How to Be a Fearless Job Hunter

In these days of long-term unemployment and stagnant wages, is it possible to job search without fear? Maybe not -- but some people get closer than others, or at least learn to fake it better. Picking up some of their strategies can help you make good decisions about your next move, and increase your chances of impressing hiring managers.


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Learnvest recently interviewed two experts on the subject of fearless job hunting. Psychologists Bill Knaus, an expert in personnel selection, and Russell Grieger, an organizational consultant, are the authors of the book Fearless Job Hunting: Powerful Psychological Strategies for Getting the Job You Want. Based on their research, the book shows job seekers how to hone their communication skills, while also becoming more resilient during the difficult process of finding a job.

Among their advice:

1. Figure out what's holding you back.

Identifying the real issue underlying your problem will help you get out of your own way.

"For instance, if you're nervous that your resume isn't up to par, ask a mentor to critique it," writes Jane Bianchi at Learnvest. "Or if you're unsure of what to say in an interview, practice with a friend and videotape the session, so you can review it and improve upon your delivery."

2. "Pressure-proof" yourself.

Grieger says fearless job hunters have what he calls "high frustration tolerance." The thousand little things that irritate us and throw us off our game don't faze them as much, because they expect setbacks and direction changes.

Stop expecting perfection, either in yourself or in situations. Embrace the idea that things are going to come up, and that you'll do the best you can to handle them as they do. Your best is good enough.

3. Network.

Up to 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking. Knaus calls networking "the most important thing you can do" and "the biggest return for your time."

If you're having trouble getting yourself to make the effort, refer to item No. 1. If the issue is shyness, start with trusted colleagues and friends. If it's lack of confidence, ask for help reviewing your resume, practicing small talk, answering interview questions -- whichever area makes you feel the most insecure.

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