In a competitive job market, getting hired is tough. The more candidates there are for a single opening, the smaller the chance each individual has of getting the job. You should make sure you are giving yourself the best possible chance of being chosen. You need to convince your future employers that you can fill the position better than anyone else. To do so in a crowded field of applicants, you need to stand out from the crowd.

The key is figuring out what sets you apart. This is the art of personal branding. Just as large companies cultivate a certain image and reputation to get customers, so you should embrace your own brand. After all, you are essentially selling yourself when you are trying to get a job. You are a pitchman selling the product that is your unique set of skills and abilities. The better a job you can do marketing yourself, the better your chances of getting the job. Selling yourself effectively requires knowing where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

So go ahead and take stock of your strong (and not so strong) points. When you are putting together your résumé or preparing for an interview, think about what you should be highlighting. Look back to previous jobs, and past performance assessments. What did your last few bosses appreciate about the work you did? In what ways did you most help out the team? These are the things you should be emphasizing.

Try to delve deeper than simple job descriptions or other vague titles. If you were a project manager, discuss the projects you were in charge of, and what you did to ensure their success. Detailed information like this will tell your potential employers more than a simple job title. Try to paint a full picture of what you've accomplished in the past.

Personality traits, interpersonal skills, and other such 'soft' skills are also worth bringing up. The key is to be able to tie these attributes to specific examples. This will prove you are talking about real qualities, not trying to pad your credentials. For example, if you are a great peacemaker, talk about the time you defused the tension between two coworkers that was threatening to derail the entire team. Concrete examples will help your future bosses see how you will be valuable to the company.

Being flexible in your approach is also valuable. Some jobs will require different approaches than others -- a one-size-fits-all strategy won't work. Examine the description of the job listing, and do some research on the company you are applying to. Based on the details of the job you're applying for, you will want to emphasize different parts of your résumé. Try to craft your application so that it seems like you are the perfect fit.

Your goal should be to sell yourself to your future employers so that you have the maximum chance of being hired. Going into the hiring process unprepared is a big no-no. Carefully examine your skills and career record first. Taking the time to assess the best approach to marketing yourself will be worth it: armed with an understanding of the set of talents that sets you apart from others, you will be ideally prepared for getting the job.