While setbacks in the final round of interviews are gut-wrenching, the recruiter or hiring manager, when asked, will likely tell you where you could improve in the future. Such feedback, however, is a benefit of making it to the interview stage. But what about improving the earlier stages of your applications? Apply these three tactics to sharpen your job application etiquette:

1. Think twice before applying

Applications to recruiting agencies are usually kept on file. And many large organizations keep records of applications too. So, pursuing jobs that you aren’t qualified for yet may have repercussions. Making several applications to such companies before you can demonstrate the required experience may lead to your name becoming red-flagged. If this sounds unfair, just remember, employers want to interview candidates who take the needs of their company seriously. Similarly, companies prefer to meet with candidates who understand the value of their own skill-set. And we can all agree that when a company posts a role that you are perfect for, old applications should not impact be something that complicates matters.

2. Describe your expectations, not your wishes

If you will only accept a salary that is at the top end of a job’s bracket, feel free to say so when you apply. However, if you would actually be pleased with a mid-range salary, let the company know your true bottom-line. The same goes for requests about vacation time or perks. You see, most companies are unable adjust their hiring policies for individuals, no matter how talented they are. However, if you research what constitutes a good deal at the company to which you are applying, the hiring committee will be pleased to consider your requests. What is more, when you have done your research, you will better know if the company is right for you.

3. Employers may check your social media

If your LinkedIn profile does not line up with the experience on your resume, recruiters may be confused. If your Facebook profile does not represent who you really are, companies may mistake you for a ‘wrong fit.’ And if your Tweets are too eccentric, hiring managers won’t see the real you. Remember, there are elements of most social media accounts that are publicly viewable. So, at the very least, these public sections should line up with your application. And if you haven’t already, adjust your privacy settings on Facebook.

Be prudent, be realistic

We all want to put our best foot forward when applying for a job. As such, our applications should promote our professionalism. No doubt, you are a candidate who values a professional public image and the needs of the company you are applying to. So, why not submit an application that reflects this?