Many job seekers are frustrated. They apply and their job applications go unacknowledged, and there’s no feedback on why they weren’t selected for an interview. This begs the question: What does it take to break through and land a job these days?

While savvy employers know that treating all candidates with courtesy builds a strong brand, the reality is that many hiring managers are solely focused on winnowing down their applicant pools quickly and efficiently. In fact, a 2012 study conducted by TheLadders found that some recruiters were spending as little as six seconds before making a decision on an individual’s resume.

So what’s a savvy job seeker to do? Here are a couple of tips:

1. Lay the foundation

Take advantage of career management tools that will help you be fully prepared to effectively engage in the job market. These include: career coaching, résumé or social profile review and writing services, and personal reference check services.

2. Use “big boards”

Websites like Monster, Indeed and Career Builder provide a wide view of open positions across the nation and are great for researching the general employment landscape.

3. Search niche job boards

Currently, niche job boards may not be part of your job search toolkit, but they should be. They are the go-to source for industry and profession-specific jobs and career-building resources. Examples include the American Historical Association Career Center and HealthCareerCenter.com. Whatever field or profession you’re interested in, it’s highly likely there’s a niche job board for it.

4. Utilize your network

An increasingly important facet of the job search process today is who you know. Do you have connections in your network that can refer you to the hiring managers at the organizations where you want to work? This can help move your formal application to the top of the pile.

5. Stay ready

Be prepared; use all the tools at your disposal and don’t rely on one channel to reach employers you really want to work for.