If Your New Year's Resolution is to Land a New Creative Job, Start Here

The new year brings with it many possibilities as well as resolutions. Have you thought about yours?

This year, I resolve to improve my knitting skills and complete more than just one-half of a scarf! When it comes to my career, I resolve to engage in more meaningful conversations with media influencers on social media and polish my presentation skills, among others.

Of course, you don't need a long list of New Year's resolutions. When considering your personal or career goals for 2014, keep it real – set small objectives, be specific and create a plan. These tips are especially relevant if one of your New Year's resolutions is to land a new creative job.

Here are some other things you can do to jump-start your job search in the new year:

Divide your time. Although searching job listings is a good place to start, you shouldn't rely solely on applying for advertised openings. Word-of-mouth is still the best way to find a job. Spend at least half of your time networking in person and online, participating in professional groups and targeting companies of interest and contacting them directly. Even if you haven't seen a specific job opening, contact a recruiter and tell everyone you know you're in the market and the type of position you're seeking.

Take time to attend to details. Don't send out a flurry of resumes without addressing each one to a specific person. Find out who the hiring manager is by checking LinkedIn or the company website, asking people in your network or calling the employer. Address your cover letter to that person stating your interest and qualifications for the position.

Highlight your work on the Web. Keep your online portfolio updated with current work samples and contact information. Make it visible to potential hiring managers by including the URL in your job search materials and online profiles.

Amplify your brand. If you use social media accounts for professional purposes, adjust the look of your profile pages to match your online portfolio. Also, make sure they include basic professional information like your area of specialization or years of industry experience.

Launch a publicity campaign. Submit articles in your area of expertise to local business and trade publications and offer to speak at industry events. These activities can enhance your professional visibility and help expand your network.

Pursue project work. Freelance positions are a great way to build contacts and acquire additional experience while earning a paycheck. Reach out to a specialized recruiter who can help find projects that align with your skills and professional interests.

Whatever your career goals may be, I wish you good luck in achieving them and a happy New Year!

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