New Year. New Job. New Career.

By Randy Wooden

Whether it’s making a career change or getting back into the work world after retirement, the new year is a popular time for job hunting. Read on for tips to make your search as effective as possible.

Internet. The Internet can be a great source for learning of job openings. Technology has truly changed how we learn of and apply for jobs. Yet, even though job postings abound online, good old fashioned networking is still how people ultimately land most jobs.

Networking. Employers tend to hire people they know, like and trust. Get in contact with people from various parts of your life: work, family, friends, church, civic/professional organizations, neighbors, and people who provide services to you. Let these people know you’re looking, perhaps even listing a few of your target companies. Ask them who they’d reach out to if they were in your shoes. If your contacts know of an opening, they’ll likely share that piece of information. They can also be of help to you by providing a name or two for you to speak with. Along your networking journey you’ll not only learn about job openings, you’ll also add to your list of friends and acquaintances.

LinkedIn. The website can be a great resource for both job searching and networking. Think of LinkedIn as an online Rolodex – a place to keep track of and reach out to your associates. Our Goodwill Professional Center offers free weekly workshops on how to build your profile and how to maximize your time spent on the site.

Resume. You’ll want to have an updated resume. Remember to customize your resume based on the job to which you’re applying. It’s not good enough to have a one-size-fits-all resume. Resumes no longer contain an “objective.” Employers really don’t care about your objective – they want to know whether you have the experience to meet their hiring needs. Instead, call it a summary or profile and include key functions/processes/acronyms and other jargon pertaining to the opening.

Accomplishments. Aside from typos, perhaps the biggest resume mistake I see is failing to list your accomplishments. Sure, it’s good to list your duties, but that doesn’t do much to separate you from your competition. You’ll want to quantify those accomplishments by using action words such as created, developed, led, reduced, saved, streamlined, increased, etc.

Proof/Edit. Have someone to look over your resume for you. Don’t ask a spouse or close friend since they may not want to be critical. Get someone in human resources or a hiring official to offer feedback.

Relationships. Since so much of the hiring process is tied to relationships, focus more of your time and energy in that direction. Consider volunteering, joining professional or civic organizations, and attending social events. You never know where that next job will come from!

If you’re considering a job search in 2018, our Center’s services are free. Contact me at the address below. Good luck!

Randy Wooden is a long-time Triad career consultant and Director of Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC’s Professional Center. You may reach him at or at 336-464-0516.


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