Successful Job Search Traits

You hear it often, especially from people who have experienced recent disappointments – “Life isn’t fair.”  Fairness has nothing to do with life and certainly has even less relevance in a job search.  It may not be earth-shattering to you but the best person doesn’t always win and the most qualified individual doesn’t always get the job.  You might argue that it is not what you know but who you know but reality is the person who usually gets the job is the one who diligently worked at it!

Just because you are the smartest person in the room and have the most impressive resume of all the candidates does not necessarily equate to you getting the job.  Like any product or brand you must have the ability to sell yourself and your attributes to be successful in your search.  There is no entitlement in the business world; just because you are the brightest candle in the room doesn’t mean competition doesn’t exist.  If you aren’t marketing your brand – you aren’t doing everything you can to achieve success.

Motivation and commitment are two very important elements to a successful job search.  If you are having less than stellar success so far and you see much of the same on the horizon, you should be asking yourself whether you don’t know what to do or just that you aren’t doing what should be done?  Let’s face it, everyone knows what it takes to succeed in a job search.  It takes hard work, determination and the ability to make yourself stick out amongst the various other candidates.  It is called Marketing, and in this case it is positioning your unique attributes above all others.

We all have the fear of rejection and no matter what you hear from the professionals – it is personal.  How can you not take away from a competitive environment a deep personal rejection when you know you are the best candidate for the job but they chose the other guy?  The real take away is that you didn’t make the best sales pitch and in many cases you just weren’t the right person for the job.

Sorry, but despite what your mother told you years ago – not everybody is going to be enthralled with you!  You just may not be the right pick for that job.  Recruiters are now in a buyer’s market and they certainly can be very, very selective.  For whatever reason you just may not be the person they want or need for that particular position.  It is best to know of that reticence now than be selected for the job and determine later that this really wasn’t the right place for you!

It is startling – but true, that a connection is made early on in an interview or sales pitch and though you continue to work hard at impressing the decision-maker for the next 30 minutes or so that it is all for naught because your initial impression, for whatever reason just wasn’t a winner.  Though it is very difficult, you do need to pick yourself up and continue to move forward or you will find yourself in this job search longer than necessary.

As the search continues it is vital for you to become even more determined and motivated.  Too many times you see candidates become distraught and regress the longer the search continues.  Motivation is a virtual kick in the pants, it hopefully will move you to achieve where you have failed prior.  No one really enjoys the job search process, despite the incessant smile on your face, so get yourself up and moving because the faster you find a new position the sooner you can start thinking about new goals rather than how you are going to pay the bills.

The lengthier the search also means an opportunity to improve yourself.  You have more available time than those who are currently employed – your competitors in the job search, so learn how to use a new software, improve your writing or speaking skills or become acquainted with a language that will be a plus in your career.  This is an opportunity to improve your personal value proposition.

Remember, a job search is not a vacation.  I grant you that no one would ever select a vacation with all this stress but your personal r and r can be next weekend.  For now your job is to get a job and if you incorporate all the knowledge you have attained in this process up to now, the forecast is certainly much brighter than the alternative – wallowing about the unfairness in the world.

Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations in his distinguished career.  He currently is between positions and has written more than 50,000 words or 80 blog postings on the topics of job search and career transition.  He can be contacted at:

Copyright:  MMXI.  Reprint of this article is permitted if the above paragraph is included.


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