With the holidays over, it's time to score the present you really wanted - a new job. But rather than focus simply finding a job, you should set your mind on running an effective campaign. The reason: A well-designed and executed strategy will help you achieve your goal, and it's hard to control local market conditions or predict when the right opportunity will come along. Running an effective campaign lets you zero in on making your search more effective in the face of things beyond your influence. Your campaign should include these critical elements. Create Activity Set daily goals for contacting line managers, networking with colleagues and submitting your resume to prospective employers. Then use your data collection and analytical skills to see where you're getting the best return and make adjustments to your approach or strategy as necessary.

Make it Personal

People hire people, so don't rely on job boards or technology alone to find a job. Set goals for phone and face-to-face meetings, and use technology, job boards and social networking sites to create introductions.

Customize Your Approach

Modify your resume, cover letter and message to fit each company and position. A mass market approach won't cut it when there are five qualified applicants for every opening.

Tout Your Business Acumen and Interpersonal Skills

It's not enough to be a great technician. Show prospective employers your complete package and demonstrate how you've used your technical knowledge and skills to create efficiencies, solve business problems and improve bottom lines.

Be Adaptable, Humble and Confident

Job hunting can take a toll on one's self-confidence. But if you maintain a healthy perspective, focus on the things within your control and heed others' well-intentioned advice, the job will arrive before you know it. -- Leslie Stevens-Huffman