Job Hunting Skills: Add Some Luck to Your Job Hunt!

You just found out that a friend, who lost their job two weeks ago, today found a new job and was offered a better paying position. Talk about "luck." Really, you should be so lucky.

If you carefully look into the situation your friend found himself in, he had been building a support network for years. He had a history of helping others in a variety of circumstances. He lost his job, focused on what he wanted, contacted his network, and one of his contacts came through. So "luck" had very little to do with his success.

He had been building a "luck" balance in his career bank for a very long time. When he went to make a withdrawal his balance was hefty enough that a job that fit his career objective happened to be available.

Aside from the luck factor here's what successful job hunters follow working as "project managers," in finding the right job:

1. Create a job hunting plan.

What job or jobs will you be searching for? What is your employment goal? What employers will you be targeting? Where are they located? What resources will you be using?

Break down what you plan on doing every day, every week and every month. Plan on putting in a full week. Spend adequate time in research and study. Keep the plan balanced and restrict the time you spend looking at a computer screen. Build flexibility into your job search plan to account for unexpected opportunities and setbacks.

2. Organize your job hunting activities.

All successful job hunts start with keeping records, and all your activities organized. If you send out a tailor-made cover letter and resume can you quickly retrieve the documents?

Over time you may have research on dozens of potential employers, hundreds of tough interview questions and answers, tailor-made resumes and cover letters each sent to dozens of employers, hundreds of phone contacts, thank-you letters, and job hunting ideas and their resources. This all has to be organized for easy retrieval and follow-up.

Do this right and it will take a lot of stress out of your job hunting activities. Moreover, you will be more efficient and be able to get more done in less time.

3. Aim with a rifle and not a shotgun in your job hunt.

A focused job hunt will be more successful than the, "I'll take anything," approach. Go after prospective employers that need your skills and you can provide value to them.

If the employer's needs fit your skills and qualifications you are more likely to be hired. Additionally, your employer research will be more in-depth, your cover letter will more closely reflect the employer's interests, and you are more likely to be called in for an interview. All steps leading to a job offer. If you expect the employer to guess as to how you fit into their job requirements you'll have to wait a long time.

4. Write compelling marketing letters and other documents.

Your whole job hunting project is a marketing effort. If you sell what the employer wants you'll be successful.

So from the message on your answering machine, business cards, format and content of your resume, content of your cover letter, email address, thank-you notes, internet information when your name is Googled, responses in a telephone interview and preparation and performance in a face-to-face interview all demand a consistent message selling, "You."

Selling you that you are the answer to solving the employer's problems and filling his needs should be your consistent message in all of your job search activities.

5. Stay positive-you'll work better with a positive attitude.

Employers want to hire positive people. People who look upon problems as opportunities. Who spend more time on solutions than complaining about the hand they were dealt.

Do what ever you can to maintain an overall positive job hunting attitude. Read and listen to motivational messages. Stay away from those who look at everything through a negative prism. Hang out with positive can do people.

6. Don't forget to celebrate small victories.

Take time out to celebrate your first job interview. Need to make 12 networking contacts a week and you do 15, plan on celebrating. Need to get away for the grind of job hunting and its frequent rejections go fishing on Saturday afternoon or take a long walk in the park.

Follow these six ideas to get you job hunting project started, or perhaps use it to get your current search activities back on track. Build you job hunting plan and work the plan every day. It will put you ahead of many more qualified competitors and your "luck" will be more successful than theirs.

John Groth has changed careers seven times during his working life. Learn more about changing careers, job hunting strategies and career planning at Discover how others over age 50, built winning career plans and found the right careers by effective job hunting and career planning after 50.

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