Most people don't worry about how get the word out about themselves until it's time to look for a job. If you're like most job seekers, you have a pretty limited in-person network. Luckily, social media can change that in a jiffy! When you identify people online who share your professional interests, you can easily connect with them, pass along information they share to your community, and highlight what you know about your field or industry. You may be surprised by how generous your new, online contacts may be. Keep in mind: you only need a few great contacts to help you land a job, so don't worry about getting thousands of followers or friends.

4. Start a business. If you've been out of work for a while, it may be time to start thinking about starting a business. One reason to hang your own shingle is because statistics show that more and more companies are turning to temporary, or contract workers, for projects instead of hiring full-time staff. You want to set yourself up to succeed in this environment.

Even if you don't think running your own business is a goal for the long term, looking for project and freelance work can help you keep your finger on the pulse of your industry. When you take on short-term jobs, you'll demonstrate how engaged you are in your industry and earning money: it's a win-win.

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