4 Life Tips To Make You A Better Job Seeker (And Person!)
By: Come Recommended,
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Today’s job market is the most competitive it has ever been.
With an average of 118 applications submitted per opening, contrived methods of standing out to hiring managers don’t always work as well as you’d hope. Many long-term job seekers try to rationalize the fact that they can’t get work by focusing on trivial details of their search. In doing this, they’re embracing mediocrity in their lives, rather than proactively confronting their problems so they can better themselves.
If you’re one of those long-term job seekers, the fact that you’re reading this article is already proof you’ve acknowledged your flaws and/or are trying to better yourself in order to gain a fulfilling career. By taking a step back, analyzing your weaknesses, and working to improve them, your quest for gainful employment will end sooner than you think.
Here are four life tips you can follow to not only implement a more effective job search, but also lead a more fulfilling life:
1. Read More
We’re not just talking about Internet articles here — reading more is a fantastic way to get ahead of the competition. The advice to ‘read more’ may seem trite and overused, but it’s vastly understated in terms of actually putting it to practice. Many people who love to read often don’t take active steps to translate the words into action. The complacency that usually results from this ‘introverted’ style of reading isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does absolutely nothing to propel your job search forward and merely serves as a distraction to the problems in your life.
The fact that you’re reading this article right now shows your ability to be proactive — now all you have to do is live it out. While it’s not bad to read books that simply serve to entertain, it’s also important to read ones that allow you to take away some sort of wisdom or lesson you can put into practice and improve yourself with.
There are books on every subject under the sun, so it’s important to know ahead of time how you want to better yourself and find a title that will help you reach your goals. For example, if you want to learn how to find a career out of college, there are tons of books out there that offer insightful, practical advice that you can use to stand out from the competition and achieve your dream career.
Reading self-improvement books and articles are great, but regularly reading the news is a must if you want to stay ahead in your job search. Keeping up-to-date on the latest current events allows you to spot trends and opportunities you can then take advantage of — both when you’re searching for a job and after you’ve already established yourself in your career.
Keeping on top of industry trends by reading trade publications is also extremely beneficial. The knowledge you get from them can be used to spark an interesting conversation with an interviewer or potential connection. And once you get a job, knowing those industry trends and insights can help you make huge business decisions.
2. Be An Active Listener
Listening is an integral part of being a leader, but many people don’t know how to effectively practice it. Just for clarification, ‘hearing’ is not the same thing as ‘listening.’ When you’re hearing, you’re only half paying attention to the conversation, while the other half consists of you thinking about what you’re going to say next. When you’re actively listening to someone, your full attention is not only garnered towards hearing the words they speak, but also trying to process and understand the message they’re trying to convey.
In an interview, you may have a tight script memorized of what you’re going to say to each question. The problem with this is, while the interviewer is talking to you, you’re busy thinking about what to say next without fully listening and understanding the potentially important message they’re trying to tell you. This causes you to jumble up your thoughts so you give a halfhearted response to what the hiring manager just said, or even completely miss what they were trying to tell you. By actively engaging in what they’re saying, you can better formulate your thoughts to give impressive answers that set you apart from the other candidates.
In your life, active listening can do wonders in improving your relationships. By objectively — rather than subjectively — engaging in conversations, and worrying less about what you’re going to say next and more about what’s happening in the present, you will be able to give the people in your life a whole new sense of attention that makes you a better communicator overall.
3. Regulate Your Ego
Regulating your ego — or ‘checking yourself before wrecking yourself’ — is possibly one of the hardest skills to acquire. The fact that some people are compelled to live their lives with an air of superiority and cockiness over others is incredibly difficult for them to accept, let alone work on improving. Nobody likes a person with a big ego, and they are often disregarded in the job search process since nobody wants to hire a narcissist.
There’s a huge difference between having confidence and having an inflated ego, and hiring managers are getting better and better at being able to distinguish the two personalities. While it’s incredibly important to be confident in your job search, taking it too far could be detrimental to your chances of getting the job. Cultural fit is becoming an increasingly important hiring factor for employers.
Even if you have all the relevant skills and qualifications met, if you have an egotistical personality, your chances of getting hired into your dream career are slim to none. While it takes a little bit of practice and determination, being humble and confident pays off big time in the grand scheme of things. Not only are you more respected as a person, but you’re seen as a more influential figure to your connections. Keeping your ego in check also lets you channel those destructive emotions into more productive outlets that benefit you rather than hurt you.
4. Get Organized
Laziness is a trait that plagues far too many job seekers, especially long-term ones. A common side effect of laziness is an apparent lack of organization in your life. People who are unorganized in their job search will barely prepare for interviews, idly mass-apply to jobs, and use generic resumes and cover letters that fail to stand out to hiring managers — among other things. Organization is a basic skill that virtually all jobs require of their candidates, so it’s crucial to know when you’re slacking and to take the steps necessary to get back on track.
Good news: in the age of technology we live in, it’s easier than ever to stay organized in every facet of your life. Mobile apps for job seekers let you keep track of the companies you want to apply to, the goals you have set for your job search, and many more practical tools that seek to keep you on-track to finding a career. Use your phone calendar to help you remember important dates, and set alerts that constantly keep you reminded.
Following up is one of the most important things job seekers can do to increase their chances of getting hired. Forgetting to do so is also one of the most common mistakes a candidate can make. Staying organized in your search from beginning to end will not only lead you to a fulfilling career, but also greatly impact the work you do once you get started. There are many ways to get organized in your job search, here are some tips that will better help you.
What life tips do you have that make you a better job seeker?