The habits that set successful job applicants apart from the crowd
In many industries it can seem that skills and experience do not necessarily guarantee a job. There are just too many qualified people out there. So what sets the successful candidate apart from the crowd?
Brown & Chase Talent Acquisition and Advisory managing partner Efren Chaux reveal the habits that give jobseekers an advantage.
1. They treat job search as a job
“Humans are creatures of habit and it’s important for serious jobseekers to not get out of the habit of work,” Chaux says.
“Keeping routine will allow jobseekers to get more out of their days and help stay true to their goal of finding work. From a recruitment point of view, there is nothing more off-putting than calling a candidate at 9am and realising that they are waking up to take the call.”
Don’t be tempted by the sleep-in. Picture: iStock.Source:Getty Images
2. They understand what they are selling
“A jobseeker should view themselves as a specialised sales person with only one product to sell — themselves,” Chaux says.
“That means it’s important they know their own strengths, understand what skills they can bring to a business, and how those skills can help a business achieve their goals.”
Morris says jobseekers should promote themselves on LinkedIn. “Every week find time to like, post, share and comment on relevant content, ask for endorsements, be active in relevant groups and showcase examples of your work and achievements,” she says.
3. They target realistic roles
Chaux says jobseekers need to distinguish between the right role and the first role.
“Having an understanding of what the right role and employer looks like will assist a successful jobseeker when making job decisions in the future,” he says.
Morris says employers are increasingly impatient with candidates applying for roles they are not suitable for.
“It is therefore important to be realistic in the roles you consider every week of your job search, and clearly demonstrate your suitability for a role based upon your experience,” she says.
“This means tailoring your CV to match the specific requirements of the role you have applied for.”
Noe Morales, category manager for procurement and supply chain Asia Pacific at international service company Serco, is a recently successful jobseeker.
He agrees that resumes and cover letters need to be tailored for specific jobs.
“It’s about understanding what the recruiters are looking for and that comes from reading the ads,” he says.
“Some people have a standard application letter or resume and apply to many different positions and companies but they should put a little bit more effort into it.
“It’s about quality not quantity.”
4. They have a consistent message
“It’s amazing how many times we meet candidates who have dates, job titles or information on their CVs that differ from their LinkedIn profiles or other social media channels,” Chaux says.
“Successful jobseekers will use social media to demonstrate credibility and honesty by having consistent information, recommendations and other information that will support their abilities and candidacy.”
Use social networks like LinkedIn to your advantage. Picture: iStockSource:Supplied
5. They use their networks
Chaux says the best jobseekers use their networks as a ready-made sales force and take the opportunity to meet new people to promote themselves and their skills.
“Whether it’s family and friends, industry peers or the barista at the local coffee shop, you never know where the next opportunity will present itself from,” he says.
“A successful jobseeker will make meetings with their networks, ask for referrals and promote themselves whenever they have a chance.”
Morris advises networking in some form at least once a week.
“It could be on a professional online forum, over coffee or at a formal networking event,” she says.
“Successful jobseekers stay in touch with their network and also expand it with relevant new contacts — relevant being the operative word here.”
6. They stay active
Chaux says finding the right role requires consistency and patience.
“A successful jobseeker will be consistently applying to roles, consistently speaking with new people, consistently asking for referrals, consistently ensuring they are front of mind with the recruiters they are working with. Activity is a good habit for the successful jobseeker,” he says.
7. They keep in touch with their recruiter
Morris says jobseekers should agree with their recruiter how regularly they should be in contact, then stick to it.
“If you agree to touch base every week, make sure you do so that you stay top of their talent list,” she says.
“You should also keep your recruiter informed by updating them if your circumstances change.”
Be it meetings or job applications, it’s important to follow up, Chaux advises.
“Tomorrow’s a new day that brings new opportunities,” he says.
“A successful jobseeker knows this and follows up in a respectful and professional manner to ensure they are front of mind when an opportunity arises.”
9. They keep informed
Morris says jobseekers should not let themselves fall out of the loop of industry news.
“When we are busy job searching it can be difficult to justify taking five minutes to sit and read a newspaper or journal but catching up on industry developments and trends related to your world of work is a very important part of the day for many successful jobseekers,” she says. “What you read depends on your job function and industry — it could be a well-known business newspaper, a membership journal, a blog, or the news feed for a LinkedIn Group.”
10. They keep healthy
“Exercise plays an important role in keeping mentally sharp and focused on the desired outcomes,” Chaux says.
“Be it going for a walk or playing sport, keeping active helps the successful jobseeker stay positive while giving them an outlet to burn up energy, stress and anxiety.”
Morris says exercising also gives an energy boost that can get a jobseeker through the day. “From a visit to the gym, to a yoga class or 15 minutes on the treadmill in your lounge room, exercise helps to give you the physical strength and mental endurance you need for a job search,” she says.
Being healthy and fit helps jobseekers stay positive. Picture: iStock.Source:News Corp Australia
11. They stay positive
The job search can be demoralising, Chaux admits, but it doesn’t help to become negative.
“Employers can be easily put off by a candidate’s negativity or cynicism towards the recruitment process,” he says.
“The successful jobseeker is always positive and optimistic, as they know the next job application or interview might be for their perfect role.”
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