Be Prepared. Have a voice mail system in place and sign-up for a professional sounding email address. Consider getting a separate email account to use for your job search, so you can stay organized. Put your cell phone number on your resume so you can follow up in a timely manner. This job search toolkit will help you get everything you need set for your job search.
Be More Than Prepared. Always have an up-to-date resume ready to send - even if you are not currently looking for work. You never know when an opportunity that is too good to pass up might come along. If you're not on LinkedIn yet, create a LinkedIn Profile and start making connections who can help you job search.
Don't Wait. If you are laid-off, file for unemployment benefits right away. You will most likely be able to file online or by phone. Waiting could delay your benefits check.
Get Help. Utilize free or inexpensive services that provide career counseling and job search assistance such as college career offices, state Department of Labor offices or your local public library. Many libraries provide workshops, programs, classes, computers and printers you can use, and other resources to help you with your job search. Here's more on getting job search help at the library.
Create Your Own Templates. Have copies of your resume and cover letter ready to edit. That way you can change the content to match the requirements of the job you're applying for, but, the contact information and your opening and closing paragraphs won't need to be changed. Microsoft Word users can download free templates for resumes, cover letters and email messages which can be personalized for your own correspondence.
Review Samples. It's always a good idea to look at sample letters and resumes to get ideas for your own job search materials. Take a look at our collection of resume, cv, and letter samples.
Use Job Search Engines. Search the job search engines. Use the job search engine sites to search the major job boards, company sites, associations, and other sites with job postings for you - fast. You will be able to search all the jobs posted online in one step.
Jobs by Email. Let the jobs come to you. Use job alerts to sign up and receive job listings by email. All the major job sites have search agents and some websites and apps specialize in sending announcements.
Time Savers. Strapped for time? Consider getting professional help writing or editing your resume.
References Ready. Have a list of three references including name, job title, company, phone number and email address ready to give to interviewers. Print a copy of your reference list and bring it with you to interviews. Here's how to create a list of references.
Use Your Network. Be cognizant of the fact that many, if not most, job openings aren't advertised. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. Ask if they can help.
Get Social. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a good way to get job listings before they are listed elsewhere. Plus, you can promote your candidacy using the social media tools that are readily available for free for job seekers and companies are increasingly using social media for recruiting. Here's how to get started with social networking.
This tip isn't a time saver, but, it will broaden your online job search resources.
Don't Stop. Don't limit your job searching to the top sites like Monster or CareerBuilder. Check the smaller niche sites that focus on a particular geographic location or career field and you will find plenty of job listings. Networking works, too. Tap into your network of contacts to see who might be able to help you with job leads or a referral.