Against the Grain Job Search: 5 Small Habits That Make You Irresistible

good-job-search-habitsYour job search boils down to one thing: separating yourself from the pack. If you do what everybody else is doing, you’ll keep searching and never hit pay dirt. Sometimes, the best way to turn heads is to buck the trend. When you go against the grain, you’ll get noticed and get hired.

But it’s not enough to shout for attention when everyone whispers. Your “against the grain” plan must be well-thought out. It’s not enough to make an impression. You have to make the right impression.

Sometimes, bucking the trend is as simple as changing your job search habits. With these subtle changes in your approach, you’ll naturally and instantly become more attractive to the hiring managers you need to impress.


Determine today that you’re going to become the best listener you know. Seek first to understand before you try to get your point across. Follow directions carefully. Become a student of detail.

When you’re in an argument, are you constantly thinking about what you’re going to say next? Can’t wait until the other person stops talking so you can chip in with a piece of your mind?

Try this. Pause 2-3 seconds before you speak. Make sure you heard what was said.

This one skill alone will vault you near the top of the list of candidates. How? Follow given directions exactly when you apply for a job or inquire about an opening. Listen carefully during your job interview. Show that you seek to understand first, and you’ll instantly become someone every employer wants on his team.


Develop an attitude of service. When you answer interview questions about yourself, always seek to point to ways you’ve served others. Present your skills as attributes the team needs to meet its goals.

Like listening, an attitude of service sets you apart. But it requires you to remove yourself from the picture and focus on the employer’s needs.

When you get into this role, what will your new boss experience? What will be easier because you’re there to serve? What processes will work better because you’re there to chip in?

Grab a shovel and get ready to roll up your sleeves. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes, and share your desire to serve your new organization.

Be Yourself

Know what turns a hiring manager off faster than anything else? A phony. If you’re faking it, you’re not convincing anyone.

A lot of the stress of interviews comes from the feeling that you have to be better than you are.

Trust that your skills and experience will get you where you need to go. Be genuine, and let the real you win hearts and minds. You’d be surprised how many people miss out because employers see right through the phony persona job seekers thought they had to create.

Be you, be real, and be the next attractive candidate employers can’t wait to hire.

Eye Contact

Want to show you’re confident in yourself and your abilities? It’s easier than you think. Look people you’re speaking to in the eyes.

Your eye contact says that you’re completely dialed in. Nothing else matters at this moment but the conversation you’re in and the person you’re speaking with.

Eye contact says you mean business, and you’re serious about what’s at stake.


I know the interview is pressure packed. Know what most people do under the pressure? They forget to smile.

Don’t get so dialed in that you forget to be pleasant. Smile. Laugh. Be human and relatable.

This is especially important for customer service, sales, and other customer-facing positions. The employer wants to see what potential customers will experience when they meet you.

Combine these small habits to become an unstoppable force. Make it impossible for a hiring manager to turn you away. Listen carefully. Follow directions. Be yourself. Make eye contact. Smile.

When you do, you’ll set yourself apart from the pack. For the extra edge that puts you over the top, call or text me (321-442-7994) about setting up a resume that hiring managers notice. Get the interviews that lead to the career you deserve. Call me today to find out how.

Make an investment in your future with a resume / CV and cover letter written by Vivian Adkins, CPRW of Foremost Resumes. Foremost Resumes offers affordable resume writing services – resume prices are published here. If you have any questions about my resume services, call or text 1-321-442-7994.

Resume writing services include:

-Executive Resume Package
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(LinkedIn Profile Improvement Add-On Service available for all resume writing packages)

If you found this post helpful, I’d be grateful if you would help spread it by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+.

Thank you!

—Vivian Adkins, Resume Writer at Foremost Resumes

About Author

Vivian Adkins, CPRW
Vivian Adkins, CPRW is the owner of Foremost Résumés and a Certified Résumé Writer. On this blog you can learn about résumés, how LinkedIn can help with your job search, how to conduct an online job search, and more.
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