Realizing Your Job Search Potential

By Cynthia Sutherland

You’ve been screened on your job skills and experience prior to an in-person interview. What’s left is to convince the organization you’re the right person, i.e., to realize your job search potential. How do you get the job?

by Hephaestas, GFDL, from Wikimedia Commons, in the public domain

Slinky Toy, by Hephaestas, GFDL, from Wikimedia Commons (in the public domain)

As I was about to write this post, I asked my Job Search Circle human resources group (all experienced HR leaders): “What do you view as the biggest key to a successful job search?” Their advice wasn’t about job search tactics and techniques. They advised candidates to be positive and resilient, because being positive affects every aspect of your life.

The interviewing part of the job search process involves stages of dialogue and relationship-building. The recruiter, often an internal HR person, is your partner. That person’s role is to find and recommend the candidate who “fits” the job profile the best.

What helps this partnership flourish is being a candidate who stands out by projecting a positive outlook during all steps in the process. Why not let that winning candidate be you?

When my HR friends have interviewed people, they can tell how confident, adaptable, purposeful, i.e., how positive you are. What you’re thinking and feeling is as important as what you say. The recruiter picks up on whether someone is lower or higher in positive energy. That’s because your energy level translates into projecting how interested and capable you may be for the job. It’s an instant calibration of your fit in that moment.

My HR friends have some very practical suggestions taken from how they shift to a more positive stance in their own searches:

Join groups that make you feel more positive, not just those that offer job search information.
Reach out when you need a boost: know where you can go in advance – friends and family members, groups, exercise, classes, a place, or a coach.
Try little behavioral tricks: practice a victory pose or power stance (in private) prior to an interview. Hold your arms up in a “V” for victory pose. Small things really do shift your energy.
Use laugh therapy: watch a funny movie, remember a funny story/event, or listen to a comedian you enjoy, and laugh. People often use this to regain their health and wellness.

Being positive is really an outcome of being resilient. My HR advisors reminded me that resilience is not about controlling your emotions, becoming complacent, giving in, or relying on others to get you in the right mood.

HR says that resilience is you focusing on your individual strengths in the face of a tough situation, i.e., feeling your best regardless. I view this as an ability to be like a slinky toy, moving forward when possible or making a U-turn to bounce back. The slinky is always whole in any position.

Job search, like all life changes, is about personal growth.

Cynthia Sutherland is a senior human resources professional, focusing primarily on diversity and inclusion and work-life.

© 2013 Blog to Work/Blogging your way to a job, All rights reserved

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