There’s always room for improvement, especially when job hunting. Learn how to make your resume and applications stand out from the rest.

It’s only fair to do a little bit of digging when you’re looking for a job. Many recruiters check social media profiles, so it makes sense to do the same. (You can share this thought with others by clicking here to tweet it.

Here’s how to find the info you need to make your application process as smooth as possible:

Start by Researching Your Target

After finding a potential job, investigate the company through its website, social media pages, and other online resources. Try to find:

  • The name of the hiring manager or recruiter is important. Looking up their LinkedIn profile can give you some insights into whether or not you have anything in common. You can get to know his interests and dislikes by checking Facebook or Twitter.
  • To find out whether a company is right for you, look into its background information. This can tell you things like target demographics and what sorts of products or services the company offers. 
  • You can also talk to someone who already works at the job position you’re applying for. If you want their job, take a look at what they have in common and study up. If you’re lacking in the qualifications or technical knowledge department related to the position, that should give you a hint as to what you need to improve upon.
  • The company and its industry are continually challenged by outside sources. I have prepared two to three suggestions on how these challenges can be solved.
  • Company values, vision, and mission.

The Information You Have Access to Is a Valuable Resource – Use It Wisely, or Risk Losing It.

In Your Resume

To improve the chances that your resume will get noticed, make sure the skills and credentials you list match up with those required for the job posting. If you have relevant achievements, be sure to highlight them as well.

When you’re writing your resume, be sure to include skills and tasks that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. This will show employers that you’re a good fit for the position. (Of course, only list these skills if they’re truly applicable to you.)

In Your Cover Letter

Instead of addressing your cover letter to a generic term, research the name of the person you are submitting it to.

Try to use some of the key phrases from the job ad and see if you can match them up with a few of the company’s values.

Rather than writing “analyst with five years’ experience in banking,” state “analyst with a get-it-done attitude and five years’ experience in banking” (where “get-it-done attitude” is one of the company’s core values).

Though it may seem unprofessional, doing this gives the recruiter a signal that suggests, “This person will work well with our team.” It fares much better than using trite phrases like “hardworking,” “honest” or “quick learner.”

During the Interview

If you want to get on the interviewer’s good side, use your social media sleuthing skills to find common ground. If there’s nothing initially obvious, try asking about their interests instead.

Do not try too hard to establish a connection with the recruiter by saying something like, “I saw you worked at Chase Bank for two years. I was an intern there too!” He will be able to tell that you have been stalking his profile and it will ruin the icebreaker.

Be relatable by mentioning commonalities, but don’t try to make the conversation too personal. For example, you could say “I did my internship at Chase Bank.” If the recruiter is receptive to your attempt at building rapport, he’ll likely smile and mention his own experience working there.

Once you have established a good relationship with the interviewer, it is time to show that you are the best candidate for the position by getting rid of any possible competition. This is where most of your research will come in handy.

Inquiring questions sets you apart from the masses who just exchange handshakes and say, “Thank you for your time.”

When interviewing for a new position, be sure to ask about the challenges that new hires typically face. You can then use your own experiences to highlight how you would handle those challenges successfully. Your knowledge of the skills required for the job will be helpful in this regard, so make sure to highlight your competence in using relevant tools and demonstrating job-specific knowledge. If you are confident in using jargon or lingo specific to the job, don’t hesitate to include it!

Be inquisitive about the company’s or industry’s challenges, then share your well-thought-out proposals. avoid looking like a pompous know-it-all; rather, come off as someone who provides solutions.

If you want to increase your chances of being hired for a job, send in a tailored resume and cover letter.

If you’re looking for a new job and struggling to find one that’s the right match for you, Paul Bailey can help. He’s a confidence coach who has written a free ebook full of exclusive content and tips, available here from Brazen Life.

Brazen Life is the perfect blog for young professionals who are looking to change their lifestyles and career. With Brazen Careerist as your host, we offer fun and unique ideas on how to succeed in the changing world of work. Don’t be afraid to be brazen!

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