This week the Career Thought Leaders Consortium published the results of a survey, conducted by Susan Whitcomb of CTL Most Effective Job Search Strategiesand Caitlin Williams, PhD of, entitled Job Seeker Success Survey Results. Today’s blog will summarize some of the main points of the survey; next week I will publish a story from one of my clients who succeeded in his job search because he did just about everything in this report as he conducted his job search.

Three of the main topics covered in the survey were job seekers’ empowering self-talk, empowering actions, and effective job search strategies. These are areas where more is definitely better! Below you will find what worked for job seekers; I invite you to take on these practices and thought patterns if you haven’t already.


“I can do this!” “I am perfect for this job!” “My current situation does not define me!”

One of the most important factors in a successful job search is optimistic self-talk. The job search can be a daunting process, and job seekers need their own support to get through it. Telling themselves they are worth it and deserving, that there are positive aspects to their situation even if it’s challenging, and that they are a great fit for the jobs they’re applying for makes a big difference in mental mindset and ultimately in the results they get!

Of course job seekers did have some disempowering self-talk as well, including doubting their abilities and believing they would fail, either because of their own perceived problems or the state of the job market. It is natural to have some negative conversation in our heads, and it’s important to become aware of it, bring it out into the open, and take any action possible to manage it. If you find yourself mired in negative self-talk, consider hiring a coach to help you pivot toward the positive.


“Talking with my coach.” “After the interview, I kept looking for a job even though I felt like the interview went well.” “Practice my 1-2 minute success stories that match the company’s needs.”

Even more important than what job seekers said to themselves was what they DID. Of course the two are intimately intertwined, as positive thoughts often breed positive action. Successful job seekers took on the job search with gusto. They prepared thoroughly for each interview. They hired coaches. They focused on finding the best fit for their skills—not just on getting any job. Many leveraged their professional and social networks. A good percentage considered staying healthy and fit to be an essential component of their success.

The least empowering job search activities included procrastination, stopping the search altogether, withdrawing from connections, making errors such as showing up late for interviews, and generally focusing on the negative. Again, having a coach on your side to help you turn around any negative job search patterns can be extremely valuable.


Network, Network, and Network!!

A significant 67% of job seekers indicated that networking and communicating with key contacts was their most effective job search activity. Of those who reported their job search took as long or shorter than expected, close to 80% said networking was their most effective activity. Are you getting the point?

20% said working with a coach or improving their skills in other ways, including enhancing their resume and cover letter writing abilities, was key to their success.


Of those in the 56-60 age range responding to the survey, 64% had recently landed a new opportunity! Furthermore, age did not appear to have any relationship to how long it took to find a job. I see this as very encouraging news for this demographic. For more tips for older job seekers, see 17 Tips for Older Job Seekers – Follow in the Footsteps of Winners!


If you are feeling stuck or discouraged in your job search, please take a few minutes to read the entire report Job Seeker Success Survey Results. You will likely learn something about your own mindset—and maybe even get inspired by the people in the survey group.

Do you have success stories to share? I’d love to hear them! And be sure to tune in next week for a story of success from one of The Essay Expert’s clients.

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