No matter how driven you are, job searching is daunting and often leaves you feeling pretty damn lost and discouraged. We've all been there, and we hear you – which is why we've compiled this handy job search checklist. Before you begin aimlessly browsing and shooting off emails, take a look at this list of practical tips — and be sure to keep it nearby as you navigate the process!

- Update your resume and cover letter. Make sure your resume has the necessary keywords that hiring managers are looking for in your field.

- Figure out if you need a resume objective — in some cases it actually makes your resume look outdated (and so do these 7 things — remove them if they’re still on yours!).

- As you apply to various jobs, you might want to tailor your resume or even create a Curriculum Vitae to align with the job description — it could make or break your chances of getting an interview.

- Make sure your LinkedIn profile looks as good as your resume and you have plenty of endorsements from colleagues. Do some clean up and remove anything on this list.

- Start searching for jobs and do your research on the top companies for women, paid parental leave (if you think you may need it in the future), and employers who offer flexibility (if that’s important to you).

- Get in touch with headhunters and recruiters.

Network, even if you hate to network. Or, you can attend conferences instead of networking events.

- Not sure what to write to hiring managers? Here’s how to write a job application email.

- While waiting for those hiring managers to call you back, see if any of these career resources can help your search.

- Do lots of interview prep, and make sure you’re prepared to answer the most common interview questions, especially tough ones like “Tell me about yourself” and “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” If your first round is a call, follow these phone interview tips.

- Don’t forget to prepare questions to ASK your interviewer — not doing so could make you look unengaged or uninterested in the role.

- As tedious as it is, you must send a thank you after every interview and make sure you follow-up the right way.

- Ask at least three colleagues to be references in case you are asked for them, and be sure that they know a call may be coming. You should be confident that they will share a glowing review of your work with the hiring manager!

- Figure out your salary request and prepare to negotiate.This is the time to make sure you get paid what you’re worth! If you’re not sure what a fair salary is, do your research on salaries by company and position.

Still not getting interviews? Check out these tips to avoid a job search rut. And if you find that it’s just taking up too much of your day, try these time-savers.