The good news is that the job market has improved in the last few years. The bad news is that competition is still fierce. If you are currently seeking a new job or a promotion within your field, these three tips will help you stand out in the crowd and land a job you’ll love.


Make a Winning First Impression

Your first contact in the job search is usually made with a cover letter and resume. Each job posting receives 250 responses from candidates on average. Your resume and cover letter need to make a winning first impression if you hope to stand out amongst that much competition.


While there are free tools and templates you can use to create your own resume and cover letter, a professional resume writer will provide the most polished end product. Consider these items an investment in your career and as essential an expense as the suit you wear to your interview. If you do opt to create your own, be sure to run a spelling and grammar check before submitting and avoid directly copying anything from templates or from the description of the job you are applying for.


Sell Yourself on Social Media

Your presence on social media can make or break your search for a better job. A 2017 survey indicates that approximately 70 percent of all employers screen prospective employees via social media. This means it is very likely that a hiring manager will see those pictures you posted partying with your friends on Tuesday night and the angry rant you made about your current employer the following Wednesday morning.


While you are actively searching for a new job or seeking a promotion, the goal of your public-facing social media profile should be to sell yourself as you would any other product. Emphasize your features and benefits and minimize your flaws. Take advantage of any built-in privacy tools the site offers to separate your posts into audiences. Create audience groups for sharing private posts and pictures with family members and close personal friends, but make sure to leave public any posts or photos that showcase your positive qualities.


Trying to hide your online profiles altogether can backfire in a big way. The same survey from CareerBuilder states that 57 percent of employers surveyed will not consider applicants who do not have visible social media profiles. Consider making it easier for employers to locate you online by including a link to your social media profile in your resume as an invitation to read more here.


Build Your Professional Network

In February 2016 indicating that an astonishing 85 percent of all job openings are filled via professional networking. In other words, you have a contact on the inside at a company who alerts you to a job opening for HR posts the job publicly. The pool of applicants for these unposted positions will be much smaller and the opportunity to stand out greater.


The easiest way to start building your professional network is with LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social networking site specifically for business. Here you can create a more in-depth picture of your past employment history, skills, education and interests. Add business contacts as you would add friends on other social sites to build your network.


You’re Hired! What Comes Next?

Keep the polish and shine on your resume, social media and professional networking tools even after you’ve found work. Continue adding new contacts and new public-facing posts to document your achievements. Remember these three things are an investment in your career! You will need these tools again the next time you change jobs or seek a promotion.