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On average, 118 people apply for each open position and only 20 percent are invited for an interview, according to Forbes. At first glance, these numbers can be a bit discouraging, but instead of letting them get you down, use this information as motivation to step up your game.

You’re a talented professional that any company would be lucky to have, so don’t get passed up because you got lost in the crowd. Learn what it takes to differentiate yourself from the other applicants vying for the same opportunity, so you’ll be the one presented with the job offer.

Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter

Anyone can submit a general resume and cover letter, so take it up a notch. Show the hiring manager you’re really serious about the job by writing a unique cover letter and tailoring your resume for the specific opportunity. This approach takes a little extra time, but it makes a big impression. When you’re invited in for an interview, you’ll be very grateful you put forward the extra effort.

Find a Connection with the Interviewer

When you’re interviewing a number of candidates for the same job, names and faces can start to blend together. Create a bond with the interviewer to make sure you’re vividly remembered. These days, most everyone has a social media presence, so conduct a little research on the person you’ll be speaking with before the big day. Find some type of common ground — alma mater, favorite football team, hometown — and casually work it into conversation to make a lasting impact.

Promptly Send a Thank-You Note

It’s common knowledge that you’re supposed to send a thank-you note after a job interview, but a surprisingly low percentage of people actually take this step. Many hiring managers will actually completely disqualify candidates — or at the very least question their enthusiasm — for the job if they don’t send one. Differentiate yourself by sending a thank-you note to each person you spoke with and do it on the same day as the interview. In most cases, email is fine, but if the company is more traditional, handwrite your note(s) and drop them in the mail.

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