new job
Conventional wisdom says that finding a new job takes time. This is sometimes true, but as MIT career development specialist Lily Zhang writes, if you keep your “eye on the prize” and utilize “smart strategies,” you just might find yourself sitting a new desk by 2015. How do you do it? Read Zhang’s Daily Muse post “How to Land Your Dream Job by the End of the Year.” It’s filled with great advice for making career moves before ’15. Good luck!

1. Decide What You Really Want — It sounds obvious, but you should begin by thinking about what you’re really looking for in your next job. What would leave you feeling engaged and fulfilled? What type of company culture appeals to you? “Blindly applying to online postings won’t get you very far,” Zhang writes, “and taking just any job may have you searching again before spring break.”

2. Learn Your ‘Story’ — Once you know the type of job you’re looking for, figure out how your experiences and skills qualify you for the position. This is your “story.” Learn it, know it, and stick to it.

3. Call on Connections — Here it comes again, that word everyone uses: networking. It can sometimes be uncomfortable, but people like to help each other, so cast a wide net and let your contacts know what you’re looking for.

4. Prepare to Apply — Applying for jobs means resumes and cover letters, so make sure you’re up to date on all the latest tips and tricks. Among the articles Zhang advocates reading: “43 Resume Tips That Will Get You Hired.”

5. Stay Abreast of Other ‘Tricks’ — Knowing how to write a great resume or killer cover letter isn’t enough. There are always new tricks and shortcuts coming down the pipeline, so be sure to read career websites like this one to stay up on all the latest info. Another post Zhang recommends: “The Best Way to Organize Your Job Search.”