Mar 17, 2021 St. Patrick’s Day is associated with luck--but should your job search be associated with luck as well? You may be surprised to find that you can leverage luck in your job search, as long as it’s not your key strategy. The job search process and odds of landing a job are not random. Employers do not just draw a resume from a hat and offer that person a job. Instead, there are many steps in the hiring process, and being aware of those and taking the steps to succeed during these stages can help you get lucky and land the job. Tailor your Resume Most employers use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen resumes before they reach the hands of the hiring manager. A key part in this process is having the skills and experiences the employer seeks. While luck can be part of the process (you have the degree and the skills the employer wants for a current opening in your dream company), it is still important for you to take the time to tailor your resume to reflect the experiences the company desires. Another way for current students to increase their chances in landing a job is to take a look at the skills employers are looking for in entry level positions and focus on obtaining those skills through courses, projects and experiential learning experiences. Reading job postings on Charger Path or reading about your future career field on O-NET can help you build your understanding of what employers desire. You can also find individuals on LinkedIn that have the job you desire, and see what qualifications and skills they have. When it comes time to apply for a role post graduation, you’ll have more areas to wow the employer with. Network Employers often rely on networking to find candidates for roles as well. While it is definitely possible to land a job without knowing someone at the company, you can increase your likelihood of getting an interview if you have someone that can vouch for you or you’ve made connections with someone at the company. Think of this like the fast pass at Disney--the others in the line still have a chance to ride, they may even ride before you-- but you’ll just get to the front of the line faster. The good news is that networking opportunities are everywhere--even in a virtual setting. As a student, take advantage of events like Career Fairs, Information Sessions or even a random chance interaction with employers at events or in public. Your odds of landing a job better are much higher if you’ve made a good first impression at a Career Fair rather than just blindly applying to a position. Prepare for Competition While you’ll rarely have any idea who else has applied for the same job as you, you can control how well you communicate your own strengths and experiences. If you walk into a job interview expecting all the other applicants to be better than you, there’s a good chance you’ve already lost the job because you will not appear to be confident and qualified. Spend time reflecting on your strengths and experiences and be sure to focus on these during your interview. Applications and interviews are about self-promotion. It is okay to humbly brag about these areas, especially when you’re asked why the company should hire you. Increase your luck (and memory) by preparing for interviews by creating a list of areas you want to discuss and practicing common interview questions that allow you to focus on these stories. If you need help, set up a Mock Interview through Charger Path! As Roman Philosopher Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Focus on the areas above where you have some control in the job search process, and you’ll effectively increase your luck in the process.