Every job search is bound to have it’s barriers and setbacks. After all, it’s an ambitious endeavor and if it were easy, people would be switching jobs all the time, every time they got frustrated at work. And the best ways to get your application and resume noticed is by taking the more challenging route, not by taking the easy way out. How often do online applications get lost? Or the information doesn’t save? It never makes it to the hiring manager? Here are four ways you can overcome those job search barriers.

How Can I Make My Job Search Easier?

1. Be a candidate

Don’t just be an applicant, be a candidate. Instead of simply filling out an online application, you want to stand out as someone identified by a recruiter, a hiring manager, or an insider at the company. Now that the online application process has become so easy, if you only apply that way, you’ll never stand out from the rest of the competition. But if you’re identified as worthy and qualified beforehand, you have a lot better chance of making it to the next round. The online application would be the easy route, so put in a bit of extra work and a little creativity to make sure you stand out from the crowd.

2. Be daring

Sometimes all it takes is a little courage. Reach out to someone in your network who can help you get your foot in the door. Otherwise you might end up caught up in the mass of applicants.

3. Be unconventional

Or look for an unconventional way to get noticed. This might mean researching to the current employees at the company you can reach out to. Remember that people are busy, so respect their time and ask them if they have a free moment to answer a few questions about their company. Keep your questions focused on something general so you’re not blindly asking random questions or wasting their time. Don’t ask for a job or appear desperate—instead, you should come across as confident, competent, curious, and driven. Send along your resume, follow up with a thank-you note, and you can almost be sure that they’ll put in a good word on your behalf.

4. Do your due diligence

You should invest the same amount preparing as you anticipate spending at the interview. If you expect a two-hour interview, you should prepare for two hours. This means printing your resume, cover letter, and list of references. It includes researching the company one last time and looking into the people who are interviewing you. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be and the better you’ll perform. That way, if you do it a setback—your qualifications don’t quite line up or one of your references doesn’t quite say the things you want them to—at least you know you can shine during your interview.

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