As 2018 draws nearer and then gets underway, it’s a good time to look for a job either to kick off or to further your career. The digital age is now upon us, and finding new opportunities, or being discovered by recruiters, involves a different approach than it did in yesteryear.

Read on for a look at how you can boost and prepare your job search for 2018 — so that you can position yourself as the ideal candidate for the job of your dreams.

Social Media

Recent research from CareerBuilder shows that 70% of employers use social media as a candidate-screening tool prior to hiring, which is up from 60% in 2017 and 11% in 2006. And 54% of employers have identified content on social media that convinced them not to hire a candidate. Inappropriate pics, discriminatory comments, poor communication skills, and even excessively frequent posting were just some of the reasons employers said they have rejected candidates. What this means is that you need to be mindful about what you post and even how much you post if you want to use social media to help, rather than hinder, your job search.

Digital Resumes

As was mentioned before, the digital are is upon us, and this extends even to resumes. In order to stand out, you can build a professional website that is specifically designed to showcase your resume in a digital format that employers can readily access. Another way you can get that digital resume you need is with an effective LinkedIn profile.

With around half a billion users from around the world, LinkedIn is a great site for people looking for work, as well as for employers looking for workers. With a detailed profile that lists your education, work history, and volunteer experience, you can position yourself for success even as you ring in the new year.

Advanced Degree

You can improve your job prospects in 2018 by earning an advanced degree. A U.S. Census Bureau report shows that 33.4% of Americans who are at least 25 years old claimed that they had earned an undergraduate degree or higher. Of that amount, 21% have earned an undergraduate degree, 9.3% have earned a master’s degree, close to 2% have earned a doctoral degree, and 1.5% have obtained a professional degree that necessitates study over and above a four-year undergraduate program.

When you consider that certain senior level positions may require advanced degrees, you can see how earning one might facilitate your career trajectory. And in positions where an advanced degree might not be a prerequisite, fulfilling the requirements to get one can help to set you apart from the competition.

Mobile

One aspect of this digital era is the rise of the mobile workforce. With mobile devices, mobile apps, and high-speed Internet, it’s now possible to work virtually from anywhere. Whether you’ve just graduated and are in the hunt for job to start your career or are a professional who wants to find a new job to improve your career trajectory, your next job in 2018 may give you the opportunity to work remotely. Millennials are particularly interested in remote working opportunities as 68% of millennial job seekers said that the opportunity to work remotely would substantially boost their interest in employers that offered such work options.

Another study cited U.S. Bureau of Labor stats showing that in 2016, 22% of workers said that they worked remotely some or all of the time, up from 19% 12 years prior. The better prepared you are to participate in the mobile workforce, the better positioned you’ll be to pounce on opportunities.

Relationships

When it comes to getting ahead on the job front in 2018, you’ll need to learn (if you haven’t already done do) to work well with others. So, doing a good job isn’t just about achieving deliverables on time and to exact specifications; it’s also about building good relationships with coworkers and managers. In fact, getting ahead in the workplace may be next to impossible if you don’t put in the effort needed to build constructive and positive relationships.

A new year brings new opportunities to get ahead in your career. Whether you’re just starting out or are looking for a new job to further your career, these tips can help you to stand out for all of the right reasons.

Nick Rojas combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium business and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto.

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