THE BLOG
11/18/2013 04:34 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Small Job Search Steps That Make You Stand Out Big Time

Catch your interviewer's eye with these surprisingly simple tips and reel in your next job.

In today's competitive job search, you could be battling 100 other qualified candidates for a position. The only way to get the job is to catch the eye of the interviewers. Here are seven ways you can distinguish yourself from the pack during your job search.

Keep your story consistent
Make sure your online story -- in the form of professional profiles, memberships, and so forth -- aligns with your job goals and resume. It's important for a recruiter or hiring manager to find the same person online they met face-to-face or on paper.

Develop your tagline
Think about what makes you unique, taking into account your career goals, interests and passions, and what strengths you bring to the table. Use this information to develop the tagline to your elevator pitch. It should be short, memorable and adaptable to any audience.

Recommend a friend
If a recruiter reaches out with a position that isn't a great fit, don't ignore the message. Instead, look through your network to see if you know someone who would be a better fit for the position. This puts you in the recruiter's good graces and gives you a chance to clarify your professional brand and job goals.

Voice your opinion
Join and actively participate in online discussions with networking groups related to your target field of work. Engage in the conversation and share your knowledge. Recruiters are notorious for trolling these groups to scout potential candidates - by starting and contributing to conversations related to your industry, you're setting yourself apart from the other members.

FedEx it
Reserve this tactic for the job for which you're a perfect fit and incredibly interested in. In addition to submitting your application through the company's online application system, FedEx a copy of your resume and cover letter to the hiring manager. FedEx packages are typically opened by the actual recipient, thus bypassing the gatekeeper and ensuring your application makes it to a key decision maker.

Come prepared
It's appalling how many professionals show up to an interview unprepared. Before you enter the room, make sure you've done your research. Set up Google Alerts on the company to stay abreast of any news related to your target employer. Research the company so you have a good sense of their business and standing in the marketplace. Practice responding to the interview questions that make you uneasy (i.e. "Tell me about yourself") and prepare questions for each interviewer that demonstrate you've done your homework and are genuinely interested in the role.

Say thank you
A study by TheLadders found that only 67 percent of those polled send a thank-you note after every interview. By sending a thank-you message to each interviewer within 24 hours of the interview, you differentiate yourself from other candidates and can help advance your candidacy to the next round.

Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and "Like" her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.