Being able to set oneself apart is arguably the most important weapon in a job seeker’s arsenal. Having the requisite skills and experience will only get you so far when you’re in competition with a score of other candidates with similar backgrounds and abilities.
One way to distinguish yourself is to be proactive. While the majority of the unemployed are content to submit resumes and watch their inbox or wait for the phone to ring, the most successful job seekers take a more aggressive approach, networking and researching to find the hiring manager’s contact information and reaching out to that person directly, following up and taking the initiative to ask for an interview.
It’s said again and again, but it’s the truth: networking wins more jobs than does going the job search alone. Successful job seekers build connections and work their network, asking after leads and for help. But, while they land more interviews this way, they don’t necessarily hear “yes” right away. They also understand that each “no” gets them closer to a “yes” and don’t take rejection personally.
The most prime candidates know how to sell themselves, cultivate and leverage contacts and prepare thoroughly for every interview. Coming to the interview equipped with a solid understanding of the company allows them to speak confidently and squirm less. They’re also not afraid to ask the tough questions, such as “Do you have any reservations about me?” and are prepared to respond to a hiring manager’s concerns.
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