Three More Habits of Highly Successful Job Seekers

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: February 18, 2009 - 10:14 AM

Last time, I wrote about the three habits of highly successful job seekers that I have observed after counseling thousands of people since 1996.
To recap, they are:

1) Begin with clarity;
2) Take immediate, intelligent, massive action; and
3) Leave your comfort zone

Today, I’d like to share three more habits that can put you on the fast track to your next job. Note: These are recession-proof. They work in good times and in bad.


1) Focus on results, not processes
People who struggle for months to find work always seem to be in the process of doing something.

They can’t create a list of target employers because they’re in the process of deciding what jobs to apply for. Or they can’t apply for jobs because they’re in the process of revising their resume.

Highly successful job seekers know that results are all that matter. And results are measurable. Therefore, they set specific goals and take action to reach them.

Think back to last week. How many people did you meet in person and discuss your job search with?

A job seeker who meets three networking contacts with an imperfect resume, will get hired faster than one who spends all week revising their resume -- and meets nobody.

2) Pick up the phone and call
I’ve yet to meet anyone who was hired solely on the strength of their resume and cover letter. You have to talk to employers by phone and meet them first.

In other words, it takes multiple conversations to get a job.

Highly successful job seekers know this. They stack the odds in their favor by proactively calling, talking and asking to meet employers they’ve sent resumes to.

What’s the worst that could happen if you call an employer and ask to meet? They say no.

But … if you wait for a phone call that never comes, you’re still getting a “No” from that employer, albeit a tacit one that can take weeks to play out.

Make your own luck. Call to at least verify that employers got the resume and cover letter you emailed.

Better: Print and mail your documents. And, in your cover letter, say: “I will call your office at 10:00 a.m. Thursday to answer any questions you may have.”

Two very good things can happen when you call at a specific time to follow up:

1. Your call may turn into an impromptu phone interview, if you establish rapport with the hiring manager and demonstrate your smarts. It happens all the time.

2. If you get voicemail, your message will be stamped with the time you called, which should be exactly when your cover letter said you would. Congratulations -- you’ve proven that you’re detail-oriented and that you keep promises. And you’re not even on the payroll yet.

3) Contact Employers Multiple Times
It’s a rule of thumb in sales that prospects must be exposed to your ad or sales pitch at least 7 times before they buy.

Highly successful job seekers recognize this and contact employers multiple times. You should, too.

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