If you're keeping up that job search as we head further into the new year, congratulations! You're still committed to your resolution of landing a better job in 2017. And you're certainly not alone -- in a new Monster poll, 79 percent of respondents said that one of their New Year's resolutions is to look for a new job.
While feeling refreshed and optimistic about rebooting your career in 2017 is a huge part of the battle, here are some other things you can -- and should -- do to keep your job search going and ensure success in 2017.
Tweak your resume and cover letter. This one's important throughout the process of looking for a new job. And just think, it won't take more than a few minutes! Every time you see a new job to apply to online, don't hesitate. Just take a few moments to first compare the job description to your current resume. If keywords don't match, then update it.
This serves two purposes. First, when you use the exact same words to describe your skills as the ones that are in the job description, you're making it easier for the recruiter to connect the dots. Then they can say something to themselves like, "Hmm, human capital management experience? Check!" instead of having to figure out if "human resources analytics" on your resume is a match. Always go by the verbiage your prospective employer uses, not your current one.
In addition, when you apply to a specific job, you're simultaneously submitting your resume into the applicant tracking system. It's possible recruiters will search in the database to uncover stellar candidates who didn't necessarily apply to the specific job the recruiters are hiring for. When you use the company's language, hopefully your resume will be selected by recruiters for more opportunities.
While you don't necessarily need to tweak your cover letter for every single job the same way you do with your resume, you should pause to ask yourself what type of skills and experiences are highlighted in the job description and consider one to two critical things to highlight in the cover letter. Think: a unique language skill or an incredible achievement.
Keep on applying. Even if you haven't heard back in a while, remember that your resume isn't going into a black hole. Quite the contrary! With the current labor shortage, recruiters are scurrying to find top talent like you -- they need to find your resume.
While actively searching for jobs might start to get old (you may keep seeing the same jobs you've already applied for), you should always keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. For example, you can set up job alerts through various career sites, and then new opportunities will land in your inbox as soon as they're posted.
You can also follow prospective employers on social media and set up Google alerts for them to stay on top of breaking news about their hiring plans. Maybe one company announced they're going to expand due to skyrocketing sales! With that knowledge, you can check your social networks to see who currently works there as well as when job openings become available. The same is true for companies with poor sales or on the verge of bankruptcy. When you see news of that nature, you may realize that a job with your dream employer may not be so dreamy after all -- the key is figuring this out before you start working there.
Another important thing to remember: Keep on applying even as you're actively interviewing at other companies. Continue to set up interviews. You never know what can happen -- only stop looking once you've received, and negotiated, that coveted job offer.
Keep your spirits up. A job search shouldn't consume your entire life. It shouldn't feel like a chore or use up all your energy -- instead you should feel motivated by it!
It's understandable that your job hunt may not feel rewarding until you've received a concrete job offer. That said, it's important to take time to specifically celebrate milestones along the way, from conducting an excellent informational interview with a friend's contact or completing a writing assignment you're really proud of, to simply applying to a certain number of jobs each week.
Don't be discouraged by delays or setbacks -- they're part of the process. Even in a perfect world where you go from application submitted to phone interview, office interview, job offer and background check within two weeks, you never know what may happen.
Stay focused on your goal, not the time it takes to get there. The process works -- trust it will continue to work in your favor as long as you continue to pour time, energy, focus and most importantly, commitment, into it.
Vicki Salemi is an author, public speaker, columnist and career expert for Monster, a global leader in successfully connecting people and job opportunities. Utilizing her more than 15 years of experience in corporate recruiting and human resources, Vicki empowers job seekers with insights and first-hand knowledge from the halls of HR. She is the author of "Big Career in the Big City" and a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Forbes.com, The New York Post and SUCCESS.com. Vicki has also been quoted in many top business and consumer outlets worldwide, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NBC News, Dateline Australia, Fast Company and Women's Health. As a recognized influencer in the recruitment industry, Vicki often interviews notable names, such as Gloria Steinem, Derek Jeter and Michael J. Fox, about their own careers. She is also the former creator/host/producer of mediabistroTV's "Score That Job," and was named one of the top 25 career bloggers in the U.S. by BlogHer in 2011. Vicki previously held recruiting and HR roles at major financial institutions including Deloitte and KPMG. Vicki graduated from Lafayette College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, and earned a management certificate from Cornell University. More information can be found at www.vickisalemi.com as well as on Twitter @vickisalemi.