Be a winner.
There’s nothing worse than losing out on a job opportunity where you know you are the best candidate for the job, but the person they chose just had a better relationship with the hiring manager or was able to sell himself/herself better. You should be the winner, but you lost out and it feels like a gut punch. It is extremely important that you focus on the right thing here, and it’s not the fact that you didn’t get the job, or even why you didn’t get the job. You should focus on why the other candidate got the job. Learning from other’s successes and your failures is worth gold. Here are a couple of things to look out for:
Does the successful candidate know the hiring manager personally?
It’s always a good idea to build relationships with line managers in your industry, as it gives you access to industry information when you catch up with them for coffees, and it also gives you access to job opportunities that come up within their teams.
Does the successful candidate have friends and ex-colleagues in the company?
Before applying for a job at a company, and before going in for an interview, it is vitally important to do as much research as possible. The best information can be found through conversations with existing employees, as they can tell you about specific projects on the go, details about hiring managers and their likes & dislikes, and they can also tell you what's required specifically for the job- not just what the job brief says.
Does the successful candidate have a strong personal brand?
When you are seen on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as an influencer and/or contributor, it carries a lot of weight with hiring managers, and it’s a form of social proof. It’s like being referenced before even being interviewed, which means that, by the time you are interviewed, the hiring manager has almost already made his/her mind up about you.
Anyone can be a winner in the job search game; all you need to do is be marketable, and the way to do that is to follow the above. Know what you are talking about, build and cultivate relationships with your peers and line managers, do your research and have a strong online brand!