9 Qualities of Great Job Seekers
Finding a job is not an easy task. It requires effort, commitment, unlimited moral strength and a good network of colleagues and friends around you. Independent of your qualities, life can lead you to specific behaviors and moments that mislead you to know what path you want for yourself.
Recently, while conducting steering different recruitment processes at Talentsquare, I’ve observed that a fair amount of candidates were not prepared for the selection process, and that led me to think on what helps candidates being great and successful when looking for a job.
I’ve found that there are at least set of 9 key qualities that great job seekers have:
1. They look for help
Looking for a job can be a lonely journey. As a job seeker you can find yourself spending a fair amount of time without getting a positive response, which can lead to a lack of confidence in themselves.
Great job seekers are not afraid to reach out and ask for help. Most times such requests lead to more and better opportunities. And if not, the worst thing that can happen is a dead end.
2. They are not afraid of activating their networks
We all have networks. How powerful they are depends on what you’ve done, how much you gave in time of need towards the other person, and who you’ve interacted with until the exact moment you are looking for a job.
Great job seekers look at their networks and activate them carefully in order to understand what the market is offering and where they can be of great value.
3. They don’t settle for what comes first
The pressure of finding a job can be so high that the first chance you get to accept a job proposal, you will take it. Well, while that might sound wise, I’ve found that great job seekers know which type of work and expertise they want to gain.
I’ve found cases of job seekers that settle for jobs they did not want (NB: Including me in the past) – they settle for financial conditions that weren’t the ones they were looking for and they settle for responsibilities that don’t excited them.
Great job seekers don’t settle for what comes first, they analyze the market and seek to have several alternatives in hand.
4. They know their elevator pitch
Finding a job is a sales process as well. You are the product, you have features, benefits, referrals, and great potential.
In this process, it’s extremely important that you know how to position yourself very well. What if you find yourself in an elevator with the hiring manager of the job you always dreamed of? Do you have a 1-minute elevator pitch on how you’re the perfect fit for the job?
Great job seekers know their elevator pitch, and how to customize it depending on the person they are talking to.
5. They are consistent in their CV & digital platforms
Trust me. People that are hiring spend very few minutes (if not seconds) on each CV. If you don’t capture their attention at start, you’re out. But even when you capture their attention, you might lose the battle just because you were not consistent; because your CV said different things from your LinkedIn profile (e.g. Some people I interviewed had different titles and responsibilities in their CV and in their LinkedIn).
Be consistent. Great job seekers have a clear message across all documents and platforms where you are present.
6. They are not afraid of asking questions
Standard interview procedures give you the chance to ask questions to the interviewer. Most job seekers don’t have questions.
Great job seekers ask about the company, the business model, the job, the culture. They are not intrusive, but they do show high interest in trying to understand the company and their potential role better.
7. They use their free time to learn
When you are unemployed, you have free time. Sometimes, a lot of free time. Many job seekers I’ve known didn’t invest their free time in learning new skills, attending free courses, connecting to more people, or reading about the latest insights from the industries they are most interested in.
Great job seekers do seek learning in many different aspects. One of the best things I did in my free time when looking for a job was to learn how to code (Basics via Codeacademy) and doing the Inbound Marketing certification by HubSpot. I also took the time to invest in a personal coach which helped me figure out different scenarios of my future career. What matters is to keep on learning and to gain wisdom and expertise.
8. They are open to be challenged
Some jobs are not available in your city. Maybe not even in your country. Most job seekers look for opportunities within their comfort zone.
In a nutshell – great job seekers are open to get out of their comfort zone. It’s where magic happens, and we all know that.
9. They are looking for more than just a job
It’s the last point and perhaps the most important one. Life is more than just a job. The job is just one of the vehicles to help you accomplish what you want in life. Sometimes the job is not even the right vehicle. It might be to become a freelancer, independent consultant or even start your own company.
And that’s the best quality of great job seekers: They know why they want a job, which type of job and where will it take them.