If you’re looking for work, here are a few tips to help you get ahead of the pack:

  • Take every job interview seriously – but not too seriously. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, when two applicants are neck-and-neck, the winner is often the one with the best sense of humor. That’s because a sense of humor puts people at ease. But that doesn’t mean you should crack jokes – instead, smile a genuine smile, and laugh at the interviewer’s jokes. It turns out, we think people have a good sense of humor when they think we’re funny. Not the other way around.

  • Get active in your local community. One out of every four hiring managers say that local commitments – like volunteering or coaching kids’ sports teams – indicates a strong work ethic. Plus, people with roots in the community tend to be less likely to job-hop.

  • Keep up with current events. In a survey, hiring managers said that candidates who knew what was going on in the world came across as more grounded and responsible than those who ignored current events. And being aware of current events made a bigger impact on hiring than an applicant who was more involved in social media because it showed someone who was focused on others – not just themselves.