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Job seekers can spend a lot of time trolling job sites and sending resumes en masse without culling much of an employer response let alone landing an interview. Employers still receive between 102 and 137 applications per job from both social-media networks and job boards, says a 2014 study from Brandon Hall Group.

Effective job search and generating employer interest requires careful thought, research and strategy. To help maximize your job search and get you on your desired career path, consider following these five steps.

1. Understand your job search criteria.

Figure out your top five priorities — whether it is company culture, salary or a specific job position. “If you understand what motivates you as an employee, it will be easier to target your applications to opportunities that match your skills and ambitions,” says Paul Sandusky, vice-president of talent acquisition and development at Ceridian, an HR software company.

Also be flexible. “You don’t want your specificity to cost you your dream job at your dream company,” advises Mariah DeLeon, vice-president of people at workplace ratings and job review site Glassdoor. She suggests that if you get to the point where you’re interviewing for a job at a company you want to work for but that isn’t quite the right fit, be candid with HR or the recruiter about your expertise and desire to work there. There’s always the possibility of a better opportunity opening up within that company.

2. Create a list of jobs that meet your criteria.

Once you’re able to articulate what you’re looking for in a job, use this criteria to guide you in your search. Create a list to keep track of information. Sheryl Sandberg used an Excel spreadsheet to organize her job search when she graduated from Harvard Business School. Use the format that best suits you.

Source and read more: Enterpreneur / 5 Ways to find your dream Job

Image via: UDIMA Image Database

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