As a career and life coach of more than a decade, it doesn’t take me long to spot the clients who always get job offers.
I have coached more than a thousand clients toward big career changes, and I can tell very quickly whether they have what it takes to make a major step right off the bat, or whether they'll need some extra coaching. The characteristics of people who always get the offer are consistent and predictable.
The good news is that these characteristics can be learned, as long as you know what they are. Here are the 5 things that people who always get job offers have in common:
1. They have a network.
I once had a client, we'll call her Mary, who I knew immediately would get every job she applied to. From our first session, I could tell that Mary was popping out of her skin with energy, excitement and motivation. She came from a big family and loved being social. So when it came to networking into companies, she had no problem. It seemed like she knew multiple people everywhere! And when she got an interview with a hiring manager at the ONE company she didn’t know anyone, a quick LinkedIn search revealed they had three acquaintances in common.
But you don’t have to have a large family or even be particularly social to have a network. Reconnecting with former colleagues, classmates and friends can be a fun and easy way to build connections. And having insiders pays off. They can give you the straight scoop on the company, put a good word in for you and help you confirm that this is a place you want to work. You'll be on a faster route to a more effective interview.
2. They look terrific.
And by terrific, I don’t mean that they’re good-looking. People who always get the job take care of themselves. They’re well-groomed, their nails look healthy, their shoes are polished, and their hair is done. Maybe they have a bit of cologne. They’ve had a good night sleep. You know the difference between a fresh apple on a tree and a smushed-up one with the flies buzzing around it on the ground? The people who get the jobs are those fresh apples.
3. They do their homework, and they show up prepared.
I had one client tell me that he was concerned about his interviewing skills. He has never not received a job offer. Yes, you read that double negative right. He has received an offer for every job he’s sought. And that’s ten years into his career. He does this by researching the company; He learns its history, reads any new public statements the company has made, and finds out who he is interviewing with. Of course, he also learns about the position. Is it new? If not, why is the person leaving? What skills is the company looking for and why? Much of this can be gleaned from the online job description or the initial human resources interview.
After he learns, he thinks about what he has to offer the company. Where are his skills a match? To prove he has done his work, he writes a one-pager on “What I hope to achieve for the company when I start this job” and leaves it with the interviewer. Even if his written points aren’t 100% on target, putting in that effort shows the kind of hard work, determination and positive contributory attitude that hiring managers seek.
4. They know why each job is right for them.
As discussed above, people who always get the job know what they have to offer. But just as importantly, they know what the job they're applying for offers them. This is not discussed directly at the interview, but they are keenly aware that this job will help them create the career they want. They can see a future for themselves at the company, or know that two years in this crazy place will set them up for the future. This job matters to them, and they know it. The interviewer will see that passion and conviction.
5. They live by the infamous: “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable."
That goes double for interviews. Get there early. See what’s happening in the waiting room, check out the vibe of the place. Go to the bathroom, fix your hair. Remember, you’re there to interview them too, so take a good look around and make sure this is an environment that works for you too.
Allison Task is a career and life coach who helps clients move through big transitions with humor, ease, and grace. She sees global clients virtually and local clients in her Montclair, NJ office. She is a sought-after public speaker and author of the best-selling Personal (R)evolution: How to Be Happy, Change Your Life, and Do That Thing You Always Wanted to Do.