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5 Job-Search Resolutions for 2014

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- January can be a game-changer for workers looking for a career break and moving on to (hopefully) greener pastures.

A U.K. study estimates that 25% of the British workforce calls January the best month for a "fresh start" to leave one job and start a new one.

That process usually starts late in the previous year, when workers feeling unsatisfied over their jobs start networking by sending feelers out on LinkedIn, reshaping their resumes and cover letters and scheduling job interviews. The executive search firm ExecuNet says November and December are highly active months for job changes too, with 62% of recruiters saying hiring decisions and hiring budgets are made in the last two months of the year.

To the in-house recruiters at Progressive Insurance, that means employers who want to change teams have to be ready to roll before the New Year. Progressive's job-search team offers the following New Year's tips for job hunters at year-end:

Be visible. Woody Allen once famously said that 80% of life "was just showing up." Take that adage to heart during your job search by going to industry events, showing up at job fairs, or having lunch or coffee with other professionals in your industry. All are "information gathering" exercises, and the more data you have, the better your chances of landing a great new job.

Figure out your elevator speech. If you have 60 seconds in an elevator with a hiring manager, how would you make your case for a new gig? Progressive recruiters advise framing your pitch in 30 seconds or less, and to always have your social media handles ready to give to anyone who can help you with a job lead.

Give your resume a makeover. When you target an industry, make sure to find specific examples of good resumes (most recruiting firms have good samples on their websites) and study them. "This is especially important if you're looking to switch industries, since there is no standard resume that is used across the board," Progressive says.

Leverage old contacts. Catch up with old friends and contacts to mark the new year. They may have a job lead for you to follow.

Never quit. Getting a great new job is all about sinking your teeth into the job hunt but never letting go until you have a new employer. "Even if you haven't had luck in the past, try to keep a positive mindset," Progressive recruiters say. "It might seem cliche, but persistence really is key."

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