With the job market full of prospective new employees and applicants, it is critical to make sure  you stand out from your peers to land the job of your dreams! If you have already started applying for a few different positions you’re interested in, you may have already noticed that several others have applied as well. The key to beating the competition is to blow away your potential employer before he/she even meets you in person! Here are 5 ways to stand out to your potential employers today:

5 Ways to Stand Out to Your Potential Employers

businessPeople1.  Spice up your cover letter and resume. Whenever you are applying for a new job, do not expect to get a call by sending out the same starchy resume and cover letter. Some people believe that cover letters are old fashioned, but this is your opportunity to really explain why you love the company, explain why you are applying for the job, and to really “Wow” your potential employer with your great personality and professional strengths. Make sure to also update your resume for every position you apply for- catering it to fit the job description and highlighting the skill-sets that they are looking for in a potential new team member.

2.  Hand-deliver your cover letter and resume. If you are in a location that is close enough to deliver your cover letter and resume to a hiring manager in person, do it! This show of extra effort will not only make you stand out from your peers but also guarantees that the individual overseeing the hiring process will have YOUR resume in his/her hands at one point through the application process!

3.  Take advantage of your social media and theirs. Before applying to any job, make sure that your “brand” via social media looks professional! That’s not to say you can’t have fun pictures or posts on your personal social media platforms, but try to refrain from having inappropriate or offensive posts/photos. Even if your profiles are private, companies may still be able to view them in one way or another. While you are cleaning and polishing your image by means of social media, take advantage of the fact that your prospective employer may have information shared on social media (ex. LinkedIn) that shows a little more about their interests and accomplishments. By investigating more about the people you may be working with (or by finding out what your potential employer’s interests are), you may find you have some common interests or past experiences that could be useful topics during an interview!

4.  Outline plans/goals for position or company. So you have landed the interview? Great! Your next step is to be as knowledgeable about the company as the person who will be hiring you! This shows you have taken the time to research the company’s mission, vision, and efficiencies- which will make the interview dialogue richer and more effective. If possible, come prepared with a plan outlining how you will help the company reach specific goals or solve certain problems in a certain period of time once hired.

5.  Send a handwritten thank you as well as a follow-up email the day of the interview. The interview went well! Now it is time to get home and write a thoughtful email thanking your potential employer. Make sure you thank he/she for to taking the time to meet and explain how it was wonderful to discuss the prospects of you joining such an outstanding company. Send this email THE DAY OF the interview. By doing so, you are characterizing a great interest in working for the company! Once you have finished writing and sending your email, it is now time to create your handwritten “Thank You”! Be polite, thoughtful, and professional in this note. It will reach the hiring manager a few days after your interview and will serve as a reminder about how well the interview went and how you are still an outstanding prospective candidate for the job.

These five tips will be useful in helping you stand out from your peers and impressing your potential employer. Keep in mind; some of the most impressive attributes are also the most traditional and simple. Show up on time. Dress professionally. And be honest.

Good luck!