It’s December, 2015, approaching Christmas Day, the peak of American gluttony in consumerism.

Some people, [fewer everyday], are lucky enough to still have great-paying jobs. But millions are without jobs. And with each passing day there are thousands more being declared redundant and forced to join the ranks of the unemployed.

Without a doubt the economy sucks. If you are caught in the whirlpool of unemployment, life is frightening, to say the least. Yet, there still remain quite a few good-paying jobs. The question is, if you are one of the unemployed seeking employment, or someone who has a good job but is thinking of changing jobs, how can you win at the job search and interview processes?

There is hope. These are some of the top techniques that may also be of help to you, too. Here is a list of 12 important tips to help you beat the competition, attract employer attention, and help to create opportunities where you otherwise would have few or none.

It is my CHRISTMAS wish that, in some small way, this helps you to have a Merrier Christmas and Happier Hanukkah . [If you have friends who are unemployment PRINT THIS NUGGET  and encourage them to take action.]

Here’s a useful 12-point checklist:

  1. Have you studied the tips on this website for taking and featuring a “hot” profile photo on LINKEDIN.com or on any other professional or social media site? [IMPORTANT NUGGETS ABOUT YOUR PROFILE PHOTO are available at the following links:   http://boom-qa.com/explaining-things/profile-photo-code/    also read    http://boom-qa.com/profile-photo/   don’t stop there    http://boom-qa.com/poor-photos/  oh, and wait…read this, too…    http://boom-qa.com/mystery/  ]
  2. Have you made optimum use of the professional social media sites such as LINKEDIN.com, one of my personal favourites?
  3. Have you taken the time to advise your networks about the type of job you are looking for, and encouraged them to engage their eyes and ears?
  4. Have you been building a network of contacts, friends, charity and volunteer groups? Ask yourself, how many people know you?
  5. Did you know employers may consider your email as if it is your cover letter, in addition to the cover letter you write to accompany your resume? So, when applying online you need to provide two cover letters, so to say. Does both your email and your cover letter work properly and create the desired effect?
  6. Do you have a killer resume? [We have plenty of tips on this website.]
  7. Is your resume and a job needs summary posted ONLINE just about everywhere such as FACEBOOK, TWITTER, LINKEDIN, everywhere?
  8. Are you continually updating your job search tools? This not only includes your resume, but your cover letter, your credentials, our list of achievements and awards, etc.
  9. Do you clearly know what your skills are? There are skills related to the specific job. Then there are skills that you can extrapolate from your various activites, volunteer work, important hobbies, and so on, which may be useful on the job as well.
  10. Do you clearly know what you bring to a potential employer that is unique or among the best-in-class? Just like a consumer who buys a consumer product will select and purchase the item returning the high number of benefits when compared to its competing product, employers seek the best employees who can distinguish themselves as high-level performers compared to other candidates also applying for the job.
  11. Have you trained anyone, either on the job or off the job? If so, this can be a rich source of skills.
  12. What have you done to improve employers’ businesses, both your current and previous employers? What results have you produced that others did not or could not and why?