can really date you! You can store a copy of your resume in your smartphone and send off ASAP when contacted by a recruiter or networking contact. A good smart phone can be helpful for those conducting a stealth search—looking while employed. Deals can be had right now just about anywhere. Also try eBay and Amazon.

4- Get on LinkedIn – and use it!
LinkedIn is the most important web site for any job seeker.
LinkedIn is your own web page advertising your personal brand — and now you’re searchable. It’s also an account management system for your networking contacts. You can find hiring managers, decision makers, recruiters, and networking contacts who can introduce you to people at target companies. Remember to keep it neat, professional, and up-to-date. A LinkedIn Premium account is highly recommended so you can send InMails to prospective hiring managers at target companies and headhunters at target staffing agencies.

5- Focus on networking, informational interviews, and mining the hidden job market – not just surfing the job boards
Only 1-3% of all job seekers will find their next position via a major job board. Spending too much time surfing internet posting in one of the biggest faux pas I see as a career coach. 80% of all jobs go unadvertised so you need to develop a plan for tapping into the hidden job market—this can cut a lot of time off of your search. Your focus should be on networking meetings, group functions, setting up information interview in person and via phone. This is where LinkedIn can be a very powerful tool.

This New Year, try new things and be specific about what you want to achieve. It is important to persevere and not give up as nothing worth achieving ever comes easy. Make your resolutions, write them down, post them where you can see them every day, and check daily to see the progress you have made.

Happy New Year from all of us at Ascend Career and Life Strategies! Any other resolutions you have this year?