The comment started a discussion among the members of the job search team! And, it started me thinking. What had I noticed about the traits of successful job seekers? What did they seem to have in common?
I responded to the job search team member that he was right. Those that landed new positions in recent years persisted in their searches when others had given up. But what else? I realized that they also shared another trait: Consistency. Successful job seekers were consistent in performing the activities of job search. For instance, they established a work schedule for their job search and worked consistently, on a daily basis, as in a “real job.” During their “work days,” they consistently networked, wrote letters, made calls, sent lots of e-mails, set up meetings, went to meetings, and targeted many organizations that might be good employers of their talents. In other words they persisted consistently.
What other traits did successful job seekers share? Here is what I’ve observed about job seekers who landed a job or got a new role in these recent tough, tough years. Here are the 6 traits of successful job seekers.
1. Successful job seekers really, really, really, really want a job – First and foremost, to get a job today you’ve got to really, really, really, really want a job! Otherwise, you won’t do what it takes – putting in the hours, exerting the energy, putting yourself in less than comfortable “networking” positions, and doing the activities of what a job search requires today.
I noticed that those who got a job were single-minded in their purpose of wanting a job. They didn't dilute their resolve by wanting a job but maybe opening a business or maybe do some consulting or maybe going back to school. They were single-minded in pursuit of one goal - a job..
I also noticed that for those who landed finding a job was their top priority. They put job search activities first! They chose to attend networking events, go to meetings, contact people they didn’t know, develop and then re-develop or refine their marketing materials, apply for positions, and send yet one more resume to a targeted and desirable company, . . .over getting together with friends, seeing a movie, watching TV, taking vacations, etc. Other things were delayed or put on hold. They worked at finding a job like it was their “real job” – which of course it is!
2. Successful job seekers want THAT JOB – When interviewing for a position, successful job seekers demonstrate in thought, word, and deed that they want THAT JOB! They focus only on getting that job – not why they don’t think they want it. Why? Employers seem to pick up on the vibes that you may not really want that job.
Successful job seekers reserved any judgement and focused their full attention and energy on selling themselves as the solution for the prospective employer’s needs for each position they pursued! They showed intense interest in the position, and a passion for the role, company, and industry. They appeared knowledgeable about the role and company, having done their homework in researching the company. They posed a good argument as to why they were the best candidate for the job. And, their obvious thorough preparation displayed a willingness to go the extra mile – gladly.
Of course, when they went onto their next interview, they displayed the same interest in THAT JOB for which they were interviewing.
3. Successful job seekers are persistent – They persist when others have given up, and they do it with high energy and a good attitude. Easier said than done I know. Especially when you’ve been working at it for a month, or two, or three and nothing seems to be happening. But as one old adage says: “He – or she – who stops punching first loses the fight!” In the fight for finding a new position, if you stop searching for a new position, you don’t find one!
4. Successful job seekers are consistent – Successful job seekers work at their job search consistently. They treated their searches as their day job – and night job too if they had evening meetings, classes, or events to attend. They worked weekends as well as holidays. They personified the old adage: “Finding a job is a full-time job” and then some!
I recalled others who worked sporadically -- even in spurts of brilliance -- at finding a job. While intermittent efforts might have led to success in previous employment markets, I observed this method to be far less successful than simply working consistently, day by day, at their searches.
5. Successful job seekers stay visible – Successful job seekers found ways to get their names known and their resumes on the top of the stack! Through diligence and perseverance, successful job seekers found ways to gain visibility inside their targeted firms, and then maintained their visibility through following up.
How? By various means of introducing and then re-introducing themselves into the company or organization. They used multiple media to get their names and qualifications known.
● Job seekers managed to stay visible by finding a contact inside the firm who sent or carried their resume into the office of a hiring manager, or Human Resources employee.
● Or they learned the name of a hiring manager and wrote directly to that manager.
● They attended a job fair, got names and contact information, and followed up with a note and copy of their resume.
● They attended conferences and association meetings to learn about and meet people from potential employing companies.
● They used social media, such as Linked In, to learn about a firm or whom to contact within the organization.
In other words, their goal was for “everyone to know their name!”
6. Successful job seekers follow-up – So many opportunities are lost through lack of follow-up. Successful job seekers made it easy for prospective employers to not only know their name but see them as a quality candidate by following up in meaningful ways.
Successful job seekers did not consider their job done when they sent off a resume, attended a networking event, had an interview, or met with a colleague. They followed up each activity with appropriate actions that moved their candidacy forward. They followed up with a note, additional information, a helpful idea, . . . and if need be, followed up yet again, displaying their genuine interest, obvious competence, and helpful disposition. They displayed their willingness to go the extra mile!
So there you have it – the 6 traits of successful job seekers in today’s tough employment market!For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found under the Articles tabs of the AJC–Career Strategy website. ____________________________________________________________________________
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