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THE HELP DESK The Help Desk: Top Tips

Find a job, now

Gerri Willis provides helpful ideas on finding a job even in today's tough market.

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By Gerri Willis, CNN personal finance editor

For more information on managing your largest investment, check out Gerri Willis' 'Home Rich,' now in bookstores.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Two million jobs have been lost so far this year. As you search for your next job, here are some ideas on how to update yourself for today's tough job market.

1. Get the lowdown

Look -- sitting in front of your computer and e-mailing out resumes isn't going to cut it.

It's reported that the percentage of online applications viewed by an actual human being ranges from 5% to 25%. A lot of companies use software programs that screen and rank candidates.

So, when you craft your resume, keep this in mind. You may consider including the same phrases or pick out keywords found in the job description.

Make sure you keep up your networking ... and that doesn't only mean joining associations and subscribing to trade journals. It means putting yourself online through social networking sites like linkedin.com, Facebook.com and Twitter.com.

2. Craft an Internet-based resume

When it comes to your resume, your regular old printer paper may not be enough. Check out visualCV.com. A VisualCV is an Internet-based resume that let's you include video, pictures, audio components and graphics to your online resume for free. So, you can show off your talents and skills in a more dynamic way.

3. Narrow your Search

You really want to target your job search - especially if you're on the Internet.

If you're a teen or a recent graduate and you're just looking for some part time work for the summer, check out snagajob.com or teens4hire.com.

If you're looking to do some freelancing or contract work, you'll want to look at sologig.com and guru.com.

And of course, one of the hardest hit populations in this recession are older folks since these folks are out of work longer than younger people. Check out AARP.org. This site is designed for older workers and it lists employers who have age-friendly hiring practices.

No matter what career field you're exploring, you'll want to do your homework. Glassdoor.com has anonymous company reviews and employee ratings as well as real time compensation data. To top of page

Gerri's Mailbox: Got questions about your money? We want to hear them! Send an e-mail,we'll answer questions on CNN, Headline News and CNNMoney.com.

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