A mentor once explained to me that finding a great job was a bit like playing poker. The element of chance is significant—just as the next draw could complete your flush, your ideal job could fall right into your lap.
The truth is, having such luck is quite unusual—so why does it seem like some people consistently win at poker, while others always seem to navigate their career paths with ease? The answer is simple: Luck, chance, or mojo, do play a small role is success.
As a recruiter, people often ask me what they’re doing wrong when it comes to finding a great job. For those who aren’t able to ride lady luck’s coat tails, the answer is most often that they’re doing nothing wrong. Instead, they should think about what they’re not doing.
A recent survey shed some light on the current job market amid the economic recovery. Half of all those employed consider their roles temporary, and 45 percent plan to take a new opportunity even though they report being currently happy.
Additionally, in 2015, job seeking is no longer considered an interdiction; rather it has become an acceptable norm. With that in mind, here are seven habits that successful job seekers should strongly consider adopting.
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Referrals are a great way to get a leg up. Research has shown that candidates stemming from referrals tend to perform better.
Organizations have long suspected this, hence the reason that many of today’s companies even compensate those who refer great candidates. You can certainly take advantage of modern technology and social media, but really nothing can take the place of in-person connections.
Once you’ve made a connection, don’t forget to periodically reach out to ensure it stays fresh.
2. Stand Out
Rather than settling for being the best of the best, know that in the case of job hunting, being the tallest tree in the forest has its benefits. Find a way to make yourself stand out, whether it’s a unique skill or memorable personality.
3. Have Laser Focus
Yes, your education, past employment and cumulative experiences will all play a role in whether or not you are hired. With that said, great job hunters go one step further and are able to show the prospective employer how they will positively impact the organization.
Understand the current climate of the particular industry—what can you bring to the table that will culminate in results now?
4. Continue to Learn
Second by second, the world we live in changes. Whether it’s technology, economics or politics, nothing stays the same for very long. Those who are aware of their surroundings are best suited to capitalize on these changes.
If your industry requires being current in a specific technology, make sure you attend related seminars and training sessions. Maybe your line of work is being phased out or outsourced— successful job seekers tweak and accentuate their skillsets so they are able to pivot toward the next opportunity.
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5. Manage Time
Everyone has likely been told that finding a job in itself is a full-time job. But fear not—today’s streamlined world is well-suited for the multi-tasker that lurks within us all.
If you’re able to take a lunch, don’t be tempted by the latest and greatest thumb-swiping game. Leverage the full capacity of your smartphone to seek out opportunities. Embrace the digital age and dive into social media sites such as LinkedIn.
A survey of recruiters revealed that 94 percent use LinkedIn as a direct means to source candidates. Those are the kinds of odds a winner always picks.
6. Have Patience
Successful job seekers understand that they aren’t able to impact timing around a particular position.
A news article or even an overheard conversation can give one the perception that landing a new job is typically a swift process. While the job market has improved, the Wall Street Journal offered some great insights, with the underlying message being that the process of hiring (spurred by technological advances) is netting great new employees, yet it is also much more lethargic than it once was.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
Yes, there are some people who are naturally gifted when it comes to career moves. Within 60 seconds on the phone they have wooed the hiring team and have the job within their grasp. We can all get to this point with practice!
Role play through interviews and be prepared for curveballs and even on-the-spot offers/negotiations.
Will you cap off 2015 and enter 2016 in the ranks of the lucky ones—finding and landing jobs like it's nobody’s business? If you’re nodding your head, then take these tips to heart and maybe even discover some new highly successful habits of your own.
Leave the rabbit’s foot in the drawer, because the time to find your next perfect job is now.