Even in a strong economy, the competition for jobs can be fierce, especially when it comes to the best, most attractive positions. That’s why it’s so important for job-seekers to try and maximize their chances of getting hired. While you might think you’ve done all you can to strengthen your candidacy, there might be something you’ve overlooked. Here are five things you should do to give yourself a better shot at landing the job.

 

Perfect your resumé.

Your resumé is the first thing a prospective employer will see. A weak resumé can cost you a chance at a job you might otherwise win. Your resumé should aim to prove your value as an employee. Showcase your talents by highlighting relevant work experience, while minimizing extraneous detail and avoiding grammatical mistakes or spelling errors. It’s smart to spend plenty of time making sure your resumé is just right. In fact, consider tailoring your resumé for each specific job you apply for.

 

Don’t let your personal life trip you up.

In this online era, many businesses are making a habit of researching job candidates through the internet. If any of your social media accounts present you in an unflattering, unprofessional light, your chances of getting hired can suffer drastically. Go through all of your digital profiles and prune them of damaging pictures and posts. You should also put time into updating and polishing your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a one yet, sign up immediately.

 

Network.

Most jobs openings are filled by someone who has an inside connection going into the application process. This means that using your own network to give yourself a leg up in the hiring process is key. You should always be working to maintain and expand your network, and a proactive attitude toward networking is vital. When the time comes for you to get a new job, your network will be able to help you by providing advice, possible leads, and referrals.

 

Prepare for the interview.

If you make it through the first stage of the application process and get called in for an interview, your work has really only just begun. Since you’ll never be hired if you are uninformed about the position you are seeking, do some research beforehand. Look up the company you are applying to and learn everything you can about them and the industry as a whole. Try to anticipate the questions you’ll be asked, and decide how you’ll field them before you head in.

 

Dress the part.

For better or for worse, appearances matter a lot, even in the hiring process. If you are called in for an interview, the first impression you make will be based almost entirely on how you dress. While you don’t have to dress immaculately, you do need to look like a professional. An untidy, messy look will only make it less likely you will be hired. Wear your nicest set of business clothes, and make sure your face and hair are neatly groomed.

 

The more applicants there are for a given job, the harder it will be to win the position. That’s why it’s so important to do everything you can to improve your odds of, first, making it through to the interview round and then, second, of getting hired. Following the five steps described in this article will help you achieve that goal.

 

 

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