Looking for a job and landing one is not always an easy thing to do. Competition is tough, and there are challenges to overcome.

When you need a job, though, you’ve got to jump in the pool and start swimming. In this post, we’re going to share 12 pro tips that can help you land your dream job.

 Ready? Let’s go.

1. Recruiters may not read your entire resume… but they will judge you with it

When creating your resume, you have to be able to make a good impression with a single page. Recruiters are not going to go over a five-page resume. More pages don’t guarantee you’ll be able to convince the recruiters to hire you. You have to be creative in presenting your skills and your work history. Make it concise, while providing a complete picture of what the company will get if they decide to hire you.

2. You have to drop that embarrassing email address

[email protected] is a sure way to insure the recruiters are going to pass on  your application. Creating a new email account with a more professional address is not that hard to do. Be sure to make it short and easy to remember. You might even check to see if a suitable custom domain (maybe your name dot com) is available. Search here: name.com.

3. You may not feel special, but you have to convince the recruiter that you are

There are hundreds of candidates eyeing the same job. The truth is that there is probably someone who has better credentials than you and who can do the job better than you. But you have to be able to convince the recruiter that you are the best one for the job. To do this, get familiar with the company and do your research. Make sure to customize your resume and your application to the needs of the company. Learn as much as you can about the company and how you’ll be able to use your skills to help it grow.

4. Many job openings are filled before they are even posted

This is one of the many sad truths about finding work. Before you ever find out about an opening, chances are high it’s already been filled. Many job interviews are simply necessary formalities. Do well enough in the interview, though, and the company will begin figuring out how to make you the next hire.

5. Invest in friendships with people who work in your dream company

Humans are social beings. We love company, we love talking, and we love socializing. You can take full advantage of this innately human characteristic when you’re job hunting. If you want to work for a certain company, find out which coffee shops, restaurants, or pubs the employees frequent. Spend some time there and get familiar with the patrons. Sooner or later, you’ll get the chance to talk to someone from the company. Make a new friend. If you can foster that kind of relationship, it will be much easier for you to ask about job openings. You may even get a direct referral to the boss or to the company recruiter.

6. Clean up your social media accounts — recruiters are going to Google you

You don’t want the recruiters to see photos of you that night when you were roaring drunk and did some pretty embarrassing things that everyone remembers but you. Take the time to clean up Facebook, Instagram, and all your other social media accounts. Untag those humiliating photos of you, or keep them private. You want to make a good impression on your future employers. You can begin by deleting those inappropriate photos or posts.

7. Make the most out of your LinkedIn profile to impress the recruiters

Put your best social media foot forward, starting with your LinkedIn profile. It can tell a lot about you — your education, skills, work experience, and the like. It will give recruiters an easier time to assess whether you are fit for the job. Make your profile as detailed as possible, especially with the skills and training you already have. If you’re lacking real-job experience, consider taking a few temporary positions to fill in your profile. Here’s an excellent article about that: Temp jobs and college grads.

8. Know your expected salary and how you can negotiate for the ideal amount

Talking about money can be taboo at times, but you should be prepared to speak up when asked about what you’re expecting. Do your research about the salary bracket for the position you are applying for. You should also be able to know how to negotiate for the ideal amount. Know how to support your proposal through your work experience and skill set and how you can contribute much to the growth of the company.

9. You will be judged by your spelling and grammar mistakes

Take all the time that you need when preparing your resume or CV. Read it a number of times so you will be sure it is perfect when it lands on the recruiter’s desk. One minor error can send your resume directly to the trash bin.

10. Make every minute count during your interview

When answering questions during the interview, don’t beat around the bush. Give the interviewer direct but concise answers. Make them short and sweet. Unless you are being asked to elaborate and express yourself further, then do so. Otherwise, to the point.

11. Recruitment is a dragging process not just for you but for everyone

Recruitment is going to take time. You may think you’ve been waiting forever for the result of your application, but there can be hundreds of applicants for one position. At this point, you have to exercise patience. However, do not wait passively. While waiting, hone your skills and keep looking.

12. Common courtesy goes a long way

After your interview, you can send an email or a note to the recruiters thanking them for their time. It is a way for you to make sure you can leave something memorable outside of the recruitment process. You may not be as experienced as the other candidates, you might have been too nervous during the interview — but by taking time for an act of common courtesy, you can stand out from the crowd.

Wrapping it up – go for that job and don’t hold back

These 12 tips don’t replace commons sense. You have to dress your best during the interview, maintain eye contact, be confident (even if you are a wreck inside), and keep smiling.

But most of all, try your best to be you. That will give you the chance to make your interview more memorable than the rest and help you land that dream job.

Able Cane knows all about looking for work. He’s a chronic job-hopper and ladder climber turned freelance writer.