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Making the Old You New

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Making the old you new means getting aligned with the current job climate and refocusing on your best assets. The New Year is a time to rejuvenate, reconnect, and retool your job search strategies. If you've been looking for awhile, frustration can take its toll. It's time to wipe the slate clean, reclaim your confidence, and put the best you forward. Here are the three "R's" that will get your search up and running toward success.

Rejuvenating your job search begins with sharpening your brand — you. Start by reassessing who you are and where you want your career to be. The easiest way to clarify this is by investing a few minutes in the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test. "Determining your personality type can give you insight into choosing a career path and dealing with the social dynamics of a job search," says Career Counselor Tory Holtzman. You may learn things that will make you re-launch your brand and shift the emphasis of your search. "Evolving with the current job market shouldn't be seen as a weakness because it's actually a healthy, realistic approach," says Holtzman. Of course, external changes like updating your resume and job interview wardrobe should be priorities, too.

Ramping up your contacts is probably the best way to invest your time during a job search, and there's no better time to do it. People are free of holiday obligations and shifting back into professional mode. Check in with former co-workers, former classmates, and business contacts and remind them that you are searching. "I've heard stories of people landing jobs by reconnecting with high school and college alumni groups and even one where a woman contacted someone she formerly babysat for about an open position," says Holtzman. "It turned out the man she used to baby sit was in an HR position and he recommended her to his company." The good thing about reconnecting is you can get creative. Make a list of people you want to contact. Divide it into those you will e-mail, phone, or meet with in person. Keep in mind, the goal is to develop remote e-mail contacts back into face to face ones.

"The longer a job search goes on the more it tends to become reactive instead of proactive," says Holtzman. It helps to mix things up and try fresh tactics. Retooling your resume and the way you write cover letters is a good proactive approach. Try writing like you speak to make your written materials more consistent with who you are. Another good thing to retool is your interview skills. According to Holtzman, "Younger job seekers are taking advantage of the latest Web Cam technology to conduct mock interviews live on the Internet." This is a great method to hone your interviewing skills and get instant feedback.

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