One of the things I do is work with people looking for a job. Sometimes they are entering the job market for the first time; sometimes they just got fired or laid off. Either way, if you have not been in the job market, there are three actions you should take immediately to increase your exposure to companies looking to hire you.

Develop or Update Your Resume

Consider your resume to be your personal marketing materials. Include any jobs you have done and pay close attention to the results you list under each job. The more focused you are on results that you personally accomplished, the more responses you will get in the job market. Companies want employees that are action oriented and get things done.

Sometimes it is hard to capture what you have accomplished. Have someone look over your resume and see what kinds of questions they ask and answer them when you revise it.

A word of warning about resumes – don’t spend all your time slaving over making it perfect – here’s why.

Create or Update Your LinkedIn Profile

When looking for a job in today’s market, LinkedIn is the go-to place for recruiters, headhunters and hiring managers to find talent. If you are not on LinkedIn, you are missing out on being found by someone with an open job.

Be sure to fill out your LinkedIn Profile completely – including your summary, experience, honors and awards, certifications, education, organizations, and other information that may be a trigger for someone to contact you.

Here’s a hint: Avoid copying your resume information into your LinkedIn profile. Use your resume as an upload media option. Not not sure how to word your LinkedIn profile differently? Conduct research online by querying job roles that you want and see how others have developed their profiles. After reviewing a dozen or more LinkedIn profiles, it will be obvious whose profile stands out.

Finally, make sure you have a professional picture in your profile if you want to be taken seriously by recruiters and employers.

Networking is Critical when Looking for a Job

Getting yourself known in the community will increase opportunities to meet someone who knows about a job opening.

Networking can take many forms – going to official networking events for professionals, attending job seeker support groups, volunteering for a cause you are passionate about or attending workshops and other events.

A hurdle that job seekers face is overcoming embarrassment about being out of work. They worry what other people think about their situation. Fundamentally, I believe your friends and acquaintances want to help.

For your network to help, they have to know how to help you. You provide the how by letting them know what you are looking for and then they can connect the dots when they hear about a role or job that may be a good fit.

Never assume your network will send jobs your way – it just doesn’t work that way. Keep your network up-to-date about your progress. It is a lot of work, and that’s how you start to network effectively.

In conclusion, there are many actions you will be taking when looking for a job. Focusing on these three actions will jump-start your efforts and will lead you to what to do next.