Who Is Getting Jobs Quickly
We all know someone like this (and I’ve been able to congratulate some of them on this blog recently): A job hunter who finds a good position quickly, just a couple months or even weeks following a layoff or after initiating a search while still employed. Why do they land in a flash while others with similar experience who are just as talented can languish for months and months in this ultra-competitive job market?
There are some commonalities among these job hunters, say hiring experts. And it’s not that they’re smarter or better-looking or have more personality than the average bear, as Yogi would say. Instead, they are focused, flexible, upbeat and confident, and they keep their expectations in line with reality. None of this is rocket science and I’ve mentioned these qualities many times before, yet when you combine them, it tends to work.
Here are some things that quick-landing job hunters have in common, and ways to adopt these traits for your own search. They:
*Start a search with a focus and keep that focus in mind each step of the way. Those who get jobs quickly don’t spend time deciding “what they want to be when they grow up” but know where they want to go. They remain quite realistic about what’s available that would be a good match for their skills and experience, and they target their search to those opportunities. And they stay focused — training their efforts on openings that make the most sense for them based on contacts and their expertise, etc. They don’t fritter away time applying for “reach” positions or applying blindly to organizations where they don’t have contacts.
*Remain flexible and open. This is true — within reason — of salary, location, and job duties. If you want to get hired soon, you often have to be willing to give up some things; this is not a good market for finding your “ideal” job. I’m not advocating that job seekers take a huge pay cut or drive for hours to their workplace. Yet if you’re not flexible and instead narrow your possibilities right off, you’re likely ignoring openings that could be decent and might be a good path to future opportunities. With their targeted organizations, quick job-getters often have a pay range and are willing to be somewhat flexible about it (especially if they land quickly so they can hang on to more of their savings and severance), are open to jobs within a certain area and are willing to consider a range of duties. They aren’t too worried about job title, whether this is a deviation from their career path and how big their office might be. Instead, they are looking at whether this is an interesting job that pays decently and will help them build a resume.
*Maintain a confident and upbeat demeanor. Everyone advises this, but it’s true. And you can’t turn this on and off. Successful job hunters exude confidence in all public settings and in conversations with all but their most trusted friends. People want to be around them and want them on their team. Hiring managers like winners. It’s that simple.
*Tap their network, again and again and again. First, those who land jobs quickly tend to have maintained and developed a strong network over time and aren’t starting from scratch when they initiate a search. They’ve invested in their network — helping others over time, so that others are willing to support them for specific positions when asked. And they work at networking. They’re visible during a job search by attending events, arranging coffee and lunch meetings and maintaining a strong social-networking identity. They use their network in a targeted way to help them get noticed by those organizations where they have the best chance of landing a decent job quickly.