You know that old saying, early bird gets the worm? Well albeit true, you still have to do your legwork in order to beat other candidates seeking the same position.
Tip #2: Research
The internet is so powerful and you can take the time to research companies you are interested in before you apply. Put the word out in your professional groups and organizations and even ask your friends and colleagues if they know of any companies that have similarities to your tip #1- you know, places you may want to work at, ideal companies and ideal jobs. Take the time to do the research and it will pay off!