Attitude: Your Biggest Job Search Advantage

Attitude: Your Biggest Job Search Advantage

In all of my years of recruiting whether directly, in an agency or as an internal consultant, the candidate’s ‘attitude’ has been the one constant success-determining factor.


If I could reproduce the right amount of passion, enthusiasm and desire to succeed, put it in a bottle and let the applicants drink, I would be a true alchemist.


The fact is, you can teach skills, and experience can be gained. Yet you cannot change a person’s attitude on your own it must come down to them.


“Nothing can stop a man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

Thomas Jefferson



Your attitude to the role you are applying for and the organisation and its industry are of course key. However, attitude is much more far-reaching than that.


It is evident in everything about you, the way you conduct yourself, the pattern of your speech and the language you use. It is therefore witnessed throughout the recruitment process and open to constant scrutiny.


I believe it is too fundamental to just make reference to an overall positive mental attitude here. We need to focus in on what your attitude reflects upon mainly; 1- yourself, 2- the recruiter and process, 3- the search itself.


So I have broken this post into three parts and this week we are going to look at you:


Like Yourself:


If you are having a hard job liking yourself you’re not making it easy for other people.


Almost every candidate I have prepared for interview has told me they hate selling themselves. The term ‘selling’ itself brings with it all sorts of negative attachments. They feel that they are required to somehow exaggerate, gloss over, blag etc.


Nothing could be further from the truth. You can only get the ‘right’ job for you by putting across the ‘right’ representation of yourself.


A good sense of self worth comes from understanding how what you actually do and achieve on a day to day basis is important. Your belief in your own ability to learn, adapt and deliver must be evident to both yourself and the recruiter.

Know Who You Are:

Equally if you have no real sense of who you are is it any wonder you can send mixed messages?

Try some pyschometric tests to learn more about yourself. Resources to try:


How are presenting yourself? The type of language you use is very telling.

Beware of using phrases such as “I just…” when describing your role or duties.

If your self image and confidence have taken a real battering and you are feeling low, it is essential to try and build up your esteem before and throughout your job search. The search itself can take its toll on the healthiest of egos?

Online help with confidence building look at:

Blog posts:

17 To Build Confidence While Looking For A Job – Tim’s Strategy

Are You Losing The Confidence Game – Career Rocketeer


The World Owes You Nothing:

Another common attitude problem is that we all seem to believe that the world owes us a job. That somehow, if we do everything correctly we should get.


I wish that were the case, its right up there with we all deserve food and shelter. It is a harsh truth to accept how tough life can be. If you can somehow reconcile yourself to this, your attitude will reflect that you are appreciative of opportunity and as such more open to it.


This does not mean you need to take anything offered to you, just that you appreciate its value on some level.

So after some navel gazing do you view anything differently? Is there anyone you know who has a great attitude? What’s good about it and how do they show it?

In my next post I’ll be tackling your views on the Recruiter and the process itself and how your opinions on both can just as easily effect the outcome and then following on with your attitude to the search itself.

If you found this subject of interest, you may also like the following related posts from

When I Grow Up I Want To Be

Pyschometric Testing And The Interview Process

Respect And The Job Search


Photo Credit

Sarah Cooper has over 14 years Recruitment experience gained in both an internal and agency environment. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy Ltd, specialist Finance and HR Recruiters, she is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow her tweets @approachmarket


  • I completely agree re: importance of attitude, that Jefferson quotation is new to me & I love it!

    • Thanks Ed, I believe its so important I’ve two more posts in the series to go:)
      Glad you liked the quote, when someone’s said what you’re trying to say so well, why reinvent the wheel? Or
      “Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it. ”
      Anthony J. D’Angelo

  • Keep up these excellent posts, I do maintain checking back. Thanks for the time you spend