February 7, 2013

4 Habits of Highly Successful Job Seekers

crossfit woman doing push-ups during outdoor cross training workoutMeet Jane.

Jane graduated college six months ago. She worked three internships while in school, graduated with honors, and has sent her resume to hundreds of companies. But, Jane is unemployed.

Meet Bob.

Bob also graduated college six months ago, no honors. Bob didn’t work at any internships while in school and has never applied for a job, yet Bob is employed. One day while he was playing basketball in a local gym, the president of one of America’s largest auto manufacturers sees Bob. The president has a company team and wants Bob to play on it so he can win a championship. He hires Bob immediately (true story).

Every last one of us knows someone who always seems to have the most incredible luck when it comes to locating and making the best of opportunities that come along. We’ve all also spent quite a bit of time wondering what his or her secret is and wishing we could bottle it to use to our own advantage. This is especially the case when it comes to landing a job in today’s economy.

While Bob is an uncommon scenario, there are plenty of people whose paths seem to be effortless when it comes to getting the best opportunities. And although you may wonder what the person’s secret is, the truth is that there’s really no secret to be bottled. The person is simply someone who naturally develops good habits in regards to job seeking. You can do the same by making sure you incorporate the following four habits into your own strategy:

1. Be Proactive

Successful job seekers aren’t successful because more opportunities fall into their lap. They’re successful because they make it a point to get out there and find chances to make things happen. They’re also ever-prepared for the next good thing to come along. For instance, their online professional profiles, personal websites, and resumes are kept perpetually updated. Their wallets are always full of business cards just in case they run into someone to give them to while out and about (you get the idea).

2. Be Outgoing

Successful job seekers never turn down an opportunity to network or rub elbows with other people in their field. Instead of sitting at home in front of the television, they’re accepting those invites to corporate get-togethers and attending local events where great contacts are likely to be found. They’re also outgoing once they get there, making it a point to introduce themselves to people and engage potential business contacts.

3. Be a Team Player

Whether you’re working in a highly social environment or working remotely with clients and customers who live overseas, it’s important not to underestimate the value of people skills and the ability to connect when it comes to those you work with. No one wants to hire someone who doesn’t work well with others or who’s going to have too much trouble being engaging and pleasant when they have to. Successful job seekers take advantage of opportunities to get to know new people or to contribute something to the team.

4. Step Out of your Comfort Zones

On some level, just about every one of us would prefer to play it safe and be comfortable than take risks and step out a little. However, those who are successful at what they do take the bull by the horns instead and find ways to welcome new experiences as new adventures. They welcome chances to try new things, meet new people, work on different projects, and pick up new skills. They realize that every time they do, they grow as people and have even more to offer than they did the day, week, or month before. The more varied and experienced you can become in regards to different things related to your field, the more attractive you’re ultimately going to be as a job candidate.

Read more in Job Search Advice

Marks’ stories have also been published in a variety of newspaper, magazine and online formats including The Arizona Republic, The Daily Herald, Arizona Foothills Magazine and various classroom magazines of Scholastic Inc. Service is her passion, writing is her platform and uplifting and inspiring the community is her purpose. Marks received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University.
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