Whether your desire to find a new job stems from dissatisfaction with your salary, a difficult manager, or a company whose culture doesn't align with what you're looking for, you should know that the job market is still active and healthy, which means you shouldn't hesitate to search for a new role in the coming year. And if you really want to increase your chances of success, make sure to check these key items off your list.

1. Start looking sooner rather than later

If you're serious about getting a new job in 2020, January is the time to begin looking. The reason? For many companies, budgets free up at the start of the new year, and hiring kicks off in full force. If you don't act quickly, you could miss out on the chance to land a new role that leaves you happier.

Woman at laptop

Image source: Getty Images.

2. Update your resume

Chances are, you've built some skills or added new responsibilities to your plate since you last updated your resume. If that's the case, spend a little time tweaking yours to reflect those positive changes. At the same time, review your resume and make sure it highlights the skills and tasks you want prospective employers to take note of. If, for example, you're looking to move into a more creative role, then it pays to talk up the skills and responsibilities that show you're capable of thinking outside the box.

3. Jazz up your cover letter

A boring cover letter is a great way to render your job search useless. If yours is fairly generic, invest an hour or two into making it more readable. Think about the things you really want potential employers to know about you, and don't be afraid to let your personality shine through. And while your cover letter should be free of spelling and grammatical errors, it doesn't have to be formal. In fact, depending on the job at hand, a more casual tone could be your ticket to an interview.

4. Network like crazy

Searching through online job listings is a good way to learn about openings. An even better way, though, is to reach out to the people you know and see what opportunities they're aware of. You never know when a former colleague, classmate, or associate you met once at a business conference has a job available that's just what you're looking for, so put the word out that you're looking.

5. Set your priorities

Searching for a job can be a time-consuming process, so before you dive in, think about what it is that you really want out of a new position. Is it better pay? A better workplace environment? More flexibility? Figure out where your priorities lie, and list them for your own reference so that as you come across job postings, you can more easily identify those roles worth applying to, and those not to bother with.

A new job could improve not just your professional life, but your quality of life as a whole. Take these steps, and with any luck, you'll be well on the way to a more rewarding career -- and perhaps a pay boost to go with it.