4 Must Haves for a Successful Job Search

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Hope and 3 Other Attributes Necessary for a Successful Job Search
By Bob McIntosh, Career Trainer

Job-search advice is available to jobseekers from pundits, friends, family, and other well-wishers; but the most important factor to success in the job search is the internal fortitude that keeps jobseekers going. Without this inner strength, advice about resumes, interviews, networking, LinkedIn, etc., doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

To achieve success, one must understand the importance of never giving up. The opposite of admitting to defeat is hope.

1. Hope: I’ve often preached the need for hope in the job search. The goals jobseekers set for themselves are only realized when they maintain hope; because without it, the journey to employment is a long and arduous one.

Hope is a combination of a number of attributes jobseekers must demonstrate throughout the job search, namely optimism, persistence, and enthusiasm. In combination, one will prevail in whatever challenges present themselves.

When customers tell me of the multiple interviews they’ve attended and how they’re making it to the last round but lose out to another candidate, I don’t see that as failures. Rather I look upon those setbacks as opportunities that will eventually come to fruition. You’re almost there I will tell them. Don’t give up hope. Now it’s time to practice your interview skills, I add.

2. Optimism: Those who are optimistic encourage optimism in others around them. It shows on their continence and is noticeable to everyone evolved in their job search. This includes people with whom they network.

One of my favorite customers was out of work for almost a year, until a week came when she had three job possibilities leading to one offer. She remained optimistic in her job search, sometimes lapsing into self-doubt, but saw the potential of success. How did she know she’d succeed? Because she knew she wouldn’t fail.

3. Persistence: This personality trait is something great athletes have. Like a baseball player who is in a slump batting .200 in May, a jobseeker goes six months, nine months, or a year without landing a job, but never gives up. He bounces back from rounds of interviews with no job offers, finally landing a job before his unemployment ends. Similarly, the baseball player gets out of his slump to bat .300 in October.

This was the case for one of my customers who was out of work for more than a year. Although he had interviews almost every week, he came up short. His persistence coupled with a positive attitude was apparent in the e-mails he sent to update me on his progress. He is now gainfully employed and offers help to my customers.

4. Enthusiasm: Jobseekers who are enthusiastic walk into a room and light it up. I can tell a jobseeker will shortly find work by the way she embraces the job search, rather than surrender to defeat. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophesy. I will conquer this challenge, they say, and so they do.

One of my customers who has a physical disability is enthusiastic and confident in her ability to return to management in her prior industry. I recently met with her to critique her résumé. Prior to the critique she had attended an interview. After the critique she was scheduled for a phone interview. The last I heard, she was granted a second interview for both positions.

Having hope is a combination of the aforementioned traits, optimism, persistence, and enthusiasm. Together, these positive traits contribute to psychological capital, which guides us through the challenges in life. Psychological capital isn’t something that can be purchased, but it is something that can be developed through a positive attitude. Many times we’ve been told to be positive. Never has a greater truth been told.

About the Author

Bob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer at the Career Center of Lowell, where he leads more than 20 workshops on the career search. Bob is often the person jobseekers and staff go to for advice on the job search. As well, he critiques resumes and conducts mock interviews. One of his greatest accomplishments is starting a LinkedIn group, which is one of the largest of its kind in the state, and developing three in-high-demand workshops on LinkedIn. Bob’s greatest pleasure is helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market. Please visit Bob's blog at www.thingscareerrelated.wordpress.com.

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