10 things successful job seekers do, to get employed quicker

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 - job search, job seeking, tutorial


10 things successful job seekers do

to get employed quicker

When I first came into recruitment, one of the things that interested me was why successful job seekers were successful. On initial analysis they were no better qualified, skilled or capable than any other type of job seeker they were applying against, and yet they got employed quicker, and in doing so applied for fewer jobs.

My research also led me to asking the question why we – recruitment and human resources – as an industry rejected good job seekers? Were there better techniques and tactics of job application that these unsuccessful job seekers were not applying, that conversely the successful job seekers were?

The answer to both question was yes, and here are the top ten issues that successful job seekers apply to get employed quicker.

  1. They have a specific target job in mind: Just like successful people in life have specific goals, successful job seekers have specific jobs or roles in mind when they go job seeking. These fulfil three employer questions: that they have the required skills, qualifications and experiences to do the job; that this job is the next logical step in their planned career path; that they have a next step beyond this job
  2. They can communicate who they are and what they offer: good job seekers know what they offer, what the market seeks, and can communicate this to a potential employer. Many call this a lift pitch
  3. They research the market: lets say that you were the worlds best driver of horse drawn carriages, and wanted a new job. Everyone you talked to today would tell you that there were few paying jobs in that market. Yet every day, unsuccessful job seekers go looking for jobs in their geography that don’t exist, or won’t pay them enough on which to live their lifestyle. Successful job seekers know what is being recruited for, who is recruiting, and at what rates
  4. They do some research on that employer: when they find what looks like a suitable job advert, they research that employer. The best job applicants often do this at multiple levels, through both reading the companies website and news reports, through to networking themselves into and around that organisation
  5. They engage with employers BEFORE they apply for the job: many job seekers get confused by the new world of job application. They think that the whole world is driven by job boards. Ah, wrong! People still employ people. While possibly employing multiple techniques to find new job opportunities, at the core of their job application technique, successful job seekers always engage at the human level with a potential employer, often BEFORE they even apply for that job
  6. They only apply for jobs that they are suitable for: one of the statistics that most struck me, was that the most successful job seekers often applied for fewer than 10 jobs, and yet the least successful often had statistics showing 100’s or 1000’s of job applications. Successful job seekers only applied for the jobs where they knew they fitted the requirements, where as unsuccessful job seekers applied for any job they saw. If you have applied for and been rejected from more than 50 jobs, there is something wrong in your job application technique
  7. They get close to the hiring manager: as people employ people, then the most important person in any successful job search – yes, beyond the successful job seeker themselves – is the hiring manager. The hiring manager always has the final hire or reject decision. Successful job seekers get closer to the hiring manager earlier in their job application
  8. They offer more than what is on their CV: while many job applicants try to over write their CV’s and resumes, trying to claim skills, experiences, or at worst qualifications that they neither have done or don’t have, successful job seekers reveal more of the depth of their capability as their job application progresses. This means that they don’t over claim, they just have more communicated capability around the claimed job skills that that job seeks.
  9. They know what they are worth: over 20% of successful job applicants fail to get the job because they didn’t ask the first questions first: what should this job pay in this market, and what does this job pay? Before you apply for any job, know what its worth in the current market, and hence what you could and can negotiate with that employer
  10. They listen to feedback: this is a key issue for unsuccessful job seekers, that in my experience they never apply, and yet successful job seekers are always aware of. Unsuccessful job seekers stop listening, and hence stop learning, and hence become less successful in their now elongated job search. Successful job seekers listen to both market experts and fellow job seekers alike, and learn to apply what works for them

Job search success is not a mere bagatelle in any market, and successful job search has as much to do with approach and technique, as it has to do with what you offer and the type of job you seek.

So if any job will do, and just applying to job adverts is your choice, then expect to go beyond the average current job seeking time scale of 37 weeks. But if you know what you want, and apply some easily learnt techniques that communicate your value clearly to a potential employer, then job search success can easily be yours. It really is just a matter of choice, application and resultant success.

Good Luck!

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