It’s all but assured that most people will make a significant career change by the time they are forty. In a world where there are innumerable means of making money, finding the right job for you can sometimes feel a little like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Thankfully, you’re not alone.

Everyone (yes, even those lucky bastards born with silver spoons) needs to work. Whether it’s as the CEO of a major company or as a lowly writer, everyone eventually needs to know how to job-hunt. So regardless of if you’re just casually browsing, hoping to find your dream job, or if you’re seriously hunting for something to pay those looming bills, here are a few tips to get you started on the search! 

Update Your Resume (Don’t Forget to Tailor!)

Before you even think about sending out applications you’d better ensure that your resume is in order. This doesn’t mean simply updating the font and making sure your address and email are correct; this means a real overhaul. Despite what some people might say, employers are shifting and growing as much as employees are. With hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of applicants it’s important to make sure that everything on your resume reflects your capabilities and (as much as possible) your unique qualifications. You have to stand out. And mistakes—spelling errors, mistaken emails, or lackluster bullet-points—are all but immediate disqualifiers.

It’s also important to remember to tailor each resume to each application/employer. A good way of doing this is to read over the requested qualifications and word your own bullets so that they (truthfully) coincide. Not only does this cue whoever is looking at your resume that you are putting forth effort, but with hiring managers increasingly turning to technology to filter out applicants, this might be the difference between an interview and getting your resume send to the trash pile.

Update Your LinkedIn and Other Applicable Social Media Accounts

Believe it or not, technology and I have a love hate relationship: I hate technology and it loves to make me hate it. That being said, even I know that if you’re not on LinkedIn then you’re probably not going to get hired. But don’t think of LinkedIn as one more thing that you have to update, think of it as an incredibly powerful resource. LinkedIn is the professional equivalent of Facebook. It allows you to demonstrate your unique style of business more thoroughly than your resume, shows your connections with others, and even suggests potential job opportunities. Becoming active on LinkedIn is a powerful way to becoming active in the job world and networking effectively. 

Turn to Social Media Friends (and Your Real-Life Ones Too)

Remember those nine hundred or so people you’re able to connect with instantly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat? Yeah, those people are job resources as well. While it can sometimes be uncomfortable asking friends (both the digital and the real-life ones) whether they know of potential career opportunities, these are often the people who are willing to vouch for you. Networking amongst friends can yield surprising results and should never be underestimated. Don’t be afraid to ask those people who work in fields similar to yours or with businesses you’re interested in if they know of availabilities. 

Search Online Job Listings

Even I, an avid technology grouch, cannot help but be impressed with websites like Indeed, Monster, and even Craigslist. When it comes to work the Internet has created vast opportunities all around the world. Most of these websites work like typical search engines: you can input keywords, job titles, and even business names to find job listings. When searching keep the following in mind: 

  • Location: don’t apply to a job somewhere you’d never want to move to or that’s outside your intended travel range.
  • Validity: Craigslist is notorious for scams but even more reputable sites like Indeed cannot keep the nefarious scammers off their site. Use your common sense and don’t be afraid to verify through multiple channels before submitting personal information.
  • Apply Appropriately: Sometimes the online application services that Indeed and Monster provide aren’t the preferred method employers’ want. Make sure you pay attention to application guidelines and follow them to the letter.

AND Call Companies

It brings me no small amount of joy to say that there are just some things Internet applications cannot do. One of them is generate the personal touch and interest of a phone call. Don’t be afraid to look up businesses and employers to inquire whether they are accepting applications. Simply being pleasant and amiable on a fifteen second phone call can stick in someone’s mind. When your resume comes across their desk they are that much more likely to remember you and offer you an interview.

Practice For Interviews 

This cannot be overstated. It doesn’t matter if you’re an interviewing savant: practicing beforehand can only benefit you in the long run. Practice common interview questions, as well as your answers. Have friends create mock interviews. You can even reach out to employees of businesses you’re applying to in order to get a feel ahead of time for the atmosphere of the workplace. This can lend a lot of confidence to your initial meeting and establish a professional and intimate work bond between you and a future employer.