Terry Szwec, consultant with The Coach to Win, has gathered the results from 16,000 documents of how people landed their jobs over the past 16 years. I’m sure you can appreciate there were hundreds of examples he had to sift through to come up with 10 ways that candidates succeed in their job searches … and you’re hearing it here first:

1.   Have a goal and a high level of specificity.

      Figure out where you want to be and what you want to do; not an easy assignment. Do a self assessment. Find out who you are and what exactly you bring to a position. Eliminate options.

2.   Design and organize a focused campaign. Ask people who they know that they can refer you to for an information interview or a job, be prepared to be specific. Brainstorm with people, ask questions galore. Commit to 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Pretend you are a consultant to yourself, stay focused and directed to achieve what you set out to do each day and week.

3.   Set up 5 eye ball to eye ball Advice Calls per week. Initially you are going for quantity not quality. Book 4-5 meetings per week to start and after 3 or 4 weeks shift to quality rather than quantity of 1-2 per week. Practice makes perfect. For more information on Advice Calls check out Chapter 7 of the book “Networking How to Build Relationships That Count,” by yours truly.

4.   Best convincer wins the interview. Likeability and convincing skills outrank technical skills. Ask the infamous question going into the interview, “What needs to be done in the first 90 days?” Don’t give so much data, instead, learn to sell yourself. Interviewers eliminate on data not on likeability, unless it is solely technical skills they need.

5.   Dress, image and non verbal behavior. While job hunting, men need a 2 button suit with no floral ties or beards, and women need a small print on their blouses, no cologne and an up-to-date hair style. Take time to read the interviewer, slow down your speech, be confident and watch your body language, lean in for an important point and make eye contact!

6.   The A, B, C’s of referral meetings. Your ultimate goal is to get to the people in the C group. Someone you meet, an A person,  suggests you meet a B person who in turn introduces you to an C person who is a decision maker or hiring manager.(See www.thecoachtowin.com for strategies and details.)

7.   Learn how to sell. Learn your features (skills) and prepare how your benefits (accomplishments) can work best towards fulfilling the needs of the company in this posted position. Ask, “On a scale of 1-10, what ranking would you give me as being qualified for this job?” Then ask, “What would I need to do or have to get to a 10?”

8.   Are you someone you could sit next to on an airplane for four hours? Are you comfortable in your own skin? The interviewer wants to imagine taking you on client lunches, to out of town business meetings or introducing you to senior management, can you walk the talk, do you fit the bill?

9.   Flexibility and adaptability with interviewers. You need to be able to excel at Behavioral interviews and Q&A interviews. You need to be able to interview well with HR professionals and hiring managers.

10.    Follow through and continuation of the dialogue. After an interview send a (non-cutesy) thank you letter or card, within 36 hours. Use linen paper if you are typing the letter and a photographic or artistic card if you hand writing a note. To really go the extra mile, send a “thank you for the opportunity card” if you don’t get the job.
Terry Szwec also suggests that even if you don’t get the job, call in 60 days to see how things have worked out with the chosen candidate. Check out Terry’s website for further tips and explanations on these 10 points at www.thecoachtowin.com.


Clarke, Career Specialist and Corporate Trainer


Author of Networking How To Build
Relationships That Count
and How To Get A Job and Keep It