In spite of all the technological advancements that are supposed to be making looking for work easier, most job seekers today say the process feels longer and harder. Hours spent online filling out tedious applications only to never hear back from the employers is both frustrating and demotivating. Yet, some savvy job seekers are going around the online system and using more sophisticated job search techniques. Here are four techniques that that can help your job search get in gear:

1. Create An Interview Bucket List

Instead of blindly applying online to every job you seem halfway qualified for, why not make a list of the top ten or twenty companies you'd like to work for and then focus exclusively on connecting and networking with people who work there. Studies by LinkedIn indicate that the majority of jobs today are gotten via "weak ties" a/k/a people you are introduced to via friends or colleagues who work at the companies you want to work at.

2. Play Informational Interview Bingo

Similar to the interview bucket list, make a list of 20 people in your area (fill a bingo card!), that are on the top of their games in your industry and profession. Ask them if you can interview them to learn more about their journey to success and where they see things trending in the future. You'll learn what it takes to get hired by their company. And, if you hit it off, they just might become that weak tie mentioned above who introduced you to the hiring manager.

3. Speak At An Event

Being a subject-matter expert and offering your perspective and insights to peers is a super way to earn credibility and get people coming to you for advice. Establishing yourself as someone who can help an organization is the best increase the chances attendees will want to introduce you to their boss so you can share some wisdom and make a good first impression.

4. Write An Article Featuring Thought-Leaders

If you don't feel you have the clout to speak at an event, flip things around and become the journalist who wants to feature the insights of those in your industry you admire and respect. Interviewing people for a LinkedIn post and referencing them with quotes is a great way to get them circulating your work to their bosses - who could become your bosses someday.

P.S. - Here's 1 Thing All These Techniques Have In Common

All of the job search strategies above are proactive in nature. The put you in control and driving the activities that can lead to a new job. Techniques like these feel more successful and rewarding because you are empowered. Unlike applying online and then desperately waiting away for a call, you can control the amount and frequency of the activities outlined above. And, the more effort you make, the better your results.