Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Job seeking doesn’t have to be a stressful process. You can make the process less stressful if you’re better prepared. There are some things that everyone should keep in mind when looking for the right job.

Networking

The first thing you should start out with is your network. More positions are quickly filled before they hit the job boards. It’s hard to avoid the word networking when you’re being interviewed. It’s important when it comes to searching for the right job.

You’re more likely to get a job with a referral. This frees up with the HR staff’s time since they’re busy combing through stacks of resumes. It’s easier for them to hire someone within the company they already know is a good worker.

So how do you network? You can network anywhere you want. At the backyard barbecue. Your neighbor may know of a recent opening that fits your education or skill set. Don’t just focus on stalking the job boards and submitting your resume. Get out there and get to know people. Treat every social interaction as a potential job opportunity.

Clean Social Media Presence

More companies use the Internet to find out about a candidate before hiring them. It’s the free alternative to a background check. Your social media can set off some red flags if you have controversial or inappropriate posts.

Before you search for that perfect job, it’s time to clean up your social media accounts. This goes for your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter accounts.

Most people hate having their every move watched on social media. Once it’s out there, it’s out there forever. Set each of your accounts to private. If you have any questionable posts, it’s better to delete them sooner rather than later.

A Strong Resume

You’re going to need a great resume if you want to stand out from the competition. The rules for resumes seem to change often, and it’s important for you to keep up with those updates. Just because your resume got you a job 10 years ago, doesn’t mean it’ll work now.

Since most companies require you to fill out an online application, the look of your resume doesn’t matter. What matters is the content in your resume. Your resume should be easy to read, but you should leave the flair and design to the graphic artists.

Most ATS software doesn’t pick up on most typefaces. Your amazing educational or work background is not going to stick out in a person’s mind because of how your resume looks. Use a resume template to help you craft your own without copying from it. Remember that the focus should be on the content on your resume, not the final design.

An Open Mind

The past few years has been a terrible time for job seekers. Salaries are lower, even for positions that require a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. It seems like most employers are looking for part-timers or interns. The work you’re used to doing may come with a new name as well as a new team.

You used to work in sales, but now you want to do consulting. Since the job market has changed, you may have to work harder to get where you want. You also need to be willing to open yourself up to new opportunities. This means learning new skills and networking with as many people as possible.

The salary decrease is a downside, but fewer hours gives you more time to volunteer or work on a side project. That could be a blessing if you’re looking to spend more time with your family and friends.