With only two weeks left to the end of the year, now is a great time to start mapping out your career path for 2013. Below is a helpful A to Z guide on landing your dream job in the coming year from YouTern.
A - Take Action
Don't just dream of landing your dream job; take action towards it and do it now.
B - Be Social
For 2013, set yourself a target to become a regular user of LinkedIn and Twitter at the very least, and get a blog going too - it will help improve your job prospects in the long run.
C - Update Your Resume Regularly
And while you're at it, make sure any cover letters you send out are intact too. With an average of 73 applicants going for every job advertised, you can't afford to neglect this vital process in landing your dream job.
D - Dress for Success
A bit of a cliche, I know, but first impressions really do count so make sure you're presentable wherever you go.
E - Educate Yourself
Expanding your knowledge base is another way to stand out in the job market so do a university or master degree if you need to, or enroll in a short, part-time or even long-distance course in a field related to your industry of choice.
F - Stay Focused
Concentrate on your mission and don't allow distractions to take you off path if you're serious about 2013 being your year to land your dream job.
G - Set Goals
If you haven't set goals before, now is the time to start. Don't just think about what you want, write your vision down and make it plain; put it somewhere where you can see it everyday.
H - Ask for Help
Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it - this could be as simple as sharing your goals with friends and family and making yourself accountable to them.
I - Develop Your Interests and Activities
Not only is this a great way to widen your network, it also gives you exciting stuff to talk about on your CV and at the interview, which may help you clinch the job.
J - Join Relevant Groups (on and offline)
These groups should relate to your industry of choice so you can keep up to date with developments and key contacts. LinkedIn is especially good for this purpose.
K - Keep Going
Even when it gets tough and you're feeling discouraged from getting more rejection letters than you are job interviews; if you remain persistent and committed, things will eventually turn around for you.
L - Don't Stop Learning
Make 2013 your year of learning and commit to being a lifelong learner thereon. This doesn't have to be formal education as before, but rather personal development through reading books, attending seminars, etc.
M - Manage Your Career
Nobody owes you anything in life so accept full and personal responsibility for creating the type of work like you want and get going to make it happen.
N - Utilize the Power of Networking
Who you know really does count so make 2013 the year of getting to know people in and out of your industry; start building connections now and it will pay off later in life.
O - Learn to Recognize and Embrace Opportunities
Sometimes the only way to know how good a swimmer you are is to go ahead and dive right in the pool (*disclaimer - don't take this literally; if you can't swim, get out of that water!)
P - Maintain a Positive Attitude at All Times
Be grateful for the things you have and opportunities that come your way; gratitude is a great way to keep your positivity tank filled up because no matter how bad it is, it really could have been a lot worse.
Q - Ask Questions
Find people you admire or people working in the organizations you want to enter. Most people like being asked for advice (it gives us a chance to show off how much we know) so go ahead and ask questions - it will broaden your industry knowledge along the way.
R - Build Meaningful Relationships
Don't just network for the sake of filling up your address book or for what you'll get out of it. Aim to build quality and meaningful relationships with people where there is mutual benefit.
S - Develop Your Public Speaking Skills
This is probably one of the most important things you can do for your career and for a better quality of life in general, and it applies even if you're a self-proclaimed introvert.
T - Think Outside the Box
Find ways to do things differently (like sending hand-written cover letters in the mail rather than typing and emailing it like everyone else.)
U - "Upskill" Yourself Regularly
Keep on developing your existing skills and look for ways to add new skills to your repertoire; the more skilled you are, the more attractive you become to a potential employer and therefore the more likely you are to get hired.
V - Volunteer Your Time
As a way to keep busy, build your skills and do good all at the same time. It also gives you a good reason to get out of the house from time to time to escape the repetitiveness of constant job hunting.
W - Get Some Work Experience Under Your Belt
Any experience (preferably within your industry) is better than no experience at all.
X - Lose the Excuses
Overlooking the cheat with the letter X, excuses can be a barrier to your job-seeking success in 2013 unless you determine to put a stop to them once and for all. Don't make excuses for why you're not where you want to be; instead invest that energy into finding out how you can get to your destination and then take the necessary steps to achieve it.
Y - You Only Live Once
No, I'm not advocating the reckless YOLO mindset but the truth is that you really do only live once so make sure the career you design for yourself is really what you want to be doing with your life.
Z - Be Willing to Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
From time to time, experience new things and get new results - this is probably the fastest way to enormous personal growth and awakening gifts and talents you didn't even know you had.