New Year’s Resolutions for Liberal Arts Grads

Ah, it’s that time of year again.  Time to examine your path, set some attainable goals, and get re-motivated to make your life all that it can be.  Here are some recommendations that seem particularly well-suited to liberal arts graduates who are looking for a new job or the next step in their career path, pulled from various areas of the web.  Happy New Year!

1.  Boost Your Web Presence

“Every form of social media gives people a glimpse into your life – including potential employers. Many employers consider your web presence fair game when they consider your application.  Social media is a one-stop shop for employers to learn who you really are. Your activity paints a better picture of you than your custom-tailored resume. Your photos, blog posts, video uploads, tweets, and Likes become a living resume – something that any tech-savvy individual can view. Where can you be found?”


2.  Create Specific Career Goals That Make a Difference in Your Day

“Before you set those New Year’s resolutions, ask yourself: What does ‘getting ahead’ mean for me?  More money?  More autonomy?  A shorter commute?  A longer title?  Good goals are personal, quantifiable and achievable.  Results also need to be measurable; if you make your goals and your company doesn’t recognize you for those achievements, next year’s goal should be to find a new organization who will!”


3.  Make it Personal

“Take the time to have face-to-face meetings and to get to know the people in your office and in your business. Texting may seem more efficient but it may not be smarter. People do things for people who they know. There is simply no substitute for shaking someone’s hand and looking them in the eye. The personal touch is powerful, especially in our very impersonal world.”


4.  Go for Quality over Quantity

“You might be tempted to apply to as many jobs as possible, figuring that doing so will increase your odds of being called for an interview. But in practice, this usually means that you’ll end up “résumé-blasting” – sending out tons of applications without customizing your résumé and cover letter to the particular openings you’re applying for. Employers can tell when you’re submitting the same generic application you’ve submitted to dozens of other places, and you have a far lower chance of catching their eyes.  Send out fewer applications, and spend time customizing each. Write cover letters that are specific to each job you’re applying for, and ensure that your résumé highlights speak directly to the qualifications being sought. If your application package is identical every time you send it out, that’s a sign that you need to be more targeted in your approach.”

(From U.S. News & World Report)

5.  Attend at Least One Professional Conference

“I swear by these as a great opportunity to meet people, cultivate relationships, and find new opportunities.  It could be a professional conference for your field locally or one of the many conferences hosted by national organizations like the National Urban League, National Alliance of Black School Educators, etc.  If conferences are not in your personal budget, check with your employer to see if they have any professional development dollars that you can spend (psst…most companies do).”

(From I Don’t Do Clubs)

6.  Keep a Running Reading List

“Making and sticking to a reading list of books, articles, blogs, journals, and other publications to read will ensure you stay engaged with your field and your goals.  This could mean working your way through a list of books on a specific skill you want to achieve in 2015, for example, or keeping track of a number of industry-specific blogs.  In addition, job seekers may want to read up on job search tactics, and any professional can benefit from a book on career improvement.”

(From The ExecuSearch Group)

7.  Avoid Rabbit Holes

“If we wish to have a more productive 2015, we can start by putting away our cellphones and closing the internet browser on our work computers. Most text messages, phone calls, e-mails, and social media can wait. This discipline will get us focused on our important tasks and limit tendency towards procrastination.”


8.  Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships were built for.  It’s easy to get comfy in your day-to-day routine, but it’s important to always challenge yourself.  When you do, more often than not, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.  Embrace being uncomfortable and tell the nervous little voice in [your] head to be quiet.”

(From March Communications)

Posted in Blog, Liberal Arts, Resolutions

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