For some reason, everyone expects their job search to be short, simple, and easy. And, they also expect that the Internet has helped make things simpler.
I'm not sure why we all think that, but I expect it's probably lack of experience and knowledge. Or, maybe there's some built-in denial factor that tries to protect us from reality.
The problem is that we don't job search often enough to be good at it.
And, with the Internet becoming a significant factor, the ground rules for what worked in the past often don't apply 2 or 3 years later because of changes in technology and, unfortunately, the fact that the world's scammers have recognized and zeroed in on a jucy target - desperate job seekers.
So - don't assume that last year's or the last decade's effective job search strategies are still effective or even relevant. Check out Job-Hunt.org, JobHuntersBible, the RileyGuide, and other good Websites and new books to understand what works and what doesn't.
So - stop being so trusting. Keep your shields up! A job seeker asked me how to get her Internet "employer" to pay her for the work she'd done when she should have been turing them in to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (a.k.a. IC3) - http://www.ic3.gov/ The "employer" was a scammer who just "hired" her to get her to tell him her SSN.
Expect that your job search will be as difficult as it was the last time you looked for a job, perhaps a bit worse because of greater competition. The good news is that the labor market is supposed to be turning around to favor job seekers, with a shortage of qualified applicants for most jobs. Just don't underestimate the attraction and ease of out-sourcing, off-shoring, and offering massive numbers of visas to immigrants with "scarce" skills.
One assumption from the past DOES applies today - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is! Verify BEFORE you trust in e-mail and online transactions with people you don't know locally!