It’s hard looking for a job. If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while due to company layoffs, raising a family, or other circumstances, then you may be surprised at the amount of time you spend each day searching for employment. If you don’t want your time wasted and your search to be more profitable, there are a few tricks of the trade you need to know to help get your job application noticed and get your foot back onto the job market.

Tidy Up Online
Once you apply for a job, if the employer is interested in you they’ll do an online search of your name. What turns up can make or break you. Before pounding the keys and pavement looking for employment, tidy up your online profiles and content. Delete everything that could come back to haunt you and cost you a lucrative position in the work force.

Update Resume
Update your resume so there aren’t any gaps in the time frame. During the time when you haven’t been employed, state what you’ve been doing. Include volunteer work, home remodeling, raising children, taking college courses, or any other notable achievements that you’ve been doing to show a potential employer that you’ve been active during your time away from the work force. Use keywords in your resume that pinpoint the type of job you are looking for so the potential employer’s software will notice your job application when a position becomes available.

Don’t just fill out an application, and then forget about it. Network and get noticed. Find out who among your acquaintances (both online and in person) works for a certain company or knows a certain Human Resource manager and would the word out that you want to work for that company and have filled out an application with them. Let people know your field of expertise or desired their type of employment, they may have a friend of a friend who needs someone like you on team.

Person to Person
So much is done online nowadays that it’s imperative to have computer access when searching for work. Having a cell phone so you can be reached at any time is crucial and if you have downloaded some job seeking apps on your cell phone you have a leg up on the competition, but nothing beats a person-to-person meeting.

Get some face time with a potential employer and sell yourself to them. Look your best for the meeting and play up your skills and how much you would bring to the table. Let the potential employer know you are a team player and will do what is best for the company. Never bad mouth a former employer or company and don’t talk about the competition or how many days you want off…sell yourself and get your job application noticed.

Ashley Jenkins is an academic advisor from Iowa who writes all about tips for students. Her recent work is on the best accounting schools in the midwest.