“Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

As staffing professionals, we see it happen. A job seeker “does everything right” and yet their job search languishes, in spite of everything: tailored resume, cultivated connections, relevant education, valuable career experience. Drawn-out job searches can quickly grow holes in someone’s self-worth and finances. To share some of our experience, we have identified some common practices our successful candidates used in their searches.

From job seeker to successful candidate

  1. Self-honesty. Candidates who are honest with themselves create career goals that are attainable. They truthfully answer tough questions: What is the reason I am not working? Why am I not happy with my job, and would that change in a new position?
  2. Focused habits/focused goals. Candidates who create relevant, applicable, consistent, focused habits that are based on well-defined goals can create career success. They are creating a weekly schedule for searching, following up, reaching out, and connecting. They are telling everyone they meet they are in job search mode.
  3. Self-promotion. Candidates who are willing to promote themselves (or have a trusted colleague do so) create career visibility. Most people aren’t naturally their own best salesperson; successful candidates practice touting their own skills. Hiring managers are reviewing hundreds of resumes; candidates must be advocates for their qualifications.
  4. Always be evaluating. Candidates who reevaluate their job search and refresh their job search process can avoid falling into the cycle of continuous dead ends. If a candidate hasn’t gotten a job offer after nine months of trying, their game plan must change.

Handling rejection

It is hard work to find a suitable job. It’s a kick in the gut to not be the chosen candidate. Many job seekers will be rejected over and over. Successful candidates are the ones who keep coming back. They call up their courage.

After acknowledging that there is a bit of luck involved, and that the hiring process is subjective, they do some self-care and then they try again. They persevere and remain structured, focused, and professional. They form and refine habits that they will continue to employ on their job search. They will get up, dress up, show up, and never give up. They don’t linger on rejection because tomorrow they try again.

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