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If one of your New Year’s resolutions includes finding a new job, it turns out you’re in good company, and on Jan. 6, you’ll be in a crowded space.
According to data provided by Monster.com, the first Wednesday of the new year typically marks the busiest day for job searches on the careers website. This increased activity tends to follow a holiday lull; in 2014, Monster saw a decline of 7 percent in December from November.
The reason? Vicki Salemi, a career expert with job search engine giant Monster, said that after returning to the office for a few days, most people have their minds made up about looking for a new job, and by the first Wednesday of January, “they’re thinking it’s go time and they need to ramp things up and go full speed ahead with their job search.”
Although tech and health care are red-hot sectors that receive a lot of interest, according to Salemi, of the most searched job titles, the No. 1 term was “part time” followed by “sales,” “accounting” and “customer service.” Salemi says this indicates that more people are looking to string jobs together.
While Jan. 6 experiences high search volume, Salemi has a few pointers regardless of the day. For starters, don’t let things get to a breaking point at your current job. “You never want to feel like you have to leave tomorrow or that you’re in dire need of a job,” she said. “Even if you’re happy in your current role, passively see what’s out there. Do searches and circulate your resume to know your worth."
Candidates hoping to stand out should stay on top of their game and have a resume and cover letter at the ready. In addition, ensuring you have two to three people who are willing to provide a reference is a must. These steps will make candidates ready to apply for a job and hit the ground running immediately rather than scrambling to gather things at the last minute.
It’s also vital to avoid conducting anything job-search related on gadgets that are affiliated with your current job, including company computers and smartphones. Even having something seemingly harmless like a resume or cover letter on your hard drive is considered an etiquette no-no, according to Salemi. Instead, try setting up job alerts on your own smartphone or your personal email. Another suggestion is to carve out time for the search during your commute to and from the office (using your personal device, naturally).
Salemi urges employees to assume they’ll get caught if they conduct job searches at work, and as such, it’s ideal to refrain from searching at work. However, if you can’t resist the urge to job hunt and you do get busted, Salemi says you can still smooth over the situation. One thing is to make sure you have an idea on what to say when it’s time to sit down and talk with your boss about why you are looking.
“Let’s say you’re just reading a job description and get caught. You can turn it into an opportunity to have a conversation with your boss,” said Salemi. “Tell them you’re trying to figure out what your worth is in the new year and want to talk about expanding your role.”