Despite the addition of 163K new jobs in the economy in July of 2012, the unemployment rate in the U.S. remains unchanged – and is currently hovering at 8.3%. With so many people out of work or looking for a second job to supplement their income, the job market has never been tougher. So how can you land a job with 12.8 million other job seekers looking for work at the same time? The tips that follow can help.

Target Specific Companies

Many job seekers spend a lot of time applying for jobs with multiple companies, usually out of desperation to find a job. However, by spending more energy focusing on specific companies that offer the type of job that you want, you will be more likely to land the job. Choose a few select companies that interest you, and pursue jobs with those companies. Submit your resume, even if there are no current positions open with the company. This type of persistence oftentimes pays off when the candidate that just would not “give up” lands the job they always wanted.

Develop Your Interview Skills

So you landed an interview from a pool of hundreds of applicants, that’s the good news. The bad news is that getting an interview is not even half the battle. You still need to have a ‘wow’ factor in the current job market if you want to impress your interviewer. Polish your interview skills by practicing your answers to the most commonly asked interview questions, and be ready to hone in on the questions that you are being asked so that you can provide the answers the interviewer wants to hear. Polish up your best suit and get your teeth whitened to boost your chances of being hired.

Don’t Overlook Temporary Jobs

There are many great opportunities out there for those who are willing to work on a temporary basis. Temp agencies and staffing agencies can provide temporary work that oftentimes leads to offers of full-time positions. Many companies outsource their staffing needs to staffing companies in an effort to cut down on human resource costs, even if they are looking to hire someone full-time. By working for a company on a temporary basis, you get to “try” the company out without obligating yourself to a full-time position – and the company gets to see if you are a good fit before making a full-time offer. While it is not always the case that temporary positions lead to more permanent offers, they often can and do lead to permanent positions. As a bonus, even if you are not hired on for the long-term, you will at least have a job in the interim.