Have you ever wondered why it seems some people land new jobs quickly and others struggle for months without landing a great job.

Both people have terrific resumes, great skills, good GPAs, advanced degrees, and excellent references. So why does one get hired so quickly while the other is still looking? Some might say it is luck, and certainly there is an element of that. However, in job search, you have to make your own luck. How?

Here are 3 important elements to landing another job.

1. Immediately start treating the job hunt like a job

The sooner you start looking the better. In our two cases, the first individual started hunting immediately. She not only checked every want ad and internet service for jobs in her target location, but she also checked into places where she felt she could make a difference that had no jobs advertised. She spent eight hours each day on the hunt, turning over every stone to find new opportunities.

The second job hunter had a reasonable severance package and decided to take some time off. During that time he “dabbled” in job hunting but really didn’t give it his all. When he felt he was ready to go back to work, he had to explain why he had not been working. If you haven’t been working for a while, find something to make positive use of your time. Take a class, teach a class, or volunteer. All these efforts indicate that you are not sitting around being lazy, but rather improving yourself and your abilities during your search. 

2. Willingness to look beyond your immediate skill

Too often we are so focused on our previous job titles that we can’t see where our skills might be used in other disciplines. We spend unproductive time in trying to replicate what we had that we miss other opportunities.

Focus on how you can apply your skills to the various targeted companies, allowing them to see how you would fit in.

3. Network

The person who landed quickly engaged her network. Phone calls, social and professional networking sites, prior employers, friends, parents of friends, friends of friends and just about everyone she knew who might provide a connection to an opportunity. She called or emailed each one personally, even those she didn’t know well, with a request for any leads or connections.

The second person networked within their small social and professional internet communities, and friends. Beyond that, he asked people he knew to ask others if they knew of any openings instead of making the connections personally. Working through someone as opposed to making a direct connection greatly reduces the impact. Request that your contacts introduce you to their contacts. Then, reach out yourself – the more personal the contact, the better. This shows the person you contact that you take charge and are not afraid to move out of your comfort zone.

Of course, a powerful resume and a positive attitude all play a part in getting a job, but most job hunters have that. Quickly treating the job hunt as a job, opening your vistas and truly tapping into your network are three things you should consider if your job hunt has stalled.


Rick ChristensenRick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice

Rick has been a career consultant for over 25 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.

Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.

Contact Rick at: Rick@CareerDevelopmentPartners.com