There are some job seekers that just get it. The moment they’re in need of a new job, they know where to start and what to do, and they immediately launch an effective and intelligent search. These are the people you recognize for being entirely stress-free and unfazed by the stresses job search.
A lot of this comes from instinct and prior experience - highly effective job seekers may have already gone through the process of finding a job several times. Or maybe they’re just really good at the hunt because their career is based in skills that are needed for job search success.
People who work in marketing, for example, turn out to be great job seekers because they recognize the similarities between marketing a product and marketing their own skills.
Whatever the reason, there are a few traits that highly effective job seekers possess that you can learn from and adapt to your job search.
Highly effective job seekers are patient about their search. They set realistic expectations and understand that it will take effort and time to get to their next dream gig. And this patience allows them to tackle the hunt diligently and thoroughly, exploring all opportunities to their fullest.
Patience is an important trait to learn when job seeking. Your patience reflects positively on you in all your interactions with an employer. Your correspondence is more calm, your attitude is more self-assured, and you don’t sound desperate. You’ll be willing to have more conversations and explore openings you might otherwise have passed up on.
One of the things that makes any job search more effective is staying organized. Organized candidates find it easier to employ many of the job search best practices that put them ahead.
An organized candidate will follow up on applications with diligence, will research and keep detailed notes on the companies they apply to, and will know the status of every single application they send out. All of this ensures they present the best version of themselves and maximize their visibility to potential employers.
It’s easier than ever to be an organized job seeker. Using JobHero, you can keep track of the applications you send out and set reminders for next steps and follow ups. Get a bird’s eye view of your search.
They’re driven by metrics
An effective job seeker is driven by metrics - they track the different things they do in the job search and adjust accordingly based on what works best in their search. They track the number of jobs they apply to every week, the number of interviews they land, and what types of openings or resumes are working best.
The point to these metrics is for you to gain and retain a sense of progress in your job search. If you just keep hitting apply without a sense of what you're doing, you may feel like you're doing too much or too little each day, but you'll never actually know the truth.
You’ll also enable yourself to A/B test your job search. You can begin to see the effectiveness of a catered resume/cover letter over a generic templated one. You can start measuring one cover letter format over another. You can see the difference between applying to 15 generic jobs in a single day and applying to only 3 highly researched opportunities. And you can begin to take the necessary steps to do what is most effective for your job search.
A marketer without analytics and metrics flies by the seat of their pants and rarely succeeds in advertising and acquiring customers. The same goes for a job seeker who applies without measuring the effort he or she puts in and the return on their investments.
They run on a schedule
A highly effective job seeker finds the job search schedule that works best for them and sticks to it. Whether they apply to only one job a day or treat the search as a 9am-5pm full time commitment, they create and solidify a routine in the early stage of their job search.
Keeping a regular job search schedule allows you to dedicate time specifically dedicated to job seeking. Job seekers often underestimate the negative effect of distractions in their job search. Watching TV in the background, having people walking in and out of the room, or surfing the internet on the side can result in some embarrassing job search mistakes, like sending out the wrong cover letter in an email. Set aside the time and engage yourself.
Research is one of the most important things you can do in your job search. It’s the basis upon which you will be creating your resume, cover letters, and thank you notes. It’s crucial to preparing for an interview. And, most importantly, it’s the easiest way to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack.
Highly effective job seekers center their process on research. Before they ever hit apply, they spend time looking up the companies they’re considering. They read blog posts, news articles, social media, and LinkedIn profiles to find out about the company’s mission, people, and culture. They use that info to decide whether or not the company is a good fit for them and cater their application documents based on what they discover.
Too many candidates send out boilerplate resumes and copy-pasted cover letters. Be a unique and effective job seeker by showing that you put in some thought and effort rather than blindly hitting apply.
They are or become extroverts
They know how to be extroverts when needed. Even if they hate networking, effective job seekers know how to navigate conversations and nurture their relationships. They have their 30 second pitches down, have professional business cards, and regularly attend networking events - even when they’re not job seeking.
Networking is not just for the unemployed looking for work. Professional associations, meetups, and online communities are important to any professional, job seeker or not. Learn how to be an effective networker, both online and offline, and take advantage of the opportunities that arise to meet other like-minded professionals in your industry. You never know who might help you find your next dream job.
They’re forward thinking
The main thing that makes a highly effective job seeker seem totally unfazed by a job search or job loss is the preparation they put into a contingency plan. The unexpected can strike at any time, whether you suddenly decide your current job isn’t worked out or you’re forced to make a move.
Create an emergency savings fund and begin saving up for 12 months of expenses. Know who you’ll go to for networking and introductions to potential employers. If you’re planning to switch industries, start learning several months ahead of your search for the new gig. Know what you want out of the next stage of your career.
Being forward thinking now will allow you to be more effective in finding good opportunities and capturing them quickly. It’s never too late to retool your job search and change your mindset.