Clean your contact list and brush up on your communication skills.
"Cleaning your list of contacts is like cleaning your closet. Organizers say that if you have not worn a piece of clothing in the past year, throw it out," says Steve Langerud, director of professional opportunities at DePauw University. "If you have not been in touch with a contact in the past year, either get in touch or cut them from the list. The result is an active, viable and engaged group to help you in your job search." Once you've established the folks on your list whom you should be speaking with, ask yourself if you're effectively communicating what you need. "I often find that when a job-seeker has been out of work for a while, their basic business communication skills start to diminish," O'Shea says. "It's never easy writing an introductory email or cover letter, but this basic email can give employers an introduction to who you are. And all too often a typo or an awkward statement instantly puts an end to your consideration, preventing the prospective employer from even viewing your resume." He advises reviewing past emails and identifying new ways to improve how you communicate with perspective employers. "There is always room for improvement, and having an iPhone is never an excuse for typos," he says. Remember high school: Don't be tardy, and read your books! "Rise before the sun," says Tom Gimbel, CEO and founder of the LaSalle Network. "Resist hitting the snooze button and wake up a few minutes earlier to do something you love. Run outside, cook a healthy breakfast or meditate as the sun rises; instead of feeling drained before you start the day, you'll have more energy to power through it." Getting up early is a great way to keep up, but another important way of staying "on top" is to read. Most job-seekers don't read enough, and what they do read is too narrow, he says. "Remember, the job market and economy are changing quickly. Look for intersections with your industry by reading broadly outside your primary field of expertise. Trade journals are the most overlooked resources available to job-seekers. There has never been more information available, and staying informed is one key way to differentiate yourself from the thundering herd."