The job market today is ferocious with multiple candidates fighting for even entry level jobs at desirable companies. With such fierce competition, companies are considering every factor when evaluating potential hires. This demands that candidates go into the job search process completely prepared to be vetted and able to satisfactorily pass scrutiny. It is important to note that previously irrelevant aspects about a candidate are now front and center, most prominent of which is their on-line activities. This has many job seekers hiring online reputation management companies to scrub and oversee their online reputations ahead of interviews.

The key for new job seekers is to understand that the marketplace for jobs has changed dramatically and many of the thoughts about getting a job today need to be modified to fit today’s reality. With this said here is some key advice for job seekers to follow:

Build a Network

In today’s job market, you need to be able to go to friends, colleagues, and family for suggestions and even entre to desirable potions. Building a network should have been a priority for you previously, but if it hasn’t been, now is a great time to start. Remember, a good portion of positions are filled either internally at companies or by referrals. So if you are at a company and looking to move up or over, connect with people in the department you would like to move into and get to know those who work in positions above you throughout the company. Look for social activities that allow you to create camaraderie with others who are in your company or industry so they see you often and get a sense of your personality. You might be the one they think of when a position needs to be filled.

Keep on sending your resume out and interviewing 

Job hunting is definitely a numbers game and you need to keep putting your number back in the game in order for it to be picked. Yes, you should identify the companies you most want to work for and make a smart and firm push toward getting them to see why they need to hire you, but in case they don’t, you need to keep getting in front of companies hiring people with your skill set. Don’t get discouraged after the 37th company does not respond to the resume you took two days to write or if they promised you and interview and a few days later you find the position has been filled. Remember, rejection is part of the process. Pay close attention to what people are saying about you and ask questions when you interview about your performance, most will not give you good feedback, but some will. Take this information to heart and make any needed modifications to your written or oral presentations and stay positive. Remember, every step you take, even the ones that lead to a failure, ultimately lead to success if you don’t give up.

Take temp jobs, especially in your desired industry

Every HR person will tell you about several people working at their company that started out as a temp hire, proved himself and just stuck with the company. Yes, the process of applying for and getting a temporary job is completely different than for regular employment and to some it may seem like wanting to get in through the front door and being shown the back instead, but there is a chance that when you begin working you may be working for and with the same people you might need to impress to get a permanent job. So the bottom line is, just get in the door. And while you are there, work you butt off to show you can be valuable to the company.

These tips may not land you the job you want, but they may help you to get employed in your field and begin working toward your career goals. So take them to heart and get to work!