"You're always trying to do little things that sets you apart," said Spivey. "But you want it to be relevant."
Tip: When answering the proverbial 'tell me about yourself' question, don't verbally "throw-up" all over the employer by reciting your resume or cover 30-something years in your answer. Instead, focus on experience that directly pertains to the job you are there to win, said Spivey.
A clever cover letter
In this day and age of resume robots and keyword-matching algorithms, that beautifully crafted cover letter you spent hours toiling over may never see the light of day. By all means, include a cover letter with every application. It's considered unprofessional if you don't. But you may not want to spend hours and hours writing it. "Put most of your emphasis on your resume," said Spivey. "Submitting a cover letter is proper etiquette. Just remember, if you're going to submit a cover letter, the content needs to be relevant to the position and include wording that matches the job description.
Tip: When emailing your resume and cover letter to a recruiter, Suzi Rooker, senior recruiter at Hire Profile, Inc., advised attaching copies created with Microsoft Word, in case the content needs to be edited before forwarding. She also suggests your LinkedIn profile be up-to-date and job titles match those used on your resume.
Bad experiences with previous jobs
If you take only one thing away from this article, take this: There is no faster way to be eliminated from a viable candidate pool than to bad mouth your previous employer(s) and/or colleagues. The only thing this will tell a hiring manager is they don't want to hire you.
Tip: If the hiring manager directly asks you to elaborate on a tough situation and how you dealt with it, an article published by "Elite Daily" suggests you avoid naming any names and focus on how you adapted to get the job done.
How badly you need the job
"Employers don't want applicants to say something like 'I really need this job.' A tone of desperation can quickly end a person's chances of being hired," said Georgia Department of Labor Communications Director, Sam Hall. "Employers prefer applicants who are optimistic and enthusiastic about working for them and contributing to the company's success."
Tip: Feeling desperate is understandable, especially if you've been looking for a while. However, a post on Monster.com, suggests channeling your feelings from "I need a job" to "I can solve problems for your business."