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I spend hours each week working with job seekers on their career goals and aspirations. Often, what makes someone stand out from other candidates isn’t what you’d think.

It’s not their education or technical expertise. It’s rarely how many certifications they have. Successful job seekers work to become their best at a few key traits, including confidence, persistence, creativity, and positivity.

These traits don’t take tons of money to develop, but they do take time and effort. By honing thees traits, you will put yourself in front of the competition.

  1. Confidence – Successful job seekers believe in themselves and their abilities. They are comfortable communicating why they are the best candidate for the job. And, even if they don’t have all of the qualifications preferred, they can easily explain how they will grow their skills. Bottom line, they are comfortable being their own sales person. They realize that their talents are the service they’re selling — and they realize they’re the best salesman for the job.
  2. Persistence – Most people who consistently land good job after good job are very persistent. Just because they don’t get every interview or job offer, they keep moving. They also stay in touch with companies who have turned them down, in hopes of building a relationship for future opportunities. They know the right job could be around the very next corner, or the last corner. They don’t take things personally and they work to create lasting relationships.
  3. Creativity – The best job seekers are also creative in their search. They may apply online for the jobs they’re interested, but they don’t stop there. They look for ways to connect to employers outside of the typical internet process. They understand that hundreds of people apply for every job online, and they want to find a way to stand out — and to connect offline. Look for these people at networking meetings, and researching employers on LinkedIn.
  4. Positivity – Great job seekers experience disappointment, just like everyone else. They encounter lots of nos before they get a yes. And sometimes, they get offers they have to turn down. But, they keep moving forward and stay positive. They know that the right attitude will help to land them right right job.

As you can see, finding a job often has more to do with resilience than with job requirements.

Making up 100 reasons why you aren’t getting hired doesn’t help you. But, thinking of the 100 reasons you should get hired will. Stay focused on the positives and stay in the game.

Apply for jobs you know you can do, even if you don’t meet every requirement. Be ready to explain how you get overcome any knowledge gaps.

In addition, you shouldn’t expect your next job to happen immediately. It’s a process that takes time. It’s very rare for someone to find a job the day they decide they’d like one. Sometimes, it appears that this is happening because you don’t hear about someone’s new job until they announce it. In all likelihood though, they were working on getting hired for a long time.

Some might compare job searching to farming. You have to plan seeds, water them, and then be patient. Eventually, with the right nutrients, your plants will grow. Looking for a job is the same way. It takes hard work and persistence, but eventually you will find the job for you.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search.

Also, please check out (and subscribe to) my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. Thanks.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


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