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The Key To Success Is All Upstairs

19th Jan 2015


Hello all and welcome to 2015. I hope you’ve had wonderful holidays and are refreshed and recharged for the New Year. I know what some of you are probably thinking, ‘another blog piece from Chris Braae, can 2015 get any better?’ well yes, yes it can. Brendon McCullum can hit Mitchell Johnson for so many sixes his moustache falls off and Dan Carter can score more than Casanova at a speed dating event and New Zealand will be world champions of cricket and rugby. But enough about certainties, time for a few possibilities for you in the New Year.  

This is the second piece I have written to assist candidates in their search for the perfect job. In the first piece my main focus was on trying to break down some of the stereotypes in the idea of ‘dress for success’. 

In this piece I will look at the one thing which I personally feel is the most important for you, my fellow graduates, to land yourself the dream job. I will add a similar disclaimer to my previous piece; I don’t know everything and am just trying to give some good advice. So what, for me, is the single most important possession throughout your job hunt? Is it the university degree? No. Is it the fancy suit sitting in your closet? Nice try. Is it the previous jobs you have worked? No. The single most important thing you can have in any job search is a fantastic attitude. 

Now this may seem simple or obvious but there is a lot more to it than just smiling and being polite. For me there are two key things to take into account that will help you make yourself appear as the perfect candidate.

The first element of attitude which I think is so crucial is to have is an unfailing ability to back yourself. This can manifest itself in a number of ways. Firstly, you should have the utmost confidence in your ability to do every job you apply for. When I landed this job the advertisement was suggesting ideal candidates would have a couple of years experience. All I had was the faith in myself to succeed in the role and I guess that came across when I interviewed with Xpand. 

Further to this idea of backing yourself is the idea that everything you have done is relevant. As a graduate, nobody is expecting you to have the perfect background but you need to realise what your experiences really mean. A summer spent labouring or a part time job as a pizza driver shows you’re willing to make things happen (I’m guessing Dominos didn’t head hunt you personally) and take on extra responsibility. These are wonderful qualities any employer wants to have in employees. Never fall into the trap of thinking you don’t have any ‘real’ experience. Every experience is real and if you’ve never worked in the industry that can potentially be a bonus for your application. It means you won’t have any preconceptions about the job or industry and that you can be more open to learning.

The second part of attitude that I think is crucial for anyone on the job hunt is to be able to bounce back. If you miss out on a role, do you have the right to feel disappointed? Of course. There is usually significant time invested when applying for a job and you are well within your right to be upset if it doesn’t work out. But if you start taking it personally or if you feel it is unfair that no opportunities have worked for you then you will be holding yourself back. 

The hard reality is that even though you may feel like the ideal candidate for a job, the reason you missed out was because there was someone else better suited. This does not have to be a negative reflection on your skills but is the reality of the job market. There are always a lot of people applying for any given job and no employer would refuse you for a job if they thought you were the best candidate. If you miss out on a role the only thing to do is to take feedback on board and move on to the next opportunity. Try not to dwell and instead strive to improve your resume or interview technique for next time.

I know what some of you are thinking. Easy for him to say, he’s a recruiter. Well firstly, I can only speak for colleagues and myself, but telling someone their application is unsuccessful is never easy or fun. In a job that delivers massive highs, rejections are definitely the lows that balance everything out. Secondly, I know what it’s like out there. Before I started at Xpand after graduating I must’ve applied for about 20 jobs. Of those I heard back from 3. It’s tough for everyone but if you stay positive, eager and have an unfailing confidence in yourself (not to be confused with arrogance) the results will come. 

As always, I’d love to hear feedback so let me know what you think. Cheers for reading.