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Maybe you’ve been fired, ‘let go’, or maybe you’re company has been dissolved—any of these can land you back on the job hunting path with little notice. Sometimes, you may have just had your fill of your current locale—whatever the reason for your new search, you want to be as effective as possible.

Don’t Make These Mistakes

There’s some ageless (and often pointless) advice like dressing nice, having a resume, giving your contacts a heads-up; standard-issue pre-application routine. For those looking to really shine among the competition, here’s a few things to make sure you avoid as told by Monster:

Apply Without a Plan

If you don’t have a job now, you might feel like applying to every possible job can help maximize your chances of finding something that can work for you. In fact, this doesn’t help at all and can distract you from going hard after the jobs you really have a chance with. “People who say ‘I need to consider anything and everything’ are really doing themselves a disservice,” says Lisa Arnold, director of recruiting at Versique in Minneapolis. “A person who is general in looking for a job or in talking about what you have done is really going to be left behind in this market.” Instead, identify the job you really want and what you need to do to get it.

Ignore Your Online Presence

A strong, professional online presence can be a big plus when you’re looking for a job. “I see a lot more [hiring] clients really using those tools to do more due diligence on a candidate,” Arnold says. “One of the first thing clients ask is, ‘How many connections do you have on LinkedIn?’ That’s starting to matter.” Sharing information through your social networks about issues in your field can show hiring managers that you are plugged-in and keeping up with changes in your industry. “It will display your brand,” Arnold says.

Make a Laundry-List Resume

Many people put together resumes that are simply a travelogue of where they’ve been over their working years. This step-by-step plodding through your jobs is neither compelling nor useful to people making hiring decisions. Instead of highlighting the position and dates you worked at, talk about skills you gained, problems you solved, and any recognition or promotions you got because of them. Make your resume less about descriptions and more about actions. “You have to have a really clear message,” Arnold says.

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