CPR for Job Seekers

Updated: November 15, 2010

From experience as a job seeker, a recruiter, a personnel director, and CEO; I've been through it all. I know how tough the competition is in the job market, but I also understood very early, that there are key traits that the successful job seeker possesses. They are Confident, Prepared, and Reliable, or as I like to call it CPR.

Confident: To believe in oneself.

Don't be fooled into mistaking Arrogance for Confidence. The arrogant job seeker believes that no one is better that they are, while the confident job seeker believes that they are the best. One is more a negative thought and leads the arrogant job seeker into paths that we should all avoid. The way to be confident and stay confident, even amidst all of the economic problems of the world, is to outline your own strengths to yourself before conveying them to others. Focus on what you're great at, this is your "niche," this is what separates you from all the rest. Simultaneously find where your weaknesses are, and work to improve them. Once you have conquered a weakness, it supplies you with strength. At the job interview, let the person interviewing you in on your strengths and weaknesses. Be clear in the fact that you are well aware of them, but daily work to improve them. Don't wait for the question what are your weaknesses? Answer it in the same breath as your strengths, this is true confidence. You admit where you need improvement and are proactive in making that improvement for yourself.

Prepared: To be ready for anything.

Don't just prepare for the interview, prepare for getting the position. Your mindset should be focused on the wonderful things you and this new organization can do. Focus on the positive, a new opportunity, a new career, a new life, etc. Once your mindset is on positivity, any question that may be asked that perhaps "makes you nervous," can be fielded accordingly. The best interviewers are always ready for anything be it negative or positive, all because they guide the conversation under their terms. That is the key, remember, you're there to find out about the company and to let the company know about you. Your priority is to outline why you are the best choice for this position, so lead the conversation, don't let it lead you. Research the organization, find out what they do, who their affiliates are, positive and negative publicity, arm yourself with knowledge so that perhaps you know how to help them progress in this area or overcome this hurdle. Prepare yourself.

Reliable: To have the flexibility when needed.

Many job seekers say that they can start ASAP or that they don't mind overtime, etc. Well think about this from a boss' position…here you have a candidate that says they don't "mind" working overtime, but here is a candidate that says they are available for overtime in order to help the company. See the difference in the statements? As a boss, we are gauged at determining whether or not this person will be a productive member and available when needed or not. By interchanging the sentences you're used to saying with other sentences which show your willingness to cooperate, you convey that you are ready for anything in a moment's glance.

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