If the job search is not going well for you, there are several ways through which you can improve your hireability.
Hey, it can’t hurt, right? What else have you got to do?
We assume you regularly update your resume and cover letter and tailor them to the job description. We assume you’ve researched how to dress for the interview, and that you’ve got a profile set up on LinkedIn.
If you’re still having trouble, you might consider changing some of your habits. Regular habits affect both you, and people’s perception of you. And we can always improve on what we’re doing.
Here are four habits that will positively affect your job search, and probably your whole life.
Helping others. Helping people makes them like you more, and often inspires them to help you in return. Help a friend, and they might help you when you need it. While that shouldn’t be the reason you do nice things, it can be a perk. Being generous with your time and energy is key to success. Volunteering is also a good way to meet new people, which is key to advancing your career. And doing good makes you feel good about yourself and boosts your confidence, which is a fundamental element of a successful life. Even if you don’t have the time to volunteer, make a habit of doing at least one good work a day, and watch your life change.
In a 2017 Deloitte study, 82% of interviewers told Deloitte they prefer applicants with volunteer experience, and 92% say volunteer activities build leadership skills,
Learning. Be a perpetual student. Learn a new language, learn a new skill, learn about the world. Learn something new every day. Adding to your knowledge and skills database will always make everything better. Read, take an online course, and take a course in real life. Set an intention of learning at least one new thing every day. Five is even better. Unverified “facts” you read about on the internet don’t count.
In a recent Ipsos Reid poll, willingness to learn ranked as the most desirable skill that hiring managers are looking for in young adults.
Writing. Writing helps you sort your thoughts, and become a better thinker and communicator. The job search usually requires a lot of writing, and so do many jobs. So, write. Get better at it. Keep a journal of your job search progress, make lists, and write about the things you learn. Then, if you get a few good articles or think pieces out of it, why not publish some of that stuff online? Or consider a service piece (also known as a ‘how to.’) If you’re an expert in something, or even just knowledgeable about something, consider writing an article about it and posting it on LinkedIn — the most active professional networking site –then sharing it with your audience. Writing articles isn’t just for writers. You can share your knowledge about anything – business, selling, plumbing, contracting, teaching- or whatever you do. This alerts people that you know what you’re talking about and might be a good hire.
Writing is one of the most sought-after skills by employers, according to a 2015 study.
Getting out of the house. It’s been said time and time again that showing up is half the battle. You’ve got to show up. While posting and networking online is essential, so is getting out and meeting people in person. Get out to networking events – which is literally every kind of event from an industry conference to someone’s birthday party to a coffee shop. This is because we don’t just meet valuable contacts in professional settings. I’ve met them seated next to me at coffee shops (yep), and in line for the movies. Interact with people. Make eye contact. Smile. Say hello. You never know who you might meet, but you do know you’re probably not going to meet them whilst sitting in your living room.
A 2016 survey by Lou Adler found that 85% of respondents found their jobs through networking.
Do these things every day, and I’ll bet things start changing pretty fast. Now, go outside.
See also: 7 reasons why someone else gets the job (and what you can do about them)