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Focus on the Job Search Factors You Can Control

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by Bill Reagan

Job hunting can be a soul-bruising exercise, from wondering if you gave the “right” answers in your interview, to the seemingly endless wait to hear if you impressed an employer enough to earn a chance to go through it all again at a second interview, the process offers plenty of opportunities to doubt yourself.

But remember, when the interview is over, the process is out of your hands.  It’s too late to worry if you were too brief or not brief enough, too late to add something you left out.  Countless random things could have an impact on your chances – the firm already had someone internal lined up for the job; you happened to look like someone the interviewer didn’t like; your solid qualifications cause them to think you won’t accept their offer – and there’s nothing you can do about any of it.

So stop worrying about that.  Don’t get stuck waiting for closure on your last application and interview.  Instead, focus your energy on the things you can control – your next application and interview.  Here are three factors you have control over that can have a significant impact on you getting hired:


Every hire is an investment for an employer, (training, salary, benefits and more) and they want their investment to pay off.  By exploring beyond the job post – reading the company’s website, searching for news about them online, and seeking out friends who have worked there – you can ask questions that show you’ve done your homework, and that could be the factor that convinces them to invest in you.

Proof reading

A typo won’t automatically disqualify you from a job, but it will give the impression that you don’t pay attention to detail.  This includes errors that spell checkers won’t catch, such as using “their” instead of “there”.  In a competitive job market, a typo can give your competition an edge, so have a friend (or two) take a look at your CV.  They might catch something you’ve missed.


Courtesy and professionalism play a huge part in making a positive first impression.  We can’t control whether a person likes us or doesn’t, but we can make sure they don’t make their judgement based on a limp handshake, not thanking them for their time, interrupting them, or speaking poorly of a former employer.  You can be yourself, but be the best version of yourself. 

Looking for a job can be stressful enough without worrying about things you can’t control.  Instead, focus on the things that will give employers a reason to choose you.