When it comes to applying for jobs in a tough economy, there can be a lot of competition and it can be difficult to get yourself seen amongst the other candidates. The first step is to send an impressive application but there are several other actions you need to take, which will ultimately determine whether or not the employer decides to progress you. If you want to stand out from the competition, these are some ways you can do it. Persistence There is nothing more frustrating than being out of work and waiting for your phone to ring. Recruiters will often receive hundreds of applications for a vacancy and it can sometimes seem that your resume is just getting lost in a black hole. However, instead of letting it get you down, be proactive during the process. After making your application, follow up with the employer and make sure they receive it. It is the recruiter’s job to get back to you about the outcome of your application, so don’t be afraid to be persistent during the process. A quick call or email every few days will show your interest and will help you to stand out from the competition. Enthusiasm If a recruiter calls or emails you to discuss your application, make sure you are enthusiastic about the job and eager to find out more. A candidate who sounds disinterested during the process is unlikely to be taking to the next stage. Always make sure you return calls or emails promptly and have a positive, enthusiastic attitude throughout. If you are in competition with other candidates who don’t share the same enthusiasm, it will instantly set you apart from them. Ambition Instead of focusing on the salary and package being offered in the role, ask the recruiter about development opportunities. Salary is of course a major factor, but it should not be your only concern. If you show that you are ambitious and keen to develop, you are much more likely to be progressed in the process. If you are keen to develop, the money will follow anyway. Say Thank You If you have been invited for an interview, send the interviewer(s) a thank you note to reaffirm your interest in the company and say something positive about your experience. For example, you might want to say: Thank you for taking the time to interview me today. I really enjoyed hearing about the company and I am really interested in the opportunities for development and the values of the company. You have obviously achieved a lot with the business in a short period of time, which has certainly impressed me This is an action which 9/10 candidates will not take after an interview, so you will stand out from the competition if you do this. If you are up against just one other candidate and the interviewers are finding it difficult to make a decision, this simple action could swing it in your favor.