Take the Initiative in Your Job Hunt


In my time as a recruiter there is one constant theme I saw from job seekers on a daily basis. Failure to take the initiative. If you want to stand out among the other job seekers, it might benefit you to do something different in order to break out of the pack.

Once a job seeker I interviewed came to my office to interview for a project manager job. He brought his laptop and almost immediately took charge of the meeting by opening up a presentation he had written the previous night. The presentation title was “Technical Project Manager for GoECart”. And it had some cool techie graphics along with our company logo.

For the next 15 minutes he walked us through his skills, how he would approach the job and how we would benefit by hiring him. It was an impressive display of unexpected initiative. And it made a huge impression on those of us interviewing him. We made him an offer shortly after that interview.

More job seekers need to do what he did.

Walking into an interview for the first time can be daunting for some people but if you you really want to work at that company you need to do something to demonstrate your interest and stand out. This is particularly true if a lot of other people are competing for that job. In a sea of applicants, the employer is looking for those who poke their head out of the water.

  • Job seekers need to do more research on the companies you are interviewing with. You should have at least 5 - 10 questions ready to ask the employer when its your turn to interview them.

  • And you need to ask more questions about the role and what the first 30 days will be like.

  • You should have a story ready to tell that illustrates your skills and the value you bring to any company. Too many of you are just “casually” interviewing.

I once got a job by simply writing a cover letter and overnighting it to the company CEO. There was no resume attached. I simply wrote a concise two page “business plan” for how I would approach the job. I got a call back the next day and had an offer within a week. The CEO said I blew him away with that approach.

Employers are looking for people who display a spark of interest in their company. Of course you’ll need to be qualified for the job too, but if you show just a little initiative you can stand out out and get the job you want.

TIP: check out a book called Don't Send a Resume. It contains some great ideas for taking the initiative.

This post was written by Chris Russell, the Mad Scientist of Online Recruiting and the founder of CareerCloud. Check out his social resume at profile.careercloud.com/chris