How do I stand out from the crowd both during a job interview and in the manner that I follow-up?

There are several things that you can do to prepare for an interview.

There are several things that you can do to prepare for an interview.

First, do research. Search the company's Web site and learn about its philosophy, clients, and services. You should also do search-engine research on the company, things like articles mentioning the CEO or a specific department.

As you research, prepare questions to bring to the interview. Demonstrating interest in the company and asking smart questions will set you apart.

Second, make a checklist of the things you will bring to the interview: copies of your resume, writing samples, clip book. Thick or thin, clip books are valued and show that you are a solid worker. During the interview, sell your skills and your know-how to a potential employer. But remember, don't be full of yourself. Be knowledgeable, friendly, and positive.

Finally, following the interview, thank-you letters are not only appreciated, they are expected. In these relatively short e-mailed or handwritten letters, reaffirm what you liked about the company and how your skills will meet the agency's needs. The competition is tough, but a little extra effort can go a long way.

Zelda Freud is HR manager at RF Binder.

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