Don’t ignore these essential steps in your job search

Searching for a job can feel like a 1379b5de7cb668c186ab48a9361eabd7seemingly endless series of time-consuming applications and grueling interviews. With all of that on your plate—plus the day-to-day workload from your current job—you might be tempted to cut a few corners along the way. Who’s paying such close attention, anyway?

Unfortunately, letting important details and necessary extra steps fall to the wayside will only hinder your efforts. Worse yet, these oversights may be undermining your job search without your knowledge.

Make sure you’re taking care of these five things while you’re hunting for a job.

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How to trim your resume to one page

From spelling and grammatical errors to what-not-to-include-in-a-resumeflowery language and absent keywords, there’s certainly no shortage of resume mistakes you could make. But there is one surefire kiss of death for most job seekers: submitting a two- or, dare we say it, threepage resume.

“If you’re fresh out of college, you may have a few internships under your belt but by no means should you have a two-page resume,” says Christopher Ward, founder at Ward Resumes.

Even many mid- and executive-level job hunters would benefit by sticking to a one-page resume, says professional resume writer Laurie J. James, since hiring managers have short attention spans. “When your resume is competing with dozens or hundreds of applications, hiring managers don’t have time to look at a two-page resume,” she says.

Don’t think you can shorten your resume to one 8.5”×11” document? Here’s how to squeeze everything onto one page so you’ll outshine the competition.

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How to nail the most awkward kind of interview: the lunch date

Ah, the lunch interview—an audition that two-businessmen-shaking-hands-at-lunch-meeting-493585563-57717b175f9b585875c2d789combines the stress of a job interview with the awkwardness of a first date. To ace it, you’ll need to make a professional impression in a casual environment. That’s no easy feat.

“Hiring managers typically do lunch interviews because they want to see your personality come out and see how you behave in a casual setting,” says Amy Wolfgang, CEO at Austin, Texas-based Wolfgang Career Coaching.

But as the interviewee, you need to be strategic in your approach. “There’s a temptation to let down your guard and let it become a social event, but it’s still a job interview,” says Carole Martin, job interview coach and author of Boost Your Interview IQ.

The good news: “If a hiring manager is going to expense a meal for you, the person is seriously interested in hiring you,” says Martin.

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Land an out-of-town job early in your career

Having trouble finding a dream job fish-jumping-out-of-bowl-change2in your zip code? Why limit your job search to just one town? If you’re a recent grad, chances are you’re still young, with nothing much to tie you down. You have the flexibility to pick up and go, which isn’t so easy when you get older and start to settle down.

Plus, “if you’re willing to relocate, you cast a wider net and have more jobs to choose from,” says Philadelphia career coach Mindy Thomas.

Granted, this won’t be a cakewalk. Many employers are hesitant to hire out-of-town job seekers, since there are a number of expenses involved—and some simply don’t have enough money in their recruiting budget to pay to fly candidates in for interviews, let alone subsidize relocation costs (a rare offer for entry-level hires). But if you show prospective employers you’re worth a second look (and are willing to forfeit relocation expenses), you could find yourself at a new gig in a city you’d never even considered.

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How to Compete for an Out-of-Town Job

Three out of four hiring managers recently 141121_PCR_BetterthanLocalsurveyed by Challenger Gray & Christmas reported a shortage of local talent. So theo­ret­ically you could have better luck finding the job of your dreams if you’re willing and able to move.

Problem is, many companies are hesitant to hire out-of-towners because of concerns over relocation, money, and local knowledge. But you can put hiring managers at ease by preemptively addressing three key issues in your application.

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