What successful job hunters have in common

May 4, 2010 at 2:58 am Leave a comment

Though each job hunt has its own (some job seekers would say sometimes tortured!) path, there are some traits that successful job seekers share. Those who have managed their careers well and who have been able to land on their feet pretty quickly after a disruption tend to be hopeful, organized, self-motivated and able to remain centered even when there is chaos around them.

The other key element they have in common is they don’t wait until they need to find their next job to activate their network and prepare their pitch. Let’s face it, the era of loyalty in the workplace is over — and everyone is vulnerable to job cuts. So those who remain in control of their destiny constantly keep up their network, look for new opportunities and research just what skills and expertise they’ll need to stay competitive.

These tendencies — which are also useful in their jobs — can be practiced and learned, hiring experts say, so it’s worth exploring these common elements:

*Organization. Finding a new job is a big, sometimes messy task. So those who are successful about managing their careers tend to stay a step ahead and figure out where they’re going before they start down that path. This also involves attention to detail. With all the technology available today, it’s relatively easy to come up with your own system for keeping track of leads, contacts and material such as your biographical and written material. Yet many people don’t think about keeping track of this information until they’re pretty far into a job search. Keep an updated database of contacts, with notations about who else they may be connected with, and update it even when you’re not actively job-seeking. This way, when you need it, you won’t need to spend precious time re-entering data and trying to figure out who you met when and who else they may know.

*Optimism. Some say you’re an optimist or you’re not — others (and I’m firmly in this camp), say optimism can be learned. The fact is, you’ll need it in big doses when job hunting. If you don’t believe that fortune will smile on your search, you will pretty quickly find out that it won’t. Of course, one of the best ways to tell a good story is to have something to tell — (the best writers usually are terrific reporters as well; those details make the story!). So you’ll need to combine an optimistic outlook with the goods — an impressive resume, a conversational yet professional interviewing style, and a great network of references and referrals to support your search. But you need to find a way to stay centered and hopeful or you won’t be able to convince those in a position to hire of your worth.

*Motivation. One of the toughest parts of a job search is that you need to push it along yourself. In the workplace, there are usually outside factors motivating you, often several times a day — your boss needs you to complete something on deadline, meetings structure much of the day and your colleagues expect you to hold up your part of a project. There are usually natural starting and stopping points to work. With a search, you’re in control and it’s all about you. That pressure can sap your energy and motivation. Yet those who are successful in searches find that breaking a search into manageable tasks and finding ways to succeed at various steps along the way — such as completing a terrific resume, finishing an online course or having a terrific interview even if it doesn’t land you the job — can help build your motivation, bit by bit. External factors can keep one motivated in a job search as well; that’s why hiring experts recommend forming a team and meeting regularly with fellow hunters to mimic the kind of external motivation one receives in the workplace. Yet finding a way to keep at it — whether you’re job hunting full-time or continuing to be open to opportunities even while happy in your job — is one major thing that those who successfully move ahead in their careers have in common.

*An update on Patch’s hiring plans  follows — and it’s good news (for a change): Patch, which as you may recall is a network of “hyper-local” news sites that AOL acquired last year, has begun looking for 75 (no, that is NOT a typo!) “local editors” in certain spots in the Washington-Baltimore region. Check out the full story here in the Post.

*As always, there are some good leads to peruse, pursue and perhaps pass along (it’s alliteration day!):

*Inova Health Systems in Springfield is looking for a (full-time) communications consultant:

Inova Health Systems – Springfield, VA
The Physician Communications Consultant, in partnership with the Director of Communications, helps develop and drive internal communications and higher levels…
From RichmondJobSource.com

*Discovery Communications in Silver Spring has an opening for an editorial assistant to the senior vice president of talent resources:

EA to SVP Talent Resources
Discovery Communications – Silver Spring, MD
Degree or equivalent experience required. * Strong oral and written communication skills. * Ability to assess priorities and prioritize workload within a highly…
From CommunicationsJobs.net

*With a hat tip to mediabistro.com, LivingSocial has several openings in D.C., including for an assistant editor:

Industry Internet/Online/New Media
Benefits 401K/403B, Bonuses, Dental, Health, Stock/Options
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location Washington, DC USA
Job Requirements Are you a savvy writer/editor looking to depart the world of newspapers and magazines? LivingSocial, the hottest new form of online advertising and social commerce, is hiring an assistant editor to help with the content creation process for our daily deals. We love great writing and word play (clever turns of phrase tickle us pink!), and think the most exciting stuff to read online is full of energy and wit. Agree? Then keep reading:

Job Responsibilities:

* Edit copy for our daily deals;
* Assign and manage freelance copywriters to ensure consistency and style;
* Write up to 5 snazzy deal descriptions each day;
* Proofread, proofread, proofread (!!!) everything from daily deals to marketing collateral;
* Coordinate with operations team to ensure timely and quality deliverables;
* Help shape LivingSocials unique voice and product;
* Wear a variety of hats when needed to help us create one heck of dynamic product.


* 1-4 years editorial experience at a magazine or newspaper, preferably at a daily where intense deadlines ruled your life;
* Solid clips to show your editorial prowess;
* A deft editorial eye, i.e. the ability to make bad writing dazzle;
* Clever sense of humor;
* The ability to act and adapt quickly;
* Mad attention to detail;
* A born communicator, on and off the page;
* A strong desire to be a part of something new, exciting, and super fast-paced.

*And to wrap up today’s varied group of leads (and with a tip of the hat to dcrtv.com), WBAL Radio in Baltimore is looking for a news anchor/reporter/writer:

NEWS ANCHOR / REPORTER / WRITER — WBAL RADIO. WBAL Radio, a 50kw, major market heritage station is seeking an experienced reporter / anchor / writer to become a part of our team of authoritative news voices. Must be an aggressive self-starter, with a contemporary writing style and professional, pleasant, conversational delivery. We are seeking an applicant with a proven track record and strong story-telling skills. Must embrace the multiple platform philosophy. Requires a minimum of three years prior radio news experience, preferably in a news/talk or all-news environment. College degree is desirable, but work experience is taken into consideration. Experience with AP’s ENPS, Audio Vault and Adobe Audition is helpful. Applicants should be proficient at conducting interviews, gathering and editing audio, and operating news studio control board. Must have excellent news judgment and the ability to act quickly in emergency situations. Credibility and creativity are a must. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. EOE. Email resumes and airchecks to: msmiller@hearst.com, Mark Miller, News Director.

Happy hunting!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

How to pitch your skills “after a certain age” How to handle a “short stay” on your resume

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

DC Works has moved!

I'm now blogging at dcworks.info. I hope you'll join me there!

%d bloggers like this: