Spy for your potential employer

Without a doubt, those who set themselves apart -- way apart -- in the interview process are the most memorable. More often than not, they're also the ones getting the jobs.

(Repeat: Please do not confuse "memorable" with "freaky," "creepy," or "offensive.")

Here's a cool way to set yourself apart:

Spy for your potential employer.

That's right, spy.

No, no, this does not mean go dumpster diving in the parking lots of their competitors. It means do some sleuthing online, then provide them with intel that will be valuable to them, whether they hire you or not.

What's the competition up to?

Do they have new clients that they're working with? New products? Very recent news announcements? Key personnel changes? Can you dig up some strategic information?

Believe me, you can find this stuff online. Readily.

If not on the competitors' own websites, certainly in the social networking circles.

Dig up some info, then come up with some ideas and recommendations on how this company (potential employer) could leverage and/or benefit from the intel.

I assure you, they will be grateful. And impressed. And I'm willing to bet that the others vying for this same position? Will look just a little lame in comparison.

Try it. And then let me know the results!