Starting the job hunt can be a little intimidating. Just envisioning stacks of applications and the ensuing hand cramp is enough to make most people less than enthusiastic about the task. There are few choices, however, when you need a job, so taking the time to get organized and prepared is the best way to shorten the process and eliminate wasted time.

Get Organized

Job applications all ask for much of the same information. If you can compile this in a computer document, you will save yourself much time typing by being able to copy and paste the data into any digital applications you fill out. This information includes your contact info, complete work history information, including wages and reason for leaving, applicable education with names, dates and major and a list of references. In the future, if you keep this information up to date, your research time for a new job search will be almost nonexistent. Have a

Focus

Know what types of jobs you want to apply for. Applying for any and all openings will only wear you out and lead to discouragement. Focus instead on jobs you will enjoy and places where your skills will be utilized and appreciated.

Unemployment Generic Application

If you will be working with your local unemployment department, ask them for a digital copy of their generic application. Fill that out on your computer and you can quickly change dynamic information like the position you are applying for or desired salary.

Update Your Resume

Spend an hour or so to go over your resume with fresh eyes, adding any new work history, education, skills or achievements that will be relevant. Have a standard resume you can submit anywhere, but when possible, cater your resume to the specific position you are applying for. Save copies of these for future use; specific resumes can often be quickly changed to target a similar job title.

Get Networking

If you have not already, sign up for the business networking site, LinkedIN, and begin finding connections so you can build your network. According to Forbes, over 97 percent of responding recruiters in a poll said they used LinkedIN to help their recruiting efforts. If you have the time, add Facebook, Twitter and Google+, but be careful not to spread yourself too thin. In this digital age, online networking is one of the most effective ways to search for jobs.

Create Job Board Accounts

There are numerous high quality job boards online that allow you to create custom searches, upload your resume and network to find a job. Sign up for at least one or two of these from top picks like Indeed, Monster or Simply Hired.

Stay Positive

Whether you are looking to change your current job or facing the uncertainty of unemployment, rejections can hit hard. Maintain a positive outlook and, if necessary, create lists of what you are good at to help encourage you. Remember, we all have a marketable skill and there are many companies looking to hire workers; one rejection does not define your quality or your abilities. When you take the time to compile your documents, organize your search and focus on what you really need to happen, you might find the job search process is not as daunting or cumbersome as it may seem. Getting prepared is the first step toward finding a dream job and getting hired.
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