Looking for a new job? You’re not alone. There is an average of 118 applicants for every open position. Worse, only 23 percent of those applicants actually get an interview.  To get in the door and past the resume review, you’re going to have to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when looking for a new gig.

Start with who you know
First, ask your friends and family for help. Most people start submitting résumés far and wide and simply hope someone will call them. But overlooking your personal network is a serious mistake - between 60 and 80 percent of employment opportunities come from the recommendation of someone you know. Pro tip - if you know someone who works for the company you’d like to apply for, a recommendation from them will give your application a lot more weight. Asking friends and family for help locating a new job works best when you already have a specific position or company in mind, so make a short list of places you want to work.

You have two ears and one mouth for a reason
Listening involves more than leaning forward, looking someone in the eye, and nodding periodically in between the occasional 'uh huh...' In order to truly connect with your interviewer and give informed answers, practice active listening: “Fully concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message of the speaker.” Most people listen to the question and begin formulating a response before the interview is even done asking the question. Do this instead: listen attentively, focus on what the interviewer is asking, repeat the question in your head or reframe it out loud, then respond. And don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat the question.  

Look before you leap
Perhaps the most important thing that jobseekers can do is to thoroughly research the company they’re interviewing with. Skimming the company website is only the beginning. Think of yourself as Jessica Jones (without the attitude) or Matt Murdock aka Daredevil (minus the spandex), tasked with digging up anything and everything about the company in question. Read Glassdoor reviews from current and former employees. Take a look at the quarterly earnings report to get a sense of the company’s financial health. Follow the company on social media platforms; if upper management has Twitter profiles, follow them too. Keep in mind that this is a two-way street: the hiring manager will most likely be looking at your social media presence to evaluate you as a candidate.

The best way to get the job you want is to know where to look, and then to be prepared when you get the call. The steps outlined above will help. And don't forget to practice your elevator pitch so you can convey to your network, and beyond, exactly what you're looking for.

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