By Aileen Lopez
Finding a job in today’s economy is no easy task.  However, there are opportunities out there that you may not be aware of.  The best way to find a job is to get out from behind the computer and start talking to people and building relationships.  Here are 4 ways to step up your job search:

When speaking to a potential employer about the type of job you are looking to obtain, it is essential to be clear as to what your career goals are.  Avoid telling potential employers you’ll “do anything.”  Recruiters want to know you are clear and focused on your goals.
Your resume should be updated at least every 6 months.  You want to be prepared in case someone asks you for a copy of your resume.  When applying for a job, utilize the job description to modify your resume for that particular position.

Once you have a clear understanding of what your career goals and interests are, it is important to keep up with current events.  You want to be able to chat about what is happening in the industry you are trying to tap into.  Staying up to date with your industry of interest allows you to contribute to conversations with recruiters and/or people in your network.  Also, do your research on the companies you are targeting as potential employers.  Recruiters know when someone hasn’t taken the time to do so.

Networking is the best way to find a job.  People tend to do business primarily with people they know and like.  Although most job announcements require a resume and cover letter, this alone can be very impersonal.  Networking may lead you to information about a job that may not yet be advertised.  Try attending as many networking events as possible.  Once you collect a business card at an event, make a note for yourself on the back of the card with information about how you met this new contact.  Include the date, the event where you met and a bit of information regarding your conversation.  This information is helpful for follow-up purposes.  Whether following up via an e-mail or a handwritten note, you can reference the conversation you had with them to help them remember you.  At networking events you can potentially end up speaking with a lot of new people, so this technique will help you keep track.  Always remember, networking is about building relationships.

If you have any questions or need assistance stepping up your job search, please contact the Toppel Career Center at 305-284-5451 or visit us at