We’re closing in on 2023 and if you’re looking for a job now or plan to wait until the new year to search for your next opportunity, these tips should help you get the edge on your competition.

Have no shame in strategically working your network.

Don’t be bashful, be proactive when tapping into your network. This goes beyond sending a text or dropping a line in a group chat that you’re job hunting. Make a call to friends, mentors, relatives, neighbors, anybody who you have a genuine connection with. Let them know that you’re job hunting and be specific about what you are looking for. Set up coffee or lunch dates if possible and focus the conversation on your next step professionally.

“Have them make that call for you,” suggested Sarah Fulton, Vice President of Operations at The Lee Group, an elite staffing and executive recruitment firm headquartered in Newport News, Virginia. “Go to the people you know and say, ‘You know me. What do you think I should do next?’ I’m talking about a deeper level of strategic networking.”

Be open to feedback and possibilities.

Surround yourself with likeminded people.

If you’re a new candidate in the job market or have remained in one position for a significant amount of time, your network might be stale or small. Grow your network. With almost all of the restrictions related to the pandemic lifted, more people are embracing in-person professional gatherings and events. Attend one and mingle with the people there. Many chambers of commerce sponsor professional groups that connect young professionals with business leaders and stakeholders in the region.

“Strong relationships are one of the most valuable things you can have in your life,” Fulton said. “Try to find a place where you fit in, whether it’s volunteering, being part of a professional group or joining a club – you can mold personal with professional.”

Have no shame, Part II.

If you spot an opportunity that resonates with everything that excites you about a job, again, this is no time to be shy. It’s not enough to just apply and write a personal cover letter. If you land an interview, be sure to state what might seem obvious but is worth repeating — you very much want the position and believe you will be an asset.

Your work is not done after you interview. Your personal follow-up is an integral part of the process of landing your next job. Make sure your thank you note or email is specific and timely. Do not let 48 hours pass without following up. Continue to follow up with the hiring manager. While you don’t want to become a pest, you do want to leave no stone unturned.

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