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The #1 Way to Stand Out

By Bonnie Johnson,



A top technique to stand out to potential employers doesn’t take money, expert credentials, or years of experience. Polished public-speakers, technology gurus and artists are NOT the only job seekers that can make employers remember them. With a little time, planning, preparedness, and organization, almost anyone can earn VIP candidate status. So, what are we talking about?

When polled agricultural HR professionals and hiring managers, they declared that one of the best methods for candidates to stand out was by researching the organization before interacting with them. Of utmost importance for the interview, this research can also be beneficial as you develop your application materials.

Educate yourself about the company, their products and services, and the potential role you’ll fill:

  • Find out all you can about the company via their website and news coverage. Google them! Especially note press releases, awards, events, and new products/services announcements. Setup a Talkwalker Alert or Google Alert to be notified of relevant new online content as soon as it’s published. Check out employee rating/review sites to hear what others are saying about the employer.


  • Check out the organization’s social media channels and follow them! Visit the company’s career site to see which social networks they are most active on. Conduct #hashtag searches on social networks for company mentions. Don’t stop there— follow industry associations, groups, and influencers to stay in-the-know.


  • Do you know anyone that works for or has interned at the company? Talk to them about the company culture and ask for any tidbits of information they could share. Perhaps they can tell you about their personal experience with company management styles, work environment, or even dress codes. You’ll find this inside insight useful during the hiring process.


  • Who’s making the hiring decision and who will interview you? Do you know who the position will report to? Some job postings will list this information, e.g. “reports to Director of Marketing.” Search for information to understand their role in the organization. Locate this information on the company site, a generic web search, or on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.


  • Create a company alert on Click “Follow Company” when you are viewing one of your favorite company’s jobs on the site, and we’ll send you alerts when they post new positions. Increase your awareness of the types of roles and locations where your preferred company is recruiting.



Researching the organization allows you to expertly tailor your cover letter, tie-in keywords and important skills into your resume, and prep for a productive interview conversation. How can you customize your interview responses to highlight your knowledge of the business and what benefits you can offer the potential employer? This research will also help you develop questions to ask the employer during and at the end of the interview. Do you know they recently released a new product, or have an upcoming conference? Build your research discoveries into your questions and responses.


Discover additional ideas to make an amazing first impression here.