If your looking for a new job, an online job search may be one of your best tools for finding a new position. Nonetheless, it’s not easy to know how to find a job in an employer’s market and really set yourself apart from the competition out there. This article strives to provide some helpful hints to make your job search successful.

Hint One: Polish that Resume & Get Your References Together

If your resume has spelling or grammar errors when it goes out, you can be certain that’s one job lost. Professionalism is a huge factor in the employer’s mind. They don’t want gimmicks, scented paper, or frilly borders – they want someone who looks (on paper at least) like a good candidate.

One of the key rules of how to find a job is this: tailor your resume to specific skills. If you’re a secretary who also happens to be a writer, for example, then have a resume that emphasizes your office aptitude, and one that stresses your work as a writer. You’ll need both for either the online job search, or responding to newspaper ads.

You’ll want to create some pre-fabricated cover letters too (ones that can easily be tweaked to respond to specific skills and qualifications that are listed in the ad).

Finally make sure you have two personal references and three professional ones on which you can depend. If you’re new in your field remember that you can use volunteer work, and look to guidance counselors, teachers, and clergy members as potential references.

Hint Two: Consider Your Options & Identify Transferable Skills

With a market filled with qualified people, you could be applying for the same position as hundreds of other individuals so choose your options wisely. You don’t want to waste time and money sending resumes to every ad that even remotely represents what you want in a job. Remember potential employers aren’t going to hire you if they thing you’re settling for that position until you find something better.

That’s where transferable skills come in. A second rule in how to find a job is to recognize skills you have that can take you into new territories successfully. For example, that same secretary may be fantastic with a budget, so why not look into purchasing as one option. Plug that word into the online job search engine and look at the difference in pay rates too!

Hint Three: Use the Technology And Networking Resources You Have Effectively.

This means having a resume online (that’s cooked to perfection). Also put up information about yourself on job boards, MySpace, Live Journal, professional chats and/or groups, etc. These days it’s all about networking, especially on the internet where you’re bombarded with a sea of job sites with job listings, not all of which are legitimate.

If you haven’t already now’s the time to become very savvy about the way a legitimate ad presents itself vs. the scam/redirect/bot ads. These ads will list a huge range of potential income for a position that you know, full well, isn’t paying that much in your area. They will often have imbedded images, or ask you to go fill out a form at a site that they’ve “created to avoid viruses.”

These ads are nothing more than an effort to collect email addresses / personal information, or sell you goods / services and they’ll eat up precious time if you don’t begin recognizing them in your online job search. Rule three in how to find a job: if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a false lead.

Other good tools you can use at most job sites include job alerts (you’ll automatically get an email when jobs come up with key words you’ve specified), running queries to narrow the list of jobs that suit you, and perhaps find an online recruiter. If nothing else, these folk can filter out the spam from real opportunities (just make sure to find out what fees or contracts they require in advance of signing with the agency).

Hint 4: A Face Is Still Worth 1000 words

Unless an ad specifically states no in-person applications consider paying a personal visit to an employer. Dress for success, have a clean copy of your resume and a pen, and fill out their application dutifully. Remember to get a business card if you can, ask for the name of the person to whom you give your resume, and say THANK YOU. A good secretary will make a mental note of your effort and he or she is your first hurtle to overcome in talking to a person in charge.

Hint 5: Keep Meticulous Documentation

Rule four in how to find a job is always remember to whom you’ve applied. Create an alphabetized spreadsheet with the name of the company, the job title, any name/contact information, the ad or company URL if it was an online job search, and the date on which you sent your resume. This insures you don’t duplicate efforts and allows you to follow up with potential employers after 7-10 days to reiterate your interest. It also allows you to keep in touch with placement agencies (who are often looking for that person who steps up and stands out).

Author's Bio: 

This article was written by Scott Mogul, editor for www.bestjobtoday.com. For more information on conduction job searches, follow this link to http://www.bestjobtoday.com/employment-search.html