2015 is here and that means a fresh start for your career.

New Year’s Resolutions can be difficult to keep so it is important to make real changes and create better habits rather than abandon them in frustration.

Is your resolution to find a new job? There are several things that you can do to kick start your career in 2015 and give yourself an advantage over your competition. Here are some ideas to keep in mind.

Stay focused on the search.

You’ve probably heard the advice to treat your job search just like you would treat a job. There is a reason this is so prevalent; it really works. Set an alarm for the morning. Get up, get showered, and get dressed. Then work through an established schedule to make connections, send resume, and work on personal projects like your own website and blog.

Target companies that match your goals.

Rather than blindly sending your resume to online job postings, turn the job search on its head and start by researching companies you would really like to work for. Use LinkedIn and other networking tools to connect with key players in the organization and use this information to learn how to approach them for open jobs or determine if they would be willing to talk with you.

Create a website, blog, and social media presence.

Next, take your job search to the 21st century by creating an online profile for yourself. Some people are afraid of social media and avoid it to prevent potential employers from seeing inappropriate information. However, avoiding it can cause the opposite reaction. Recruiters and hiring managers expect to see an online presence and when they don’t, they believe there might be something to hide.

Make networking connections with your contacts.

Networking is also a skill that you need to develop in order to make the right connections to find a job. Start by attending local industry events and making a goal to meet at least one new person. Every time you meet someone think about how you can help them rather than just expecting them to help you. Introduce them to others in your network and become known as a connector.

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