You have decided that it is time to search for a new position. Maybe the decision was made for you based on a termination or layoff or maybe you are just ready for a move. Regardless of the reason, you need to be ready to efficiently provide the best impression to the most decision-makers possible. Luck is where opportunity meets preparation. Use the following steps to increase your chances of getting that dream job!

Step 1: Take a step back and look at your big picture. You are about to search for the place that you will spend the majority of your waking hours- you want to get this right! What did you like the most at your most recent position? What did you like the least? What were you great at? In what areas did you struggle? What would be your ideal title/role 24 months from now? Use this information to shape the type of organization and position that you will seek.

Step 2: Prepare your professional credentials and searchable profiles. Are all of your licenses and certifications up to date? Put together an effective Resume/CV. There are countless articles with good advice for this. Check all of your social media profiles and make sure that your potential employers will not see questionable content. Perform an internet search of your name and ensure the results are not disparaging.

Step 3: Sharpen Up! Get a good haircut and keep it maintained. Both men and women should have a tasteful pressed suit that fits nicely in order to be ready for an impromptu interview. Shine your shoes. Read current articles about your industry. Be aware of current events, especially those in your local area. Practice your elevator speech in front of a mirror. Your next boss could be in line with you at the grocery store.

Step 4: Get the word out there! Inform your network, which should be built long before you start the job search. Let everyone in it know that you are looking for something new. Utilize social media, your phone, and the powerful lunch and coffee meetings. Put your resume on to the major job boards and look at the smaller ones within your industry as well. Talk about it when you are out with friends. You increase your odds with every person who knows about your search.

Step 5: Be diligent and politely persistent. New positions open every day. Make sure that you apply for them. Apply with the companies you want to work for, and follow up when a recruiter contacts you. Be polite when a recruiter contacts you and find out about all of the openings that they have available. Don’t use this time to relax- just as with networking you increase your odds as you increase your contact with potential employers.

Step 6: Be aware of scams. Unfortunately there are unscrupulous companies out there who prey on job seekers. Be very wary of any company who wants you to pay them for training. A job should pay you. Trust your instinct is something does not feel right.

Regardless of the countries economic condition there are always organizations that are hiring new people. If you are committed to being one of these new hires you can be included in them! Simply become an expert at marketing yourself and keep at it. Your level of success will directly correspond with your level of effort and professionalism. Good luck- you can do this!