Now The New Economy means something else — layoffs, restricted hiring, long lines at job fairs, IT people scrambling for a few new jobs, and lots of competition for almost every position that’s advertised. So what’s a job seeker to do? What’s the best approach to follow in these difficult and turbulent times?

So (Rule #1) you have to be prepared to put in more effort. The truth is, very few people who are job hunting really put in a full forty hours a week. For one thing, they don’t know what to do to occupy that much time. For another, it is hard work in itself and not everybody is able to work hard, especially because it involves a lot of rejection, both overt and covert (like the sins that are sins of commission and sins of omission). It’s all too easy to find household chores and millions of things to do every week, after you’ve spent five or ten hours in job-hunting activities. A job coach comes in handy here.

Which brings us to Rule #2: Be prepared for lots more rejection. The reason for this is to keep your morale up, so you don’t start avoiding doing the very things that can find you a job. A job coach comes in handy here, too.

Rule #3: Network. My observation is that most people don’t do this (which is a good thing for those who do because it keeps the marketplace less crowded). They don’t know how. They’re scared of it. They do it wrong when they do it and, consequently “burn up” any network. But it’s still one of the best ways to find a job and it often results in finding jobs for which there is no competition.

Rule #4: You must write a “Killer” resume. In a very competitive job market, you must stand out with a resume that gets you job interviews. And rule #5: Write Killer cover letters. They act as insurance to help get your resume read.

Rule #6: Sign up for the on-line job listing websites that cater to your specific field. (For those of you who are interested, I’ll be glad to send out a free starter set of these.) In this case, the more you sign up for, the merrier..

Rule #7: Target at least two areas that you pursue pro-actively through networking and listings. Perhaps you’ve been a Product Manager and a Marketing Manager. In that case, write two resumes, each slanted to a separate area. Look at the jobs that are displayed in each of those areas.

Rule #8: Learn how to work with recruiters. Many job seekers despise recruiters and block themselves from dealing with them. This is because they don’t really understand how to work with recruiters. This is a monumental mistake.

And, last but not least… Rule #9 : Be prepared to job hop, to move at an instant’s notice. In The New Economy, I believe, we’re all “hired guns”, only useful until the next quarter when the next financial statements will be issued and the company decides to “tighten its belt” or be acquired. So learn how to conduct a multi-level job search and then do it, whenever you want advancement or more money, before the next axe falls.