Standing out in the modern job market can be something of a challenge, even though the economy has improved and job hunting is not as tedious as it was ten years ago. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can stand out as an applicant and ace interviews when you get them. Focus on these three things in order to improve your job search and land the job you really want.

  1. Have A Strong Online Presence

A strong online presence will help you get noticed by the right people. Many recruiters hunt online for candidates, giving you an opportunity to have preliminary interviews via e-mail, instant messaging and even over video chat. This can give employers a positive first impression of you and give you an advantage over other candidates vying for the position.

Online, you can showcase past work and achievements, licenses and certificates, and even some tech abilities such as coding. Keyword optimization helps you get noticed by interested parties. Sites like LinkedIn and major job boards can help you draw attention, as can your own personal website and other social media profiles. There is also a breadth of information online on how to do well in job interviews, red flags to look for in employers and all sorts of other helpful hints. Leverage the broad reach of the Internet to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by companies looking for workers.

  1. Having The Right Skills

In order to stand out from your competition, you need to have the skills employers are looking for and be able to demonstrate them effectively. Both hard skills and soft skills are in high demand, the specifics of which vary by industry and individual position. Soft skills that are perennially valuable include problem solving, communication and organization. Tech skills are highly in-demand in the modern workforce, as are industry-specific skills, such as being able to install appliances or manage a stock portfolio.

Soft skills are harder to quantify on a resume or demonstrate to interested employers. More specific skills, however, such as technical skills, familiarity with industry software, typing speed and strong knowledge on a variety of subjects are usually easier to showcase. Focus on gaining the skills you need for your dream job as well as other useful skills. For example, being able to speak a foreign language is almost always beneficial.

  1. Ask Questions

You likely already know that you should ask questions of your interviewer. But this standard piece of advice goes much deeper than that. To begin with, you want to get a clear picture of any career to ensure it is a professional path you truly want to follow. Ask questions of people currently working in the profession to get these answers. You then need to learn the right skills that are desirable in that profession, as outlined above. This requires asking more questions and determining what those skills are.

All of this will help you craft a resume that gets you noticed by employers and called in for an interview. When the interview finally happens, you want to have more questions prepared to show your interest in succeeding in this job and assessing your fit for this role. Consider what interview questions to ask in advance and be prepared to ask some that come up during the interview itself. This will show employers that you are interested in the position and serious about working for them. It shows inquisitiveness and responsibility, both of which are good traits in new hires.

Job hunting will always be a stressful and difficult thing to do. You will likely encounter many setbacks and have days that test your patience. But if you persevere and work to make yourself a desirable candidate, you will be able to land a good job. At the end of the day, be yourself and bring unique things to the table, and employers will be happy to have you.