A job search is the most hard work I've ever been through. I got my first job really easy though. Only one (and first) interview and the job was mine. After 6 years I was offered a teaching position at a different institution and I took it. No interview required.
But after another 6 years I left that job and moved. I took two years off for raising my family and that was all that was needed for my hard work at the job search that followed. Market changed and my education was too specific to make me interesting to employers. Suddenly trying to get back to work wasn't as easy as it was before. But in the process of looking for the perfect job that would pay well I learned many skills and many rules that are very helpful.
1. A well written cover letter. If your cover letter doesn't say who you are and why you are interesting for the company, they will not call you in for an interview. The cover letter must cover most of the key words that you can find in a job posting. Explain your achievements in a few words. Talk about your passion for the position that you are applying for. You can learn all about cover letter writing from many books and websites that are available. Most of them also provide samples that are extremely useful.
2. A resume with all the necessary bullet points. A resume has to cover all the related experience to the job position you are applying for. It doesn't matter if you were working 10 years ago with a similar job or if it was just volunteering. Volunteer work counts just as much as a working experience. Have a job description in front of you when writing resume and make sure you cover at least 70% (the higher the % the better) of the job requirements. Don't put in the resume working experience that is not related to a job description at all. It might be a great experience, but don't use the space on the resume for irrelevant information. Imagine that an employer has 200 applications to go through and will not be pleased with reading information that is not important. Most likely he will just put your resume aside and take somebody else's resume to read instead. Don't use too many different fonts in the resume; two at the most. And again: look through books and websites that offer resume samples.
3. Prepare well for an interview. You get called in for an interview. Interviews are usually stressful, no doubt. But you can make them a much more pleasant experience, if you prepare yourself a few days ahead of the scheduled interview. Check everything you can about the company where you are applying for the wanted job, make sure you go through interview questions that they might ask you and also prepare at least 5 questions that you will ask. Write them down in a note book that you will bring with you. When there's a time for you to ask questions at the interview, open the notebook and ask three of the questions that you find the most suitable at given situation. Also make sure you prepare your clothes at least a day before. Maybe you will need to buy a new shirt or a tie for the occasion. Your clothes and shoes must be clean, ironed and respectful, but at the same time comfortable enough so you won't feel tensed wearing them. Light make up for women is required and of course shower before the appointment and brush your teeth. One of the most important things at the interview is a self confidence. Trust yourself; believe in who you are and what you have to offer to the company. Make eye contact frequently and smile. Have examples for the work you have done in the past and how you solved problems at your workplace.
4. Follow up. After the interview is over make sure you send or bring a Thank You card in person. If you forgot to mention a skill or an experience that you have at the interview, you can incorporate that in your Thank you card. If you don't hear from the company for a few days, call them.
5.Denied? If you got the job: Congratulations! But if you didn't don't worry, there will be another opportunity. But there is something you can do about it right now. Call the company where you applied for a job and got denied. Ask them what the reason was for you not getting the job. The feedback that you will get will help you at the next interview.
Remember: If you didn't get the job you applied for, then simply this wasn't the right job for you. You have to believe that at the right time, there will be the right job for you. In the mean time don't forget to apply for all the jobs that you think are suitable for you. You have to put an effort in your job search; don't just wait until somebody will offer you a job.