The Number One Factor in Obtaining a Job
In skimming through my RSS feeds earlier today, I saw a blog post titled something to the effect of “the most important aspect of the job search” (I’m paraphrasing – I don’t remember exactly). Without actually reading that post, I start thinking about what, exactly, IS the most important element in obtaining a new job.
So I thought. And thought some more. And then I realized…I don’t even know what the ONE most important element is. It’s a cliche to say that “it’s hard to narrow it down to just one thing,” but maybe that cliche exists because the statement itself is true. Regardless, here’s a list of things that could be the one most important thing. Collectively, I think they may sum up what both active and passive job seekers should be doing.
- Be Persistent – this is generally a natural personality trait. You’re either persistent or you’re not. If you’re not, you have to fake it until you make it (i.e. – get a job). If you’re this way naturally, let ‘er rip. It may seem that you’re annoying a potential employer, but trust me, that’s better than falling off the radar.
- Network – I don’t even need to explain this one. Talk to your friends and your friends’ friends (and they’re friends too). Use a personal blog to brand yourself, get on Twitter, leverage Facebook. Go nuts.
- Search Often – Job boards are generally updated often. Use an aggregator to search many at once. Use niche job boards in your industry to find the jobs that don’t hit the mainstream job boards.
- Keep Your Mindset Positive – kind of cheesy, right? Well, if you’re in the dumps because you’re unemployed or “underemployed,” it’s going to show. Be positive and assertive (see previous “fake it til you make it” under #1 if this is a daunting task).
- Go on Interviews, Even if you Don’t Want the Job – interviews for jobs you have no intention of taking – even if offered – are good practice. You know what else? I’ve often heard of people interviewing for one job and ending up with another at the same company because they were overqualified for the one they interviewed for (I’ve also heard the reverse – people being underqualified for a given position, but impressive enough to score a job at that company anyway). Go for it.
It’s a short list, but if you’re not doing all these things, you’re missing out. One thing to remember – and it may seem strange to have to point this out – if you don’t DO anything, you won’t GET anything. Jobs don’t fall into peoples’ laps, so if you want a better job but don’t do anything to get one…well, there’s no one to blame but yourself.