5 Ways to Make Your Own Luck and Score a New Job
Need a little luck in your job search? Maybe you’re rubbing a lucky rabbit’s foot or holding a four-leaf clover to bless your job search with that Irish luck. It’s tempting to rely on luck to get the job you want, especially with the proximity of Saint Patrick’s Day. But instead of relying on a charm, try making your own luck to get that job.
Get ahead start on your job search by staying consistent and maintaining a forward momentum. Luck will only find you if you pursue the opportunities that present themselves. So, instead of wishing you luck, we thought we’d offer 5 things you can do to create the luck you need to land your dream job.
#1 Be interested in the employer
One of the most common ways to lose the interest of a potential employer is to be focused only on what they can do for you, and not communicating how you can help them meet their needs. Employers want to see that you’re vested in their company, as well as suited for the job for which they’re hiring. Moreover, they want to see what talents and skills you can bring to the table. When you’re telling your stories about yourself, be sure to translate your experiences and skills to the ways you’ll help the employer.
Show how you’ll add value to the organization and how you can:
- Save money and time
- Increase ROI
- Provide leadership and mentoring
- Contribute to a positive workplace
- Solve problems
- Be adaptable and flexible
- Demonstrate resilience and patience
Instead of hoping potential employers will instantly see these qualities within you, illuminate these qualities during your interview by telling stories about how you’ve accomplished these areas in previous work or personal environments. Developing your soft skills, such as adaptability and flexibility, are as important as those hard skills required to do your job. If you aren’t communicating how you are a good fit for the workplace culture, your luck may run out.
#2 Personalize your documents
It sounds easier to have a general resume and cover letter to send out to all jobs of interest, doesn’t it? But, this strategy impedes your interview chances and lowers your chances of getting called in for an interview. Instead of using a general resume and cover letter, tailor the documents for each position.
It’s not as daunting as it may sound. Get started by reviewing the job description for the job you’re seeking. Carefully review the position for which the company is hiring and edit your documents to effectively answer the needs of that position. Be sure to incorporate keyword phrases in your resume’s career summary, job history, and key achievements. For your cover letter, touch on your soft skills, such as personality and strengths.
A key factor here is to always follow the instructions in the job description. This includes:
- Applying via a specific email or online job portal
- Sending the correct documents (e.g.: only a resume or a resume and cover letter)
- Providing requested information such as desired salary, availability, and references
Not following the directions can be a quick way to ruin your chances at a potential interview, so be sure to follow the application instructions correctly. If you aren’t comfortable giving a salary requirement up front, don’t skip the question all together. Instead, try putting in something like, “market rate” or “commensurate with responsibilities”.
#3 Keywords matter
Because your resume must pass the Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) system first, you need to incorporate relevant keywords. Where do you find these keywords? Your best source for relevant keywords come from the job description.
Research the job description to find repeated keywords that indicate the employer’s immediate needs. Or, you can copy and paste the job description into a word-cloud program. The word-cloud will point out the primary keywords and you can copy those into your resume.
Try to be strategic with these keywords and avoid simply placing them in a separate paragraph. Drop keywords sparingly in your career summary, core skills, and throughout your job history. But, take care not to stuff your resume with keywords. More is not always better. The best approach is to make sure your resume still makes sense and reflects your actual abilities and strengths, and mirroring the language of the employer to describe yourself.
#4 Play the numbers game
Maybe your lucky number will pop up during your job search, and maybe not. Did you know that there’s a strategic way to use numbers in your job search? This method gives you the advantage to get immediately in front of your potential employer. It works like this:
- Apply for a job within the first 72 hours that it’s been posted
- Submit your resume and cover letter within the first week to a job posting
- Send an application on the 2nd day of the week (Tuesday morning)
- Try to schedule your interview on the 2nd or 3rd day of the week
Researchers have discovered that applying on Tuesday mornings is best. This reason is that Mondays are typically a catch-up day for most employers and Fridays are reserved for wrapping up the week right before the weekend.
You may not have control over the day and time of the interview, but if you are given a choice, or asked for your availability, try to respond with days and times that will be optimum for the people interviewing you. For instance, you may want to offer times before noon, as that is when you and your interviewer will have the highest level of energy and focus. Suggest a Tuesday or Wednesday and try to avoid Monday and Friday.
#5 Use your charms
Making a good impression is a key factor in your job search. Strive to express your personality on your LinkedIn profile, over the phone, and especially during the interview. Using your personality and charm is a good way to help secure an invitation to interview, or even an offer, from a company that will ultimately be a good fit for you.
You’ve heard of “dress for success,” which essentially means to look presentable for the job to which you are applying. In addition to dressing appropriately for the intended job, do try to be relaxed and act casually during the interview. Avoid sounding like a robot and let the employer get a feel for your personality. Maintain a professional demeanor while revealing enough about yourself to appear relatable and friendly.
A little extra luck
Still hoping for a little extra luck? There’s nothing wrong with having that lucky charm or wearing a special article of clothing that’s always brought you good fortune. Some people eat their favorite, energizing meal prior to job hunting or even an interview. Others wear a lucky tie, bracelet, or even socks. This type of mental shift can give you a boost of energy and the confidence you need to continue with your job search.
Despite the popularity of Saint Patrick’s Day, don’t leave your job search to luck. Create your own fortune by staying consistent in your job hunting, networking, and following up. Good luck!