Spend quality time cultivating your personal and professional network. Just as the best employment firms learn about good openings before the general public, employees of companies can learn about excellent new job opportunities before any official and time-consuming search gets underway. Remember, most companies will proceed slowly and carefully until management is thoroughly convinced that a recovery has taken hold. Once you learn of a new opportunity from your network, be proactive and get to work. Call to setup informational interviews. Do your research and contact the company and market yourself as the best choice before prospective employers are overwhelmed with resumes from equally- or lesser-qualified candidates.