If you’re thinking a new year means a new job, there are several things to keep in mind before you start pounding the pavement.

Career counselors offer boatloads of tips when it comes to landing a job. Here are a few worth keeping in mind:

Research the Company

It’s easy to find a job listing, dig out your résumé and send it, but you should be familiar with the company—get a feel for its way of doing things. The company may not be a good fit for your skills and goals, which could save you time and effort when it comes to applying and going on an interview. It’s especially helpful if you can talk to current employees to get their take on working for the company, so you get some firsthand insight.

Network, Network, Network

While your competition is trolling the Internet looking for work and sending résumés to hiring managers they don’t know, you can serve yourself well by building a support system of people. You may not think you’re a good networker, but you’d be surprised. If you talk to people at your place of worship, your supermarket or your bank, then you’re networking. You never know who might be able to help in your quest to find a job. And networking is particularly wise because managers are more inclined to hire someone from word of mouth or someone they already know, putting you ahead of the pack.

Make a Phone Call

Yes, we live in a digital world and odds are you’ve sent a résumé over email. But that shouldn’t be the end of it. You’re just another faceless name in an inbox of applications. Following up with a phone call shows initiative, proves you’re serious and indicates you’re diligent enough to track down the person who does the hiring. That alone will help you stand out and could give you a leg up.

Have a Solid, Clean Résumé

This may sound obvious, but it’s easy to forget amid all the other worries you have while job hunting. Spelling mistakes will doom you, so have someone else look over your résumé, allowing a fresh set of eyes to see what you may have missed. Don’t focus on what your roles were in your past positions—proudly boast what you accomplished. This shows you get results. And don’t be afraid to alter your résumé for a specific job. In today’s competitive job market, it’s not enough to simply send over the same information for different jobs. Tailoring your résumé to a particular job may not get you the position, but it won’t cost you the job either.

Never Give Up

Looking for a job can feel like a job, except there’s no pay. It’s easy to get frustrated, but it’s important to realize your end goal. Keep your spirits up. When not on the hunt for work, keep yourself busy by volunteering, taking part-time work or meeting with friends. All of these things will keep your mind engaged (and keep you networking). When it comes to finding a job, have a game plan. Decide you’ll apply for three jobs a day or follow up with two jobs on the phone. You never know—today might be the day you land that job, so you need to be ready.

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