By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes

If you’re one of the many people who feel invigorated to find a new career in the new year, be ready for a challenge. A survey of found that nine out of 10 of’s busiest days for job applications last year were during the first month of the year. That means your competition will be fierce, your hunts will be longer, and you really need to make your first impression stand out.

Here are some tips to remember during every aspect of your job hunt.

  • Staying Positive While Hunting. When there are more people searching for jobs, it means there is a larger pool of candidates to choose from. But fear not! In June of 2018, USA Today found that there are now more job openings than there are people out of work. Instead of honing in on one opportunity and waiting for a response, move on to the next one. The odds are in your favor that the perfect fit for you is out there.
  • The Interview. When I’m coaching a new client searching for a career, the most terrifying part of the process seems to be the job interview. It’s completely normal to feel a little awkward “selling” yourself, but now is not the time to be bashful. If you want to avoid coming off as cocky, speak about your success from a place of gratitude. Remember the times you came up with a solution to a problem, how you’ve worked as a member of a team, and unique aspects of yourself that you enjoy. A study from found that 40% of interviewers state that the quality of a candidate’s voice and their overall confidence was a reason for not taking their candidacy further, so remember to make eye contact, dress appropriately, and be confident in your answers.
  • The Follow-Up. You’ve done your research on the company, you nailed the interview, and now it’s time to sit back and wait for a phone call, right? While you can’t deny the importance of the job interview and first impressions, you also have to think about the importance of a lasting impression. A survey featured on found that nearly one in five interviewers have completely dismissed a candidate because they didn’t receive a thank-you email or note after an interview. Ignore the voice telling you that it’s overkill, because nothing will show your interviewer how serious you are about the position than creative persistence.

The process of a job hunt can be wildly unpredictable. You may hear nothing for three weeks and then get three job offers in a day. It is important to stay vigilant and constantly check-in with yourself. Be okay with asking yourself questions, changing your path, and challenging your beliefs. It’s the start of a new year, the best time to redefine what it means to be you is right now.

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  • I'm a career coach, keynote speaker, podcast host (You Turn Podcast) and author, here to help you step into a career you're excited about and aligned with. This may look like coaching you 1:1, hosting you in one of my courses, or meeting you at one of workshops or keynote speaking engagements! I also own CAKE Media, a house of ghostwriters, copywriters, publicists and SEO whizzes that help companies and influencers expand their voice online. Before being an entrepreneur, I was an award-winning counterterrorism professional who helped the Pentagon in Washington, DC with preparing civilians to prepare for the frontlines of the war on terror.