If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to land your dream job, then you’re not alone. As mentioned in our previous blog article, the months following the New Year are the most prevalent for landing a new job. This attributes to many factors, but likely most prominent is the promise of a new year and the burst of motivation and inspiration that comes with it. Defining your career goals can be challenging, but it is essential in helping you land your dream job in 2018.

The reality is though, new year’s resolutions are tough, as it is found that upwards of 80% of resolutions fail within the first two weeks. Landing a new job can be especially challenging considering the process can often time be long and drawn out, with high rejection rates. Another challenge is what if you’re not even sure what your dream job is or looks like? To begin the process of switching to a career you are truly passionate about, you need to do some soul-searching.

Answer these 10 questions honestly and review your answers to help you revalidate your career goals, and to help propel you into the career of your dreams. Whether you are 15 years into your career, or a newly graduated college student, self-evaluating your goals and career ambitions is always relevant. And there are some questions to ask ahead of time to ensure you’re setting the right goals; ones that are achievable too.

7 Questions to ask yourself in 2018

  • What do you wish you would have done last year that you didn’t? How can you incorporate that into your new goals for the New Year?
  • What are your top three priorities in the New Year and how will you measure progress toward achieving them?
  • What are your biggest overall career goals and what steps can you take toward achieving them in 2018?
  • What other professional development goals should you be setting? How do you plan to achieve them?
  • What are your biggest strengths? What are some ways you can put them to better use in 2018?
  • What are your biggest weaknesses? How can you overcome them in the New Year?
  • What is the number one most important thing you’d like to accomplish in 2018?

Once these questions are answered, you can effectively start setting career goals that align with your ambitions in 2018. Goal setting is challenging, but providing the right framework to be able to set the right goals is how you can create goals that are achievable, measurable, and substantial enough to help you make the leap to a career you love.

As a leading provider of staffing in Chicago, we have the knowledge and experience – not to mention the expansive candidate network – to help you find and hire the people you need. To learn more about the benefits of working with a staffing agency, like Esquire, feel free to check out this blog post, and be sure to view our latest openings.

According to USPopulation.com, Chicago has one of the world’s biggest and most expanded economies with no single industry utilizing more than 14% of the workforce. That combined with the over 2.7 million inhabitants, can cause major competition for finding a job in Chicago.

Chicago also has the 4-the most Fortune 500 Corporate Headquarters in the US. And where there are headquarters, there are jobs. So while there is competition, there are opportunities to land your dream job in Chicago. The trick? Partnering with a staffing partner who can tailor your specific experiences, qualifications, and personality to a career and culture that will ensure

Why use a recruiting firm to find a job in Chicago?

  1. A recruiting firms job is exactly that: to connect eager potential employees with employers who are looking for top talent. While looking for a job, may be a side hobby or an activity you do in your spare time, finding jobs and connecting people is a recruiters job- and guess what? They’re really good at it!
  2. Hiring managers and HR Professionals have a lot of other responsibilities on their plate, meaning devoting the time and energy it takes to find the best candidate for the job can sometimes fall to the end of the list. Whereas finding a candidate is the primary responsibility of the recruiter, making it always a top priority.
  3. Recruiters are outsiders of your immediate circle. How is this an advantage? They are able to ask the hard questions, like salary you’re your personal goals. This helps candidates looking for employers to be vulnerable and honest to recruiters instead of crafting answers based on what a company may want to hear.
  4. Recruiters are so successful because they have the time, resources and dedication to finding the best jobs available. Recruiters have access and relationships with many people and companies, ensuring that you will receive the best experience and access to jobs as possible.
  5. Recruitment agencies and recruiters have an expansive network. This helps you find a job because they can get you access and responses in a timely manner and connect you with individuals you would not have had access to otherwise.
  6. Secret Tip: Recruiters have access to jobs have not been posted yet. With experience in the agency and connections of clients, often times companies give agencies the exclusive first look at positions that are not available to the general public.
  7. Recruitment Agencies are free of charge for candidates!

While it is totally possible to land a job meaning traditional means, in today’s day and age, connections are everything. Utilizing a recruiter who can devote their time, resources, and connections to helping you find a job in a busy metropolitan area like Chicago is the easiest, most time effective way to land a job in Chicago.

Looking for jobs in Chicago? Click here to see how partnering with a staffing firm, like Esquire Recruiting, can help.

Have you been unemployed for longer than six months and struggling to get noticed? Do you proofread, dress well, send thank-you notes, and still struggle to figure out why you haven’t been hired? According to research from Northeastern University, long-term unemployment works against you in the hiring process. A break of six months of more greatly decreases your ranking among job candidates. So what should you do when you find yourself unemployed for a long time?

1. Volunteer

Even if it’s not totally related to your field, volunteering could open up new opportunities in a related field that you may enjoy. For most members of the workforce, fitting volunteer positions range from pro-bono accounting to teaching job skills to underprivileged populations. Even if you think you’re in too obscure a specialty to find a good volunteer experience, try to find just one aspect of your desired job that can be improved or demonstrated through charity work. Keep in mind that anything can “look good” if you can sell it; think of this as a chance to find a good “example of a time when____” for interviews. You’ll also build your network with volunteer managers and your peers– and maybe find a gushing new reference.

2. Research your own industry from the outside perspective

Working in one place for too long can make you out-of-touch in a new environment. Take advantage of your free time during unemployment and make sure you’re an expert on other new developments in your field, other parts of the sector, up-and-coming individuals, and nearby conferences you can attend.

3. Get up-to-date on the job search market

Times change fast; what companies are looking for now may not be the same as a year ago. If you’re struggling to figure out why you’re not getting hired, take a look at what basic skills your industry generally requires. Forget ‘what to do when unemployed;’ what you really need to know is ‘what to do– or not to do– when interviewing.’ Take a few minutes to research good questions to ask, as well as follow-up etiquette and expectations. For competitive positions, even one newly-established faux-pas may be the difference between getting that job and remaining unemployed. Fashion also changes fast, so if you’re looking for a high-level job or just looking to make a stellar impression, catch up on high corporate fashion– or just fashion in general– for your interviews.

4. Take classes

This also counts if you teach yourself new skills (see our tips for finding self-help sites). If you’re a little bit shaky on basic computer skills, odds are you should start with that. If you get through all of your industry and market research and recognize a demand for other competencies you don’t have, they should become your priority.

5. Start your own business

If you have job skills that you can market on your own, why wait for someone else to hire you? Anything from an Etsy shop to freelance consulting or tutoring can be shaped into learning and leadership experiences. Even if you don’t want to work for yourself, a brief entrepreneurial experience can give you a step up in the job market and solve the problem of unemployment bias.

6. Take a temp position

Why sit around wondering what to do with your unemployment when you can be back at work instead? Even temporary placements are great learning and networking opportunities. Since each company is different, a few short temp gigs can be turned into examples of flexibility, versatility, and all the new programs and tasks you’re now proficient at. At the end of the day, a temporary job still fills the gaps in your resume and pushes back on the stigma of long-term unemployment.


While joblessness can be stressful for any number of reasons, the feeling of “what do I do now?” shouldn’t be one of them. With so many ways to improve your skills and resume, there’s no reason long-term unemployment bias should work against you.

It’s one of the most dreaded interview questions, right after “what are your biggest weaknesses?” Especially for those applying for only mildly interesting positions, it can be hard to answer. Conventional wisdom often focuses on the organization’s work, reputation, and growth. While this advice is good, it’s still conventional: it won’t make you stand out if every other candidate has prepared properly too. The following are ways to spice up your answer—to be used in addition to conventional wisdom—to show that you’ve done thorough research on the workplace and that you’d be an especially good fit. So, why do you want to work here?

1. Programs held

Many companies offer opportunities to educate or empower employees and increase their good PR. Feel free to mention your genuine interest in one– but don’t get caught up in what the company can do for you. Make sure to include how you intend on strengthening that program or applying your new skills back to the position you’re applying for. For example:

Why Do You Want to Work here

Educational and creative opportunities through the workplace are great reasons to want to work for a company.

  • “I noticed you sponsor computer programming/ language/marketing classes for
    long-time employees. I’d love to learn how to use x program and maybe apply that to a future position doing y for your company.”
  •  “I appreciate your green initiative/community service weekend/ women’s network. It’s  something in which I can see myself both participating and pursuing active leadership roles.”

2. Past/current employee reviews

Signal a personal connection to the company by relaying a friend or relative’s good experience there. Similarly, show that recruiter you were paying attention during your preliminary phone interview by repeating their comment and expanding upon it. Say something like:

  • “Sandra mentioned the office-wide Halloween contest earlier. I like that kind of welcoming company culture and commitment to creativity and morale.”
  • “I’m looking for a company with not only opportunities for advancement but the tools to help me get there. My cousin, who used to work here, says your leadership training program is truly committed to  supporting employees’ personal growth. ”

3. Types/ Ages of Employees

In certain fields, employees may generally trend toward one end of the labor market. Acknowledge

Why Do You Want to Work Here

The people you work with and around can affect whether you want to join a company.

this, then either sell yourself as the perfect fit or justify why they should hire you outside the box. Are employees generally:

4. Company Size

The number of people you’d be working with in the office isn’t always your first priority when job searching. However, you can emphasize your preparedness or excitement about the work with a small comment about office size. For example:

  • “The small size of your office presents a great opportunity for more personal training and mentoring,”
  • “I love that the headquarters are large because I welcome the opportunity to constantly work with new people.”
  • “As someone new to the industry, I like having only a few coworkers with whom I can develop personal relationships. I want to learn more about what they do to figure out where I fit best within the organization.”


One cheerful comment on a highly specific aspect of the organization will exude enthusiasm. Add your own well-researched, personal answers in an interview to emphasize that you’re particularly well-suited for the position and stand out of the interview crowd.

Whether you’re looking to flesh out your resume, refocus your career path, make the most of unemployment/childcare leave, or simply add some variety to your intellectual life, an online course can help you achieve your goals with minimal disruption to your life and finances. However, taking the wrong class can be a waste of time and even money. Here are some aspects of an online course for job skills to consider before you enroll.

1. Timeline

Both the pace and length of a class can affect much you get out of it. Studying a new language over the course of one summer will get you about as far as “where is the bathroom?” If you want to learn a language for work-related communication, plan on a years-long commitment. Similarly, if you have a 60- hour workweek, childcare duties, or other time-consuming responsibilities, then a fast-paced, high-workload class may not be right for you.

Luckily, the abundance of learning options on the web offer flexibility for everyone. Saylor, for instance, allows for self-paced units. Sites like Open CourseWare provide college-level materials without the structure of a class setting– great for a review or learning within tough time constraints. Open 2 Study, on the other hand, offers month-long courses with week-long units. If you have even more time, check out this list of classes you can take over ten weeks or less.

2.  Course Level

Online Course Job Skills

Identify the right online course for your lifestyle and desired job skills with these tips.

Taking an advanced data analytics class when you never took basic statistics is a recipe for disaster. Sometimes, the most useful courses are introductory topics that help you build the foundation for a new system. Maybe you need an online course for job skills that will help you work up to a more relevant one. If that’s the case, try starting at Coursera, which offers a range of classes to help you start a new subject. If you want more guidance, Alison features a series of progressively more advanced courses, called a learning path. Finally, if you’re seeking deeper expertise in a field, you might look into a university’s Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)…

3. Source

Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and many other top-tier universities offer free classes online, a great option for industry veterans. However, if you’re not ready for a college-level course, your time may be better spent at other sites (just make sure to run a quick google search for credibility from new sources). Remember that colleges aren’t the only reliable institutes on the web. For instance, Microsoft offers a number of classes for tech-phobes and game developers alike.

4. Relevance

The thousands of class options out there can be distracting or daunting. From the start, make sure your course is relevant to both your field and the specific job you want. Consider searching for classes by topic, like digital marketing or data science, to make sure it’s an online course for job skills you need.


Whether you used to love school or hide in the corners, online courses provide an opportunity to all kinds of learners to improve their job prospects. Make sure you commit to the right course by considering its pace, level, origin, and relevance to your career goals!