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Make sure you have your resume, cover letter templates, and portfolio samples ready to go before you start searching. This will cut down your time dramatically and allow you to simply apply for positions and contracts instantly, without having to spend a lot of time fiddling with your materials. By carefully planning how you are going to customize your cover letters, and having a number of "copy and paste" snippets ready to go, you can zoom in on exactly the kinds of ads you want to apply to and zip off your materials, beating out the competition who aren't as prepared as you are.