Career Tips

What The Winners Have In Common

Most who read my blog posts are looking for some nugget of wisdom that will help them generate positive results from a job search. I thought it might be a good idea to share some observations of what those who  have recently landed jobs have in common.

So here goes…

  1. They have magnetism. They have a positive outlook and demeanor that makes them approachable and pleasant to be around. Logic dictates an individual is more likely to land a job if the prospective employer actually enjoys the thought of being in his company 40+ hours per week for the foreseeable future. Seriously, who wants to be in the trenches with others who are negative, boring, pest-like and more focused on problems than solutions? “Not I,” said the spider to the fly.
  2. They network. They reach out to others consistently and effectively in search of opportunity. When potential employment options present themselves, they reach out to their network again seeking additional insight and connections that might increase the odds of a successful outcome. Firing off a resume in response to an internet ad without making some well placed phone calls first is unheard of.
  3. They are busy. Activity in a job search is a must. Those with more balls in the air at any given time end up with more options. The lottery people like to say, “you can’t win if you don’t play.” Well, the same can be said for a job search. Those who don’t play the game and make sure they are networking regularly and applying to multiple positions relevant to their background per week aren’t going to hit the jackpot.
  4. They have a clear understanding of what they are willing and able to do. It’s okay to be little and not know what you want to be when you grow up. If you’re a displaced worker who needs to land a job, like yesterday, not having a clear idea of what jobs you are chasing is unacceptable. You can’t aim at and hit a target that isn’t defined. Not to mention, job seekers who aren’t sure what to do next often end up leaving prospective employers not sure what to do with them.
  5. They move past rejection quickly. Yes, getting a no thank you letter from a company you really want to work for is the pits. That said, dwelling on the hurt does no good. Too often job seekers dedicate much more time to trying to win over or get a response out of those who aren’t interested than focusing on finding individuals receptive to engaging with them. Maintaining forward momentum and keeping the focus on connecting with those who truly have an interest in what they offer increases the odds of winning dramatically.

So, there are the five things I feel many who have had successful searches have in common. If you’ve been looking for some time and aren’t having much luck, ask yourself how you’re doing in all of these areas. I can’t say one is more important than another. All matter. Get these points down so you can increase your odds of being the next person with an offer in hand.


Lisa joined the Michigan State University Alumni Association as Director of Alumni Career & Business Services on May 1, 2012. Her primary focus is to develop effective networking and resource channels for experienced alumni interested in professional development and job search strategy assistance. Additionally, Lisa works directly with corporate, education, foundation and government partners seeking to attract qualified talent, retain and develop good employees, and establish collaborative relationships in line with their established goals and objectives.

With 15+ years’ experience in third party recruiting, Lisa offers a balanced understanding of both employee and employer perspectives.

Lisa is a firm advocate of the networking process and considers it a vital element in a successful job search. In addition to helping job seekers develop and best utilize networking contacts, Lisa shares her knowledge and insight-gained aiding corporate recruiting efforts-to give Spartan job seekers an edge in terms of lead sourcing, resume presentation and interview strategy.

Among Lisa’s notable accomplishments: Prima Civitas Foundation Scholar; Michigan Works Association Volunteer of the Year; Pink Slip Mid Michigan Planning Committee; career content blogger.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Michigan State University.


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