Yes, You’re Marketable. But Are You Likeable?

One of the top qualities hiring managers are looking for today is your ability to work harmoniously with others. Call it a positive attitude, an agreeable personality, or simply: Are you a likeable person? This, believe it or not, is constantly being evaluated by potential employers and colleagues as they assess your candidacy for a job.

When things are looking up during your job search, it can be effortless to exude likeability. And that is true of life; when things are going well, people around us respond positively to that.

However, that can change when a second interview doesn’t lead to a third, an employer decides to go with an internal candidate, or a recruiter ghosts you. Frustration, dismay, even anger can cause that likeability factor (that “X” factor?) to go right out the window.

If you’re job hunting and concerned about where you’re falling on the likeability scale, here are some tips to get your positive attitude back up and running.

  1. Try not to leap to foregone conclusions. This can be an easy trap to fall into when your job search appears to stall. Instead of deciding “It’s over, they don’t want me!” or reaching out to demand an answer, change your outlook. There will simply be times when employers take a long time to get back to you; a slow process does not equate to the worst possible outcome.
  2. Do your own follow-up. In my latest Career Hack, I talk about the value of following up. Following up may help in the example above, where the hiring process is taking a long time. Reaching out to the recruiter or hiring manager for a friendly check-in may be all that is needed to garner a response – so you can stop guessing what is going on.
  3. Focus on creating more volume. A good strategy in any job search is to go after multiple potential opportunities. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you have not identified or unearthed enough opportunities, now is the time to focus on doing just that. Set goals and take action – that sense of accomplishment may very well lift you up during a low point.

“Remain likeable” is perhaps one of the most recurring pieces of career advice I have given over the years to clients, friends, and even family members. Every time I say this, I watch as the person I am speaking to takes a deep breath … and physically relaxes.

So when you find yourself tied up and twisted during your job search, take a breath, keep calm, and carry on. People may like you better for it!