Looking for a job can be exciting, even energizing, as you contemplate the possibilities of different positions and the impact they could have on your career and your future.
However, as the weeks drag on with a steady stream of repetitive tasks—writing cover letters, submitting applications, participating in interviews—the initial thrill of the hunt may wane, dampening the disposition of even the most positive person.
Unfortunately, such creeping negativity could make a job search less likely to succeed. While your education, skills, and experience are important to potential employers, so, too, is your attitude.
Think for a moment about your favorite colleagues, and you’ll understand why attitude is so critical to success. You definitely want your teammates to have the skills and knowledge to do their jobs, but you’d much rather work with someone who is pleasant and positive than a person who is a negative jerk. Hiring managers feel the same way, and they’ll be judging your attitude during an interview.
“As much as you may think your resume makes or breaks your opportunity to get hired, it’s not the most important factor,” notes an article from Forbes. “While past work experience may qualify you for specific job roles, employers are always seeking out achievers and motivated performers. If your past experience is limited, but you walk into your interview with an optimistic, confident energy, people will notice.”
Here are a few tips to make sure you’re exuding that energy and maintaining the right attitude as you seek a new position:
Don’t be hostile or arrogant.
This probably seems obvious, but it’s worth remembering. As noted in an article from the Undercover Recruiter, if you don’t present yourself as approachable, a hiring manager is likely to move on to the next candidate. The same goes for showing the right amount of self-confidence. “Nobody wants to work with somebody who regards themselves as a gift from God,” the article says. “Even if you are amazing at your job and could well be the best candidate for the job, by no means should you start shouting this from the rooftops, it’ll only send your interviewer running a mile!”
Express positivity and optimism.
Smile as you greet your interviewer. If they ask how your job hunt is going, offer an upbeat response, even if you’re tired of the search. And don’t let a few rejections make you question your skills. Remember that you have much to offer as an employee. Be confident without being arrogant, describing your potential contributions to the company in clear and positive terms.
Don’t criticize former employers or coworkers.
It may be tempting to speak ill of particularly lousy bosses or colleagues when you’re asked about past positions. Don’t do it. “Maybe you were let go, and that is emotional,” says an article from Mashable. “But that shouldn’t bleed into your presentation—it’s negativity that the hiring manager doesn’t want to deal with. Your attitude and story need to always come across with positivity and confidence.”
Remember that a good attitude gives you power.
Just as a negative attitude tends to rub off on the people around you, a positive attitude can make them desire your company. If you’re talking to someone who is set to make a hiring decision, which image do you want to project? “When you are upbeat, people will…want you on their team,” says an article from Success Rockets. “You will connect with them to a greater extent, especially if they are positive people, too. Your words will be exuberant and powerful.”
As a job seeker, you’re probably going to have an occasional bad day, when it seems like you’re never going to break through and land the perfect position. That’s understandable. But if you remember the importance of attitude and focus on staying positive, you can overcome those downtimes and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward in all communication with potential employers.
Keep in mind that the best way to feel better about your search is to see it through to a successful conclusion, landing you in your dream job. Imagine yourself in that position, put a smile on your face, and stay positive. It might just help you make your dream come true.