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Five characteristics of a successful job hunter

Finding a new role can be a trying process. One of the most frustrating things as a Candidate is that you don’t have access to inside information. Many companies don’t offer feedback following initial applications, so it can be difficult to pinpoint ways in which you can adjust future applications. As a recruitment agency, we speak to hundreds of jobseekers and while there is no secret recipe for success, we’ve observed a number of key characteristics displayed by top Candidates enabling them to accomplish their goals. Searching for a new position can often be a learning opportunity in itself. Here’s what you need to consider:

A positive mindset 

During your job hunt, you’re likely to experience rejection before receiving an offer. There can be many reasons why a Candidate doesn’t receive a job offer. It may be that you need to develop experience in certain areas, work on presenting yourself confidently during interview or simply that the position wasn’t the right fit for you. Whatever the reason, it’s important that you’re able to bounce back from these setbacks. The most successful applicants are those who display resilience and persistence. They realise that they have a challenge ahead of them, but they’re able to apply themselves to this positively, demonstrating a willingness to learn, improve and rise to the occasion. When you reach a dead end, don’t let this dent your confidence. The ability to hold onto your ambitions will make all the difference. 

A confident networker

It’s a well-known fact that networking is a great way to find a job – some experts suggest that 85 per cent of all jobs are secured through networking. While some jobs are actively advertised, others may be filled by a known contact before they’re even posted. To tap into this hidden job market, you should make sure you’re visible in the right circles. Consider joining a local networking group, developing your contacts on social media or approaching companies directly for news of upcoming opportunities. Don’t be afraid to put yourself forwards, as well as to follow up with people you’ve met by inviting them for a coffee. Not only will this give you an important insight into the industry and companies you’re targeting, it could lead to a valuable ‘tip off’ on a new role about to become available. 

A strategic thinker 

When you’re starting your job search, it can be hard to know where to start – which is why strategic thinking is so important. Quality matters over quantity. It can be tempting to try and fill out an application for every position you see, but a well-crafted CV and application could be the difference between an interview offer or a rejection email. Think strategically about how you want to advance your career and what to apply for in order to focus your efforts. Above all, always undertaking researchwill pay off when speaking to Employers. If you can demonstrate what attracted you to apply for the position, what you admire about their company and suggest some ideas to improve current services, you’ll stand out as someone who is an independent, creative thinker. 

Able to ask for advice 

The best job hunters are those who recognise that no man is an island. If you feel that you’re struggling to make progress, try seeking other peoples’ opinions. Tap into your existing network, be it friends, family or a recruitment agency to gain valuable feedback, as well as fresh ideas. It could be that you’d benefit from a change of direction, so be willing to be flexible. If there’s a company you want to work for, why not contact a professional within that business to ask how you can advance your cause? It’s a brave move, but this kind of insight could really help. On the flip side, advice giving goes both ways. By making yourself available to share your expertise with people, you’re building up a relationship with someone who could prove to be an important contact in the future. 

A strong personal brand

Searching for a job is a full-time job in itself. In order to stand out, you need to think about how you’re selling yourself to Employers, including how you can present yourself as an expert in your field. Technology has its part to play in this. It’s likely that recruiters will search social media, either to locate potential Candidates or to check the profiles of applicants, so take a look at how you appear online. Boost your personal brand by creating your own blog, attending events or creating your own website complete with examples of your work. While having the necessary skills and experience is the first tick in the box, hiring managers will also be looking for people who are personable, passionate about what they’re able to offer and willing to embrace company culture. Consider how you will communicate this within the job process in order to stand out from the crowd.


Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 we opened our first London office, to service Clients and Candidates in the capital.  

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Allen Associates

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