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January 17, 2011

Five Job Search Habits That Are Keepers

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Five job search habits that are keepers

By Kim Thompson, Career Rescue Blog

Habits can be a double-edged sword, some are great and others can be your worst enemy, keeping you from achieving your career dreams. This is a good time to look at your habits and jettison those that do not add depth to your career growth and enhance your job search.

When you think of a job search, think in terms of many pieces that are combined with a personalized touch to form your introduction. These include: Chemistry, work experience, and a communication style that makes you unique. While everyone has a unique job-search experience, there are core habits that create a solid foundation that every successful job seeker has in common.

The top five job-search habits that you should keep this year are:

1. Be persistent: Being persistent with your job search goals helps keep you focused and on track. It's easy to let your job search go by the wayside when employers are not responsive, but the one habit that will energize your search is persistence. Having a tenacious attitude keeps you moving forward.

2. Follow up: Following up is one habit that can make the difference between those who land a great opportunity and those who miss out. There are so many ways to follow up with people including e-mail, texting, phone calls, social networking, in-person meetings and letters. Remember that following up lets you send an image of motivation and is a powerful way to keep your name in front of a decision maker.

3. Network: Network and continue to develop a broad list of contacts -- people you've met through various social and business functions -- and use them to your advantage when you look for a job. While networking, maximize every chance you get to hand out your networking business card. You never know when you will meet someone who is looking for your type of job skills and qualifications.

4. Stay connected: Keep yourself in the loop by maintaining a good presence online as well as in person. Stay connected to the trends in your field by attending professional association meetings and reading trade journals that discuss current and future trends in your field. Those who stay connected increase their chance of uncovering a great opportunity.

5. Give back: A successful job search is made up of exchanging information. It's a two-way street of sharing conversation, time and information with people. Volunteering is a great way to help people and keep your skills current. Giving back sends a message of goodwill that comes back to you in unexpected ways.

Keeping these five habits will help your job-search efforts and your career in general. Success in life largely depends on the habits you keep, and developing awareness of what works for you is crucial as you move into 2011. Good habits free you from an unproductive job search, and at the end of the day these habits will give you a sense of achievement.

Kimberly Thompson, M.Ed. is a National Board Certified Counselor and has provided career transition workshops and career counseling for more than 20 years. Thompson has written widely on issues dealing with job search and is a syndicated columnist for a weekly column and blog called "Career Rescue".

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