When applying for a job, it’s vital that you do your due diligence to separate yourself from all of the other candidates applying for the same position. We know – you don’t know anything about those candidates. How, exactly, can you stand out from the pack when you don’t know who you’re up against?

It’s not about knowing your competition. It’s about knowing yourself. More specifically, it’s about helping recruiters get to know you better. Your personality needs to shine. But that glowing personality needs to be accompanied by an evident enthusiasm and dedication to the position you’re applying for. Allow us to elaborate.

Do your research about the company.

If you want to stand out as a top choice candidate for any job, you need to show that you know all about that job already. To clarify, it’s imperative you do research about the companies you’re applying to. Wow each interviewer with your knowledge of the company’s latest accomplishments and future goals. During your interview, discuss your plans for how you would like to help the company with its plans.

“If all things are considered equal, as a recruiter, I am always impressed with candidates who genuinely know information on my company,” reveals recruiting professional, Chadd Balbi on TheUndercoverRecruiter.com, “For example, this is no secret, but my company is planning on expanding into Korea. At the time this news was not all that public and I was interviewing a candidate who knew that and shared the information with me.”

Showcase your personality in your cover letter.

Nearly every resume comes with a cover letter, right? Many of them will read the same. They will follow the generic approach of expressing interest in the job and then listing a number of attributes, academic achievements and professional accomplishments. But where’s the pizzazz? Where’s the fun? Where’s the energy? On TheMuse.com, Erin Greenawald explains how to set your cover letter apart.

“When you’re writing your cover letter, remember that the hiring manager is likely going to be reading a lot of them,” she writes, “So, while you want to make the letter professional, you also want to put some of your own personality in it. Crafting an engaging letter with some color will catch people’s eyes and make them think, ‘Wow, this would be a fun person to work with.’”

Show a genuine interest in the company’s mission statement.

You don’t just want to work for the company. You want what the company wants. Declaring to a recruiter that you stand behind the company’s mission statement is a great way to stand out from the pack. It’s important for you, as well, to truly be supportive of a company’s goals and aspirations. If you really believe in the organizations you want to work for, your genuine enthusiasm will shine through without even trying.

“A company is not there to just help you get by,” explains Balbi, “They are hiring you because you possess skills that will help them further their business. Which in turn will help you advance your career, a win for all. So when a recruiter or hiring manager asks you for your motivation to take the job, ‘more money’ or ‘I need a job’ does not cut it.”