Getting a job is not a simple process. It requires motivation, planning, attention to detail, and stubborn determination.
That is why successful job seekers share many of the same positive traits. Read the following list, and try to incorporate these strategies and traits into your own job search.
1. They Aim High
Got a dream job you’d really like? Think you’re not qualified enough?
Andrew Vargas, a Boston area career consultant explains:
“Job seekers need to go for the gold. There is no harm in applying to a company that might reject you. People have this fear of being rejected – they ‘just know’ that they aren’t ‘good enough.’ You wouldn’t believe how many people I have to push into applying for jobs they think they can’t get, only to come back and tell me that they got the job.”
At the very least, applying for jobs that are above your pay grade can give you interview practice, and give you leads to other people you might speak to, or other companies that may be hiring in your sector.
2. They Ask For Help
From the outside, it looks like very successful people are simply talented, highly intelligent people who can handle every problem and situation that comes their way. If you looked closer, you’d see that they’re getting help.
Lots of it.
Successful people have no fear of asking other people for help. The reason many of us don’t ask for help is that it can feel like we’re troubling other people by asking for help.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. People like to be of help. Of course, it’s possible to be overbearing, so don’t go crazy. But, you can easily ask people for contacts, introductions, interview opportunities, new leads, resume advice, etc.
The list is endless.
Make use of your network — don’t let it wither on the vine!
3. They Treat Job Searching Like a Full Time Job
Andrew Vargas explains:
“One of the biggest mistakes that novice job seekers make is that they simply don’t treat job searching as seriously as they should. Especially in the age of the Internet, it can be tempting to get online, send out some resumes, and call it a day. But really, you should be making phone calls, physically showing up at the door, going to job fairs, and making the best use of your network.”
If it feels like there’s too much time in a day to possibly spend searching for a limited amount of jobs in your area, consider whether you’ve completed the following tasks, or do them consistently during your job search:
- Completely updated your resume
- Have multiple versions of your resume depending on the job you’re applying for
- Ensure that your resumes are keyword optimized. (Click this link to find out how)
- Always write a new cover letter targeted at the business you’re applying for
- Physically go to the company headquarters to inquire about employment
- Practice interviewing with friends or family. (Read: How to Prepare for and Ace Your Interview)
- Search for job fairs and other public employment events
- Scan through all forms of media – newspapers, Internet, bulletin boards, LinkedIn, etc., for employment ads.
- Update your LinkedIn account, and get recommendations.
Simply writing a new cover letter for each company you’re applying for will be somewhat time consuming, if you’re doing it right.
Be sure to read how to write your cover letter here.
4. They’re Aggressive, but not Annoying
Successful job seekers make their presence known.
Read my post “How Pushy is too Pushy?” to get a firm idea, and a complete guide for how to ask questions, request updates, and otherwise communicate with hiring managers.
Long story short, you’ve got to become “more” than just another faceless resume. Have your LinkedIn account (and other social media) linked in your emails. Simply by being an interactive job seeker, you’re putting yourself ahead of your competition.
5. They Stay Positive
Rejections aren’t the end of the world. It can be rough to get deep into the hiring process at a company, and then lose out to a competitor. It’s no fun starting the process all over again, being unsure whether you’ll succeed or not.
Successful job seekers learn from their failures, and use their new connections to seek out new avenues for employment. Hiring managers are more than aware that a job rejection is disappointing, and will be willing to help you.
If you ask!
On a somewhat related note, the relation between exercise and happiness is becoming more and more solid every day. Check out this article about how exercise can help you stave off depression and stay positive.