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Characteristics of a Successful Job Search

In addition to the techniques of job-hunting, there are intangible factors to be considered. The following is by no means a complete list. No doubt you will be able to add to it, once you become a successful job seeker in the near future!


A successful job search takes time. It is often said that looking for a job is (or should be) a full-time job in itself. Researching companies, developing a convincing resume and cover letter, and making contact with an adequate number of potential employers all take time. One oft-quoted statistic that illustrates this point is the job-hunting success ratio: you must make 20 contacts with employers to yield even one job offer on average. By the calendar, taking time means that your job search will take several months, 6 on the average (estimates vary).


A successful job search takes energy. This means you must do more than just go through the motions. We all have a limited amount of energy to devote to our daily tasks -- make sure you save some of it for the job search! You might also want to schedule job hunting tasks every day in ways that make sense for you. 'Morning people', for instance, might plan on making cold calls early in the morning (not too early!), saving letter-writing and note-taking for later. Don't be afraid to let up, though, when you need a break and the anxiety of the job search starts getting to you.


A successful job search requires organization. It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of this factor. One method of staying organized is to maintain a folder for each potential employer you have identified, containing contact names and addresses, a record of contacts, and 'next action' notes to yourself. A common mistake in job-hunting is failure to follow-up. If you have indicated in a cover letter that you will be calling on a certain day, you must do so. If an employer has requested additional information such as a college transcript or list of references, respond promptly. Only a well-organized job-seeker can manage the important details.


A successful job search takes persistence. Persistence in the job search can be defined as 'not taking no for an answer.' If you fail to get the job you really wanted and felt qualified for, persist and you might just land it the next time it opens. If many of your direct contacts yield the standard rejection letter, keep in touch with the companies at the top of your list. If you have done your research, you will know which ones are likely to be hiring people with your credentials soon. Persistence in the job search is also an attitude -- don't let the inevitable rejections get you down, and by all means don't take it personally. You will eventually get the job you want -- DON'T STOP BELIEVING IT!

Good Luck!

Remember, there is no secret to a successful job search. All it takes is hard work, commitment to the techniques described here, and the occasional (and well-deserved) stroke of good luck. So don't go climbing any mountains in search of wisdom. Life is not a bubble! Good luck in your job search!

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