School child with hand raised in the classroom in front of a blackboardEven after 40 years of being in the placement and recruitment business, I am continually amazed by how lackadaisical job seekers can be, content to call a few friends and acquaintances and maybe email a handful of resumes each day.

Successful job seekers are much more proactive. They pick up the phone and call the manager of the department that they want to apply to, present themselves as a job candidate and request a face-to-face interview. No waiting for the phone to ring. Instead, they put their phone into action, calling at least 35 to 40 people a day, and presenting themselves as the ideal candidate.

What else do these go-getters do?

They identify connections on LinkedIn that might help them land an interview, calling each one and asking for help. If that doesn’t work, they go to the company itself, unannounced, and sit in the lobby of a hiring authority’s office and try to talk their way into an appointment.

In other words, they do whatever it takes to line up as many interviews as possible. Also, they don’t take rejection personally. In fact, they understand that in order to get to “yes,” they will have to wade through a lot of “no’s” as a measure of progress.

When they finally land the interview, they spend an enormous amount of time preparing: practicing with mock interviews, learning everything they can about the company and its industry, and developing the skills for presenting themselves well so that on the big day, they are relaxed and confident – and ready to ace the interview.

They have also analyzed their own strengths and weaknesses, and have practiced selling their best qualities while underplaying their limitations. Once they have sailed through the interview, they end it on a powerful note: “How do I stack up against your other candidates?” “Do you have any concerns about my ability to do this job?” And, “What do I need to do to get this job?”

Such questions leave no doubt in the employer’s mind that you want the job and won’t take “no” for an answer.

Why not have more than one job offer to choose from?

Successful job seekers fight to get as many interviews as they can—even when offers come in. They proactively follow up every interview with a Thank You note and a summary of the interview, as well as a phone call to the employer thanking them for their time and asking for a follow-up interview.

If you want to be this kind of job seeker then you must do what they do; focus on the process:

  • Get the initial interview
  • Perform well during the interview
  • Get called for a second and third interview
  • Perform well on all subsequent interviews
  • Present yourself as unique in the eyes of the interviewer
  • Ask for the job

The key is to master the interviewing cycle, and follow the process for as long as it takes to get the job that will lead to your dream career.

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