What Does a Successful Job Seeker Look Like?

John Krautzel
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Most job seekers don't just luck into the position of their dreams. The job search takes hard work, patience and determination, and research finds that job seekers with certain traits, characteristics and habits have better luck. If you're on the hunt for a first job or a new position, consider these eight characteristics that make a successful job seeker.

1. They Have Social Media Savvy

Successful job seekers use all the tools in their job search arsenal, including social media sites. Use LinkedIn to make connections with professionals in your desired industry. Check out companies that fit your job search criteria, and always keep your profile up to date.

2. They Focus on the Details

The cover letter and resume stand between you and the interview, so make sure the first impression is fantastic. Proofread these vital documents, ask others for feedback, and customize every job application packet you send to suit the potential employer.

3. They're Willing to Research

When you get the call for an interview, spring into action mode. Learn everything you can about the hiring organization. Check out the company's website, look up current employees on LinkedIn, and read press releases or news articles that mention the organization. This lets you gear your interview responses to the company's needs.

4. They're Proactive

Successful job seekers don't sit back and wait for positions to hit the job boards. If you find a company that interests you, call and introduce yourself to the hiring manager. Explain your skills and inquire about current job openings.

5. They Exude Confidence

Walk into every interview with confidence, and back it up with your skills, experience and qualifications. Practice your responses to common interview questions until they sound natural, maintain eye contact, and offer a firm handshake.

6. They Know How to Network

Don't limit your job search to the computer. Get your name out there and meet professionals who can connect you with potential employers. Sign up for job fairs and attend conferences. Watch for industry gatherings in your area.

7. They Take Time Out

Every hour of every day can't be spent on the job search. Successful job seekers know how to strike a healthy balance. Take time to relax, step away from the desk, and do something you enjoy to recharge your batteries.

8. They Follow Up

After every interview, send a handwritten thank-you note to the hiring manager to express your gratitude. If you don't hear back within a week or two, reach out with a phone call to show that you're still interested in the position.

Some professionals are more adept at the job search than others. Successful job seekers often have these eight characteristics in common. What are some traits or habits you think are important in defining a successful job search candidate?

Photo courtesy of Nextaff at Flickr.com


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