September 16th, 2010
Be a Superstar Job Seeker!

You have to be a Superstar Job Seeker to get the job of your dream. To be able to navigate the job search super highway and quickly set yourself aside to be ‘the one,’ that special ‘one’ that gets the job of your choice, you have to be a Superstar Job Seeker.

Be a Superstar Job Seeker

Written by Catherine Adenle

To win in today’s job market, you have to be a Superstar Job Seeker. Fierce – that’s the word that describes the current job search situation in today’s economy. To be able to navigate the job search super highway and quickly set yourself aside to be ‘the one,’ that special ‘one’ that gets the job of your choice, you have to be a Superstar Job Seeker.

The definition of a Superstar is a person, who is esteemed for exceptional talent, and is eagerly sought after for his or her services. If you are currently not a Superstar Job Seeker and you are looking for employment, then you are going to be searching for a long time. The good news is that it is not too late to be a Superstar Job Seeker and the truth is, you don’t have to look like Brad Pitt to be a Superstar Job Seeker because before you are seen, your  CV and Cover Letter will speak on your behalf. So both should have the all important X factor too.  Trust me; it is no way near enough that you are experienced, competent, smart, and reliable. With so many other qualified professionals seeking employment, your self-marketing must be hotter and gleaming than magma. You should always look to ‘wow’ your potential employers by making a memorable, not easily forgotten great impression.

How do you do this? Well, to be a Superstar Job Seeker, you need to:

1. Prepare a stunningly catchy elevator speech

Elevator speeches are intended to prepare you for very brief, chance encounters in an elevator. Well, don’t take this literally – an elevator speech is not just for elevators! It is a speech that you should use whenever you want to introduce yourself to a new contact.

How to be a Superstar Job Seeker - Elevator Pitch

You never know when the opportunity will come knocking. You never know who you’ll run into at the Supermarket, your local café, in the line at a bookshop, in a party or in an elevator. It is important that you prepare a succinct but highly memorable speech. Your elevator speech should be short (15-30 second, 150 words). It is a sound bite that succinctly and memorably introduces you. It must spotlight your uniqueness and the focus must be on the benefits you provide as a person.

The key is in how you effortlessly deliver your speech.  If you want to network successfully, you need this elevator speech! So, know what your skills are and how to communicate them. You should be able to tell prospective employers and others that you meet their criteria or supersede it in what you can offer. You should also be able to talk about how your skills relate to the industries that interest you.

Having a well rehearsed, introductory statement that you can whip up on anyone is such a huge confidence builder. If you are in an elevator and you are actively in the job market, everyone i.e. everyone that can hire you or knows someone who can hire you is 6 degrees away from your dream job. Having the speech, as your virtual business card ready for use is crucial. Let this brief statement give your listener a peek-a-boo look into your personality. Write and rewrite, practice and refine. Once you have your elevator speech ready, that’s the first step for you to be a Superstar Job Seeker.

See: Prepare Your Elevator Speech by Monster

See: Tell me about yourself (Video) – NescoResourcesChannel

 

2.   Know your industry

To be a Superstar Job Seeker, you have to know your industry like the back of your hand. Many professionals become too comfortable in their zones and don’t seek to acquire any new skills or predict what may be needed in the future in order to remain on centre stage. You have to be a Subject Matter Expert (SME). What that means is that you should research your industry so that you know the ins and outs. You have to be aware of any emerging technology, trends and have your finger on the pulse of things.

Remain current on any issues or developments in your field, read trade journals or professional publications, and subscribe to pertinent RSS feeds online. It is extremely impressive during an interview if you know about the latest merger or takeovers in the industry. What this will do for you is that you will blow all your competitors out of the water because you can offer  trending knowledge and competitive skills, which cannot be easily found in anyone else, and certainly, will wow the potential employer, knock their socks off and get you the job.

Web 2.0 gives you the opportunity to promote yourself and your skills. It provides multiple formats, platforms and tools to allow you to tell the world about ‘YOU’.

3. Look and act like a Superstar!

If you want to be a Superstar Job Seeker, you might want to spend some time revitalizing your image. You can experiment with that new hairstyle you have been thinking about. Upgrade your wardrobe to ensure that you have just the right outfit for your job interview. Ensure that you do whatever will make you look good and feel good about yourself. It is important that you package yourself like a Star. Ok, listen, I am not asking you to look like Lady Gaga in one of those her outfits but my point is that a polished physical appearance, CV, covering letter, presentation and professional attire do matter!

You need to sprinkle some star dust on your candidacy packaging. Flicker with the right brand as a subject matter expert and with confidence aimed at the right audience; then look chilled and not frazzled, then gaze at how your super stardom, star-struck potential employers react to you. Have a swagger that is cool, calm, and enthusiastic but above all shows confidence and not cockiness. However, be courageous and blow your own trumpet a little, promote and show case your talent. Don’t make the mistake of not tooting your own horn, I bet you don’t want a rusted horn. Ensure you can ‘radiate’ your competency on cue. Trust me, if you exude that special ‘je ne sais quoi’ and a bankable glow, someone is bound to scoop you up right into your dream job.

4.   Network like there is no tomorrow!

Are you on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook? These Social Network sites and the Internet are powerful and they can help you to get back to work fast. Remember, a Superstar Job Seeker will be into Social Networking.

Want to be a Superstar Job Seeker - Use Networking tools

If you are not using any of these freely available Web 2.0 Tools yet, this is the time to start using them.

Web 2.0 gives you the opportunity to promote yourself and your skills. It provides multiple formats, platforms and tools to allow you to tell the world about ‘YOU’.

For online career information, see Ten of the Best Career Related Sites and The top 50 Job Resources to view hundreds of thousands of job listings on the web. Also see this list of the Best Web 2.0 Tools for Job Seekers. If you are using Twitter to job search, see the 10 users to follow.

To be a Superstar Job Seeker, whatever you do though, always remember to be positive and professional in the way you present yourself at all times on these sites. A picture of you dancing with a traffic cone positioned on your head in the middle of the street after a drunken rave is not the type of picture to share on your networking site for palpable reasons.

Word of Mouth (WOM) is also very important. Talking to or contacting people you know to find job leads is the most effective way to find a job. Most people find a job through personal contacts. People we already know such as our friends and family, our former colleagues and people we meet when we go out and during our normal everyday lives. Don’t forget that personal contacts are also the people who our friends and family know. Only a small percentage of jobs are advertised in local newspapers and only a small percentage of people who find a job get one from answering an advertisement in a local newspaper.

Remember that most people who look for work go after advertised openings. Therefore, you increase your chances of getting hired by networking with personal contacts to find unadvertised job leads. Approximately 60% of job hunters find their new job with the help of friends, family members and acquaintances.   So, you should be sure that as many people as possible know that you are looking for a job. That way they can help you find a job faster!

Think of the people you know and make more of an effort to meet with people, and use these conversations to ask their advice, to make them aware of your job search, to use your elevator speech, to learn more about their jobs or their organizations, and to get the names of others who might be useful in your job search.

5. Jazz up your CV

To be a Superstar Job seeker, you have to realise that the way we approach  job searching is rapidly changing. We are at the point now where people get discovered on the web for their skills. I bet there were other equally talented teenage boys in the world that sang and performed well when Justin Bieber was discovered. Why was he discovered and not the others? Well, he was not afraid to demonstrate and showcase his talent by putting himself out there on the Web. 

Justin Bieber was discovered in 2008 by Scooter Braun, who saw Bieber’s videos on YouTube and later became his manager. Braun arranged for him to meet with Usher, and Bieber was soon signed to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture between Braun and Usher, and then got a recording contract with Island Records .

Ok, admittedly, your Super stardom as a job seeker will not make you the next big thing in the music scene especially if like me you can’t sing a tune to save your life! And I am not saying that you will become the next Justin Bieber either but my point here is that just your solid traditional CV and skills alone may not do the trick because there are so many traditional solid CV out there too.

Employers are now increasingly looking in many different online places for applicable skills, talent and that X factor.  They are using social networking sites including Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and the other social networking platforms. If you are in the market for a new job, you should be using all of your online profiles and visual CV to help position yourself as an ideal candidate. So, consider a bold option and do a narrative bio, or have a pre-formatted CV posted on social networking sites like LinkedIn. For more on this, see InnovateCV or VisualCV to create an online CV that includes all the facets of a traditional CV, with add-ons like images, video, and links to your accomplishments. You can also link your visual CV to your LinkedIn profile. Be sure to make reference to previous employers, job titles, dates of employment and responsibilities whenever appropriate. Follow the right people and let your connections know you are looking for a new job but don’t become a pest.

6.  Have a plan

When you are searching for a job, to be a Superstar Job Seeker, your current role is that of a ‘job search manager’, so searching for a job is your job! Don’t take your jobless period as the period to roll out of bed at 1pm, potter around your house in your flowery pyjamas, vegetate and watch day time TV while you dunk biscuits into a mug of tea.

Have a Plan to be a Superstar Job Seeker

Don’t get sucked into the ‘I have no choice’ talk phase.   You have to dust yourself off and set your own agenda. You have to see yourself as someone whose work is to find a job. Be your own “boss” and be self-disciplined. If you are not networking physically, then begin your work day at 9am sharp every working day. Take an hour for lunch, and give yourself a couple of breaks during the day.

Plan your work by covering all the steps in your job search.  First, develop an overall plan listing all of the steps involved in your job search. Under each step, list the actions needed to finish that step. Then, access your skills and research the job market. Next, develop your CV and learn how to write an effective cover letter. Finally, learn how to perfect your pitch and how to ace job interviews.

At first, this may seem a tad overwhelming, but if you organize your time carefully you will enjoy the process. It is helpful to get in the habit of making a “To Do” list every day.

Each day, resolve to complete most tasks on the list. Start recording every contact you make regarding your job search, noting times, dates, names, and what happened. Then, be sure to keep a list of important leads and follow-up with them as soon as possible. Visit people, call and make use of the great resources on the internet. This will help you to be a Superstar Job Seeker.

7.    Banish negativity

Don’t get disgruntled if you are still looking for a job and it seems like everyone you know has an offer. Most experienced job seekers often search for months before finding the right opportunity. You have to unplug yourself from negativity and create positivity to improve your job search. Focus on what can be instead of the obstacles, create a new opportunity in your mind and work towards it.

Remember that job hunting takes time and energy. So it is important to become a Superstar Job Seeker, remain confident, cool and collected but prepared.

Let me hear from you if you have other tips to share. Add your comments below.

Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping you to explore your career at any stage.

Latest posts by Catherine Adenle (see all)

56 thoughts on “Be a Superstar Job Seeker!

    • Thanks for dropping by and for your lovely comments. Don’t be discouraged, you have to keep keeping on. Out there, there is a job of your choice with your name on it!

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  1. Great tips, especially the “Tell me about yourself” question – it’s THE most common question, and lots of people fall into the trap of it being so open ended – keeping it job related and focused on what you can do for the company is key!

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  2. Aside from the fact I no longer communicate with the person, I’m tempted to send the person this link. About a year of two before the recession, a former boyfriend/roommate lost his job. He posted his resume on Monster and refused to do anything else. He believed that if anyone was interested they would contact him. He felt he did his part in job hunting. What shocks me is that there seem to be a lot of people who think all they need to do is post on every job site and sit back and wait.

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  3. This is quite a timely article for me. Appreciate the tips. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an opportunity where I can break back into the field I studied for. Wish me luck!

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  4. A very useful resource for creating your elevator speech – http://www.15-secondpitch.com.

    Use Twitter to follow people you can learn something from. It’s okay if you don’t have anything to say – you can listen and learn a lot by following the right people.

    Use LinkedIn to connect with people, and study your connections’ connections, as well as people’s career paths. A study of people’s career paths could give you ideas on planning your career search.

    And of course, you can read and comment on my blog – http://www.themarketplaceconversation.com.

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  5. Thanks so much for the post. There is a ton of great information here. My issue has always been the networking, as my introverted nature doesn’t do me much good in that area.

    Thanks again for the advice!
    IshanaTM

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  6. Very good points and advice. I would also add something very basic (I worked in recruitment for years and you would be surprised how bad some CVs were….) write CLEAR CVs highlighting what’s relevant to the job you are applying for on top of every job you’ve had… bullet points are great- recruiters dont have time to read your entire CV- tell them what they need to know…that can easily be the difference if you will be called or not…

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  7. Hi, very comprehensive post, thanks – and well done for getting freshly pressed! Personally I wasn’t grabbed by those 2 CV sites you mention. The samples on the homepages looked a bit corporate to me, as did their sites in general, but I didn’t delve much further to be honest.
    Can anyone suggest a few good (preferably free) WP themes to build a slick, but simple, online CV covering journalism, marketing, blogging, SM experience please?
    Thanks!
    Jools

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  8. Great tips! It was a good refresher for me. I’ve been out of work for a little while now, and have forgotten some, while some where new.
    Thanks!

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  9. Great Article…. I do have a job but i felt like i need to be in an environment where i could grow and learn more…. not drag myself out of bed everyday…. suggestions on things to do to keep my mind sharp?

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  10. Great advise, especially the info about social media. It really is the best way to spread the word quickly. Thanks

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  11. Wow, there’s a lot of great information in this post. Well done on such a thorough assessment of career requirements.

    Congrats also on a great overall blog. There are lots of terrific resources here and you should be proud of your creation.

    Cheers,

    Darren

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  12. I definitely think that the biggest one is to banish negativity, which is one of the hardest things you can do when you’re job searching, especially when you keep on getting rejected. I think knowing the company that you’re applying to as best as you can doesn’t hurt to surprise them and show them you’ve done your research.

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  13. Heey, Congrats on being on the cover, freshly pressed. However, heard it all before, and if you are a baby boomer, like I am, even thought I don’t “look” it, your chances are rather limited and re-invention is the way to go even if you had a ‘specialty’ in the eighties and nineties. if your are an older unemployed person, allow yourself to sleep-in at least one day during the “work week” other wise the stress and high-blood pressure tendencies will make you “unemployable”. Work the system before it kills you by working your mind to death as the wolves ( rent,ATT,electic bill, water bill, keeping i-net on, et al) scratch at your screen door. It will all work out one way or another I agree.

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  14. This is BRILLIANT.
    I am temping at a company and was just on the phone to the director who proceeded to grill me on my plans and wants. If only I had read this 4 mins earlier!

    So true, how it’s good to have a little ‘speech’ in the bag. Ready to pull out at odd and opportune moments.

    meandmybiro.wordpress.com

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  15. the elevator speech is a great idea. It hasn’t helped me yet, but at least I try. BTW – depending upon what market you are in – social networking sites like twitter and facebook can be a huge negative. I am in a science field, and have never heard of someone being hired by what is on Facebook – but I have heard of people not being hired for that reason.

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  16. Great article 🙂 Right now I’m lucky to have a job, but I like to keep options open for the future.

    I started my blog a few months ago and just got Twitter recently. This has helped me to make really important connections! I’ve met dozens of contacts in my area and my field, plus some other job fields I’d like to explore someday. If I ever want to upgrade my job, I have many professionals in the area who know me well already. It’s a lot of fun, too!

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  17. I agree 100% with you: it’s much easier to look for a job and get one when you are self-confident, put yourself out there and are disciplined and methodic.
    However, I’d like to point out self-confidence and energy can easily disappear when you see all the tricks aren’t working. How can you keep it up in times like these?
    I just found my 1st job after a very long search, despite graduating from a top French business school and completing stellar internships. I’d advise anyone in my position to have an outlet to keep on developing their skills and feel useful and succesfull instead of job-searching 100% of their time if they see things aren’t working. I started my blog a month ago, used my marketing skills to build it up, have learnt so much through it, gained back confidence when the blog got Freshly pressed and gained more than 9,000 views from scratch. I felt much better in interviews as I could show I was active and could use my skills successfully.

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  18. Good advice. I just began a new job about a month ago after being with my former employer for about three and a half years. I think in addition to the advice you have in your post, it’s important to note that potential employers tend to want to hire employed people, not unemployed people. So, if people can do consulting work while unemployed or something to at least show that they are being productive, it will be a positive in the mind of the potential employer.

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  19. First time I hear about “Elevator Speech”. Come to think of it … yes, we do need to prepare such thing for moments with opportunities. You never know when it is going to happen. Such moments happen, and if you’re not prepared for it, then hhmmm…… (don’t know what to say).

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  20. great post i’m in fact pursuing my bachelors but would definitely start working on it early so that no chance of fall at all……. like the 4th point the best “4. Network like there is no tomorrow!” as its the god rule to be popular on social networkings ……

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  21. This is very relevant as I’m searching for a job for after I graduate in May.

    This seems to be more for people already in the industry… any specific tips for someone just about to graduate from college?

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  22. Thanks to every one for the lovely comments and feedback. You are the reason why I enjoy writing these articles. I am also delighted to know that WordPress fresh pressed the article – what an awesome feeling! Appreciated.

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  23. Very Good!

    I was looking at wordpress as the potential
    program to use for my site and ran into your blog.
    Great job, good content, clean and easy to read.

    You should be proud of yourself!

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  24. Wow!! These are so many helpful tips are collected together under a single URL. Job searching is an art and you have to devote time and energy to find the right job at the right place for yourself. I remember, whenever I go for an interview, I dress up all like a star with hair well combed, dress dry cleaned and shoes sparkling black. Leave your business card with name and contact no., email etc and don’t forget to thank the interviewer the next day via email for the opportunity. You never if the interviewer is in dilemma to select the candidate out of so many he interviewed yesterday, your thank you call may just solve his that dilemma 😉

    Thanks again for sharing these valuable tips.

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  25. FIERCE is right! I thought your post was incredible, and had so much better advice than what all the job sites say…. follow up, be creative, write thank you notes… blah blah blah. The point is, you have to know how to do a sales pitch! You have to market and sell yourself. Loved the post, and will share it with all my job searching friends.

    My blog is about success, career, relationships… oh, and shoes. I’ll be sharing this post and many others with my readers.

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  26. I wish my job seekers knew this stuff. I am in the process of hiring for a small NPO and let me tell you I am actually discouraged at the quality of candidates I am interviewing.

    I realize the market is bad but when someone comes to an interview as if they are expecting nothing, it sets a bad tone. Good post!

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  27. Congratulations on making it to Freshly Pressed! 🙂

    I’m a freelance copywriter and normally conduct my job searches online with clients who are either from the US or anywhere else around the world. I can actually apply some of your tips to becoming a Superstar job searcher like knowing your industry, improving your CV, networking, and getting rid of all the negativity in you. For me, these are very important if you want to score that new job or project.

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  28. Thanks so much for the post. There is a ton of great information here. My issue has always been the networking, as my introverted nature doesn’t do me much good in that area.

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  29. Pingback: Are You a Job Seeker? 6 Tips to Getting Hired! – My Blog

  30. Pingback: Need a job? Then, you need that X factor. That ‘je ne sais quoi’ to get you noticed by potential employers and also get you somewhere you desire to be in life. | CHANGECENTRALPRO

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