I was speaking with a business journalist last week, and she asked me if I could send her some job search dos and don’ts to include in an article she was writing. I was sure this wouldn’t be a problem because we write and publish job search and career advice every day here at Workopolis.

But when I went to look through our archive I found a lot of big picture articles about the job market and labour trends and focused pieces on resume writing, interviewing, and job searching. We didn’t actually have a simple do’s and don’ts summary for people who may not have had to look for work in a while.

That seemed like a bit of a miss – especially at this time of year when many people launch into a job search to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions to upgrade their careers. So if you’re just beginning your job search and you’re looking for some pointers to get started, here are the very basics for successfully landing a job.

Five job search dos and don’ts:

1. Don’t mass apply to every job you can find with a generic resume.
Do tailor your application to each specific job and company that you apply to.

Read: More about preparing a modern resume.

2. Do have an online presence. Keep up-to-date professional profiles and resumes that are searchable by employers.
Don’t publically post inappropriate photos, rants about previous jobs, or anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.

Read: More about how employers use social media to screen candidates.

3. Don’t try to “wing it” at the job interview.
Do prepare! Research the company and the industry, and practice talking about your skills and accomplishments in ways that are relevant to them.

Read: The best thing you can say in a job interview.

4. Don’t be late to the interview. (This seems like a ‘no-brainer,’ but it happens surprisingly often.)
Do practice your route in advance, show up early so that you’re not stressed about getting there. That’ll be one less thing to worry about on interview day.

Read: How to prepare for an interview.

5. Don’t forget to follow up.
Do send a thank you note to everyone who takes the time to interview you. You’ll stand out from those candidates who don’t.

Read: How to write a high-impact follow-up letter.

Following just these five basic rules is almost certain to make your job hunt shorter and more successful. A tailored resume, well-prepared interview, and professional follow-up go a long way towards impressing employers. (And professional online presence will avoid scaring them off.)

Best of luck!