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12 Things Successful People Do Differently   Leave a comment


I’ve always been fascinated by people who are consistently successful at what they do; especially those who experience repeated success in many areas of their life throughout their lifetime.  In entertainment, I think of Clint Eastwood and Oprah Winfrey.  In business, I think of Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett.  We all have our own examples of super successful people like these who we admire.  But how do they do it?

Over the years I’ve studied the lives of numerous successful people.  I’ve read their books, watched their interviews, researched them online, etc.  And I’ve learned that most of them were not born into success; they simply did, and continue to do, things that help them realize their full potential.  Here are twelve things they do differently that the rest of us can easily emulate.

1.  They create and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Successful people are objective.  They have realistic targets in mind.  They know what they are looking for and why they are fighting for it.  Successful people create and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals.

S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.  Let’s briefly review each:

  • Specific– A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a related specific goal would be, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week for the next52 weeks.”  A specific goal has a far greater chance of being accomplished because it has defined parameters and constraints.
  • Measurable– There must be a logical system for measuring the progress of a goal.  To determine if your goal is measurable, ask yourself questions like:  How much time? How many total?  How will I know when the goal is accomplished? etc.  When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued efforts required to reach your goal.
  • Attainable– To be attainable, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work.  In other words, the goal must be realistic.  The big question here is:  How can the goal be accomplished?
  • Relevant– Relevance stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter.  For example, an internet entrepreneur’s goal to “Make 75 tuna sandwiches by 2:00PM.” may be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Timely, but lacks Relevance to an entrepreneurs overarching objective of building a profitable online business.
  • Timely– A goal must be grounded within a time frame, giving the goal a target date.  A commitment to a deadline helps you focus your efforts on the completion of the goal on or before the due date.  This part of the S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by daily distractions.

When you identify S.M.A.R.T. goals that are truly important to you, you become motivated to figure out ways to attain them.  You develop the necessary attitude, abilities, and skills.  You can achieve almost any goal you set if you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.  Goals that once seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.

2.  They take decisive and immediate action.

Sadly, very few people ever live to become the success story they dream about.  And there’s one simple reason why:

They never take action!

The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing.  Growing happens when what you know changes how you live.   So many people live in a complete daze.  Actually, they don’t ‘live.’  They simply ‘get by’ because they never take the necessary action to make things happen – to seek their dreams.

It doesn’t matter if you have a genius IQ and a PhD in Quantum Physics, you can’t change anything or make any sort of real-world progress without taking action.  There’s a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it.  Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action.  It’s as simple as that.

Success hinges on the simple act of making a decision to live – to absorb yourself in the process of going after your dreams and goals.  So make that decision.  And take action.  For some practical guidance on taking action I highly recommend Getting Things Done .

3.  They focus on being productive, not being busy.

In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek , Tim Ferris says, “Slow down and remember this:  Most things make no difference.  Being busy is often a form of mental laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”  This is Ferris’ way of saying “work smarter, not harder,” which happens to be one of the most prevalent modern day personal development clichés.  But like most clichés, there’s a great deal of truth to it, and few people actually adhere to it.

Just take a quick look around.  The busy outnumber the productive by a wide margin.

Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time.  They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc.  They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep.  Yet, business emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their daily planner is jammed to the brim with obligations.

Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance.  But it’s all an illusion.  They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.

The solution:  Slow down.  Breathe.  Review your commitments and goals.  Put first things first.  Do one thing at a time.  Start now.  Take a short break in two hours.  Repeat.

And always remember, results are more important than the time it takes to achieve them.

4.  They make logical, informed decisions.

Sometimes we do things that are permanently foolish simply because we are temporarily upset or excited.

Although emotional ‘gut instincts’ are effective in certain fleeting situations, when it comes to generating long-term, sustained growth in any area of life, emotional decisions often lead a person astray.  Decisions driven by heavy emotion typically contain minimal amounts of conscious thought, and are primarily based on momentary feelings instead of mindful awareness.

The best advice here is simple:  Don’t let your emotions trump your intelligence.  Slow down and think things through before you make any life-changing decisions.

5.  They avoid the trap of trying to make things perfect.

Many of us are perfectionists in our own right.  I know I am at times.  We set high bars for ourselves and put our best foot forward.  We dedicate copious amounts of time and attention to our work to maintain our high personal standards.  Our passion for excellence drives us to run the extra mile, never stopping, never relenting.  And this dedication towards perfection undoubtedly helps us achieve results…  So long as we don’t get carried away.

But what happens when we do get carried away with perfectionism?

We become disgruntled and discouraged when we fail to meet the (impossibly high) standards we set for ourselves, making us reluctant to take on new challenges or even finish tasks we’ve already started.  Our insistence on dotting every ‘I’ and crossing every ‘T’ breeds inefficiency, causing major delays, stress overload and subpar results.

True perfectionists have a hard time starting things and an even harder time finishing them, always.  I have a friend who has wanted to start a graphic design business for several years.  But she hasn’t yet.  Why?  When you sift through her extensive list of excuses it comes down to one simple problem:  She is a perfectionist.  Which means she doesn’t, and never will, think she’s good enough at graphic design to own and operate her own graphic design business.

Remember, the real world doesn’t reward perfectionists.  It rewards people who get things done.  And the only way to get things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time.  Only by wading through years of practice and imperfection can we begin to achieve momentary glimpses of the perfection.  So make a decision.  Take action, learn from the outcome, and repeat this method over and over again in all walks of life.  Also, check out Too Perfect .  It’s an excellent read on conquering perfectionism.

6.  They work outside of their comfort zone.

The number one thing I persistently see holding smart people back is their own reluctance to accept an opportunity simply because they don’t think they’re ready.  In other words, they feel uncomfortable and believe they require additional knowledge, skill, experience, etc. before they can aptly partake in the opportunity.  Sadly, this is the kind of thinking that stifles personal growth and success.

The truth is nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow emotionally and intellectually.  They force us to stretch ourselves and our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.  And when we don’t feel comfortable, we don’t feel ready.

Significant moments of opportunity for personal growth and success will come and go throughout your lifetime.  If you are looking to make positive changes and new breakthroughs in your life, you will need to embrace these moments of opportunity even though you will never feel 100% ready for them.

7.  They keep things simple.

Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  Here in the 21st century, where information moves at the speed of light and opportunities for innovation seem endless, we have an abundant array of choices when it comes to designing our lives and careers.  But sadly, an abundance of choice often leads to complication, confusion and inaction.

Several business and marketing studies have shown that the more product choices a consumer is faced with, the less products they typically buy.  After all, narrowing down the best product from a pool of three choices is certainly a lot easier than narrowing down the best product from a pool of three hundred choices.  If the purchasing decision is tough to make, most people will just give up.  Likewise, if you complicate your life by inundating yourself with too many choices, your subconscious mind will give up.

The solution is to simplify.  If you’re selling a product line, keep it simple.  And if you’re trying to make a decision about something in your life, don’t waste all your time evaluating every last detail of every possible option.  Choose something that you think will work and give it a shot.  If it doesn’t work out, learn what you can from the experience, choose something else and keep pressing forward.

8.  They focus on making small, continuous improvements.

Henry Ford once said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small pieces.” The same concept configured as a question:  How do you eat an elephant?  Answer: One bite at a time.  This philosophy holds true for achieving your biggest goals.  Making small, positive changes – eating a little healthier, exercising a little, creating some small productive habits, for example – is an amazing way to get excited about life and slowly reach the level of success you aspire to.

And if you start small, you don’t need a lot of motivation to get started either.  The simple act of getting started and doing something will give you the momentum you need, and soon you’ll find yourself in a positive spiral of changes – one building on the other.  When I started doing this in my life, I was so excited I had to start this blog to share it with the world.

Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they arise.  For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight, come up with a list of healthy snacks you can eat when you get the craving for snacks.  It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier.  And that’s the whole point.  As your strength grows, you can take on bigger challenges.

9.  They measure and track their progress.

Successful people are not only working in their job/business, they are also working on it.  They step back and assess their progress regularly.  They track themselves against their goals and clearly know what needs to be done to excel and accelerate.

You can’t control what you don’t properly measure.  If you track the wrong things you’ll be completely blind to potential opportunities as they appear over the horizon.  Imagine if, while running a small business, you made it a point to keep track of how many pencils and paperclips you used.  Would that make any sense?  No!  Because pencils and paperclips are not a measure of what’s important for a business.  Pencils and paperclips have no bearing on income, customer satisfaction, market growth, etc.

The proper approach is to figure out what your number one goal is and then track the things that directly relate to achieving that goal.  I recommend that you take some time right now to identify your number one goal, identify the most important things for you to keep track of, and then begin tracking them immediately.  On a weekly basis, plug the numbers into a spreadsheet and use the data to create weekly or monthly trend graphs so you can visualize your progress.  Then fine-tune your actions to get those trends to grow in your favor.

10.  They maintain a positive outlook as they learn from their mistakes.

Successful people concentrate on the positives – they look for the silver lining in every situation.  They know that it is their positivity that will take them to greatness.  If you want to be successful, you need to have a positive outlook toward life.  Life will test you again and again.  If you give in to internal negativity, you will never be able to achieve the marks you have targeted.

Remember, every mistake you make is progress.  Mistakes teach you important lessons.  Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.  The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.

So don’t hesitate – don’t doubt yourself!  Don’t let your own negativity sabotage you.  Learn what you can and press forward.

11.  They spend time with the right people.

Successful people associate with people who are likeminded, focused, and supportive.  They socialize with people who create energy when they enter the room versus those who create energy when they leave.  They reach out to connected, influential individuals who are right for their dreams and goals.

You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with.  If you hang with the wrong people, they will negatively affect you.  But if you hang with the right people, you will become far more capable and successful than you ever could have been alone.  Find your tribe and work together to make a difference in all of your lives.  Tribes  by Seth Godin is a great read on this topic.

 12.  They maintain balance in their life.

If you ask most people to summarize what they want out of life they’ll shout out a list of things like: ‘fall in love,’ ‘make money,’ ‘spend time with family,’ ‘find happiness,’ ‘achieve goals,’ etc.  But sadly, a lot of people don’t balance their life properly to achieve these things.  Typically they’ll achieve one or two of them while completely neglecting the rest.  Let me give you two examples:

  • I know an extremely savvy businesswoman who made almost a million dollars online last year. Based on the success of her business, every entrepreneur I know looks up to her.  But guess what?  A few days ago, out of the blue, she told me that she’s depressed.  Why?  “I’m burnt out and lonely.  I just haven’t taken enough time for myself lately, and I feel like something is missing in my life,” she said.  “Wow!” I thought.  “One of the most successful people I know doesn’t feel successful because she isn’t happy with how she has balanced her life.”
  • I also know a surfer who surfs all day, every day on the beach in front of our condo complex in San Diego.  He’s one of the most lighthearted, optimistic guys I’ve ever met – usually smiling from ear to ear.  But he sleeps in a rusty van he co-owns with another surfer, and they both frequently panhandle tourists for money.  He has admitted to me that the stress of making enough money to eat often keeps him up at night.  So while I can’t deny that this man seems happy most of the time, I wouldn’t classify his life as a success story.

These are just two simple examples of imbalanced lifestyles that are holding people back from their full potential.  When you let your work life (or social life, family life, etc.) consume you, and all your energy is focused in that area, it’s extremely easy to lose your balance.  While drive and focus are important, if you’re going to get things done right, and be truly successful, you need to balance the various dimensions of your life.  Completely neglecting one dimension for another only leads to long-term frustration and stress.  For some practical guidance on balancing your life, I recommend Zen and the Art of Happiness .


How many hours did you spend researching that last car or flat panel tv you bought? How many hours did you spend practicing for your job interviews? We all know that many jobs and perhaps careers are won or lost during the interview process. You have a Great resume, Great cover letter and Great attire. Win win win. Not so fast. If you did not prepare for the interview this will put you at a competitive disadvantage. So why not prepare? It really is pretty easy. Just requires some practice and time.(Editor’s Note) Lies We Tell Ourselves About Job Interviews Guest Contributor: Michael Neece, CEO, I present frequently to groups large (200+) and small on job interview skills, and I am constantly amazed at the harmful lies people tell themselves about job interviews.

Few will argue about the importance of having a great resume; after all, it is the resume that generates job interviews. But nearly all job seekers minimize the importance of their own job interview skills. Minimizing the importance of interview skills reduces the probability of getting the job offer because it is only through an exceptional job interview performance that you’ll get hired. 17-to-one is the ratio of job interviews to job offers during a recession. During a recession, the average applicant will interview for 17 different opportunities before he/she gets one job offer. When job openings are plentiful and candidates are in high demand, the ratio drops to 6-to-1, meaning it takes only 6 interviews to get an offer during the good times. The lesson here is that without interview skills, you’ll waste 6 to 17 job opportunities before you get good enough at interviews to get an offer. (Article Continued Below)
Below are six lies (assumptions) we tell ourselves about job interviews: “I’ll do great on my job interviews because…”
1. I’m Great at My Job. The skills required to get the job are fundamentally different from the skills required to do a job. If you have ever looked for a job you know this all too well. 2. I’m a Good Communicator Being a good communicator is a good start, but most of our business communicating is one-on-one or in a setting where you are talking about work. During the job interview, you are often speaking with multiple interviewers and responding to thought-provoking questions about you and your talents. Convincing an interviewer of your abilities is a unique situation in the world of business communications. 3. I’ve Interviewed Hundreds of People Being an interviewer is different from being interviewed. Just ask anyone who has been interviewed recently. I consult internationally to organizations on interviewer skills. I also present to thousands each year on job interviewing for the job seeker. While the interviewer and the interviewee are in the same room, each is playing a different role that requires different skills to be successful. It’s a bit like dancing. One person leads while the other follows. The skills to lead are very different from the talents needed to follow. When each partner does his/her part, they dance beautifully. When the job applicant has the skills, he/she facilitates a conversation and usually gets the offer. 4. I’ve Had Many Practice Interviews Learning by trial and error can teach you a few things about effective interviewing, but it wastes a lot of great job opportunities. Besides, practicing the same unproductive job interview ritual will only make you comfortable with ineffective habits that can really hurt your career. 5. Interviewers Have Interviewing Skills Having traveled internationally to train interviewers, I can state with certainty that over 95% of interviewers are unskilled and have had no training on effective interviewing. That is exactly why interviewers still ask totally irrelevant and bogus questions like, “Tell me about yourself,” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” When an interviewers asks you one of these questions, you know they are completely unskilled at interviewing. 6. The Most Qualified, Get Hired Most of the Time Eleven years as a recruiter taught me one truth about the job market: the most qualified person never gets hired. The reason is that who is the most qualified is a matter of interviewer opinions, assumptions, and personal bias. Additionally, a job description is actually a collection of guesses as to what the prerequisites are for a specific job. A job description is a way for the hiring manager to say, “I want to hire someone who has already done, many times, what I want him or her to do for me.”
To secure a great job, you can either continue lying to yourself and go through 17 interviews before you get an offer, or you can invest the energy to learn successful job interviewing and significantly increase your odds of getting a great job sooner.
Whether you try Interview Mastery or another job interview program is irrelevant. What really matters, is that you improve your interview skills. Common advice is everywhere on the Internet, but this common wisdom will only get you common results.
If you don’t want to invest any money in yourself, at least make a list of the interview questions you expect and those that you fear. Then ask a former colleague to mock interview you using the questions you listed. Record the mock interview using audio or video. You may be surprised at how you actually sound.Remember, the job interview is the most important moment in your job search and in your career.
While your resume may get you to the interview, it is your job interview skills that will secure the job offer. Preparation and practice make all the difference in your performance because the most qualified person rarely gets the job. It’s the person who interviews the best who wins the job offer.
Good luck on your next interview. You’re going to be awesome!

Job Search Strategy: Marketing yourself in a job hunt |   Leave a comment

Job Search Strategy: Marketing yourself in a job hunt |

4 Ways to Rethink Your Job Search   Leave a comment

4 Ways to Rethink Your Job Search

Let’s face it – there is no real science to job searching. If you Google it you’ll pull up countless stories, news articles, blogs, career coaches, et cetera, all claiming something different. What you need to remember is that there is no magic formula, no crystal ball and the number one thing to realize as you rethink your job search is…THERE IS NO BOX!

Don’t let the old way of doing things slow you down – finding a job is a job in itself, and creativity and innovation will be a determining factor in finding your next career.


Out With the Old…

Job searching used to be picking up a newspaper and just reading the classifieds. We then leapt to a new innovation – the Internet – to try to find our dreams, and now we get lost between the old ways and figuring out the new ways to job search. One thing your job search can’t be is desperation – too often you see people sending resumes everywhere and anywhere, and this is not effective.

Websites that offer a “quick apply” function do you a disservice, because there is no “quick” apply. You need to qualify for a company as much as for the job. You need to see if their culture and goals match up with your own. These small factors will determine more about your success within an organization than you skill set for the job.

There Is No Box…

There is no predetermined path that will lead you to greatness, and no predetermined path that will get you a job. It is up to you to think outside the box, or better yet, throw the box out and rethink everything.

Be creative and network, volunteer, write a blog, go to events, follow companies, talk to everyone and anyone who will listen and get involved in something you’re passionate about. Someone will notice, and someone will find you, because unlike Red Bull, your passion is what truly gives you wings, taking your job search to new heights. If you don’t feel that, you’re cheating yourself at work, and it’s only a matter of time before you’re fired or quit your job. Make sure you do something you like, love, or find real value in. Our worth is how we see ourselves, which will ultimately determine how an employer sees you.

No One Said It Would Be Easy…

Job searching is a fight, and there is definitely competition. The odds are against you, so you need sheer determination to see it through. Most things worth having in life are difficult to achieve – which is why you have to be more determined than anyone else among your competition.

Most job searches take 90-120 days, and this may mean you have to take an odd job while looking for your next career. Do not let this discourage you, and don’t think it’s “below” you to take a menial job while finding something else. At some point you have to be honest and realize you need to at least pay the bills. It doesn’t mean you have given up either – but it should give you the extra motivation you may need to hustle while searching for a job.

Never Underestimate Your Will Power…

The absolute truth life will show you is that there’s nothing stronger in the universe than human will. It has no boundaries, no limitations, no definition, and the best part is you control yours. Many successful people will tell you that they were not necessarily the best in their field, and there were others with more raw talent, but the one thing they possessed that the others did not was the sheer will to never quit – to never give up no matter how hard it got, and at the end of the day as long as you believe in what you are doing, nothing can stop you.

So re-think your job search, re-think who you want to be and you might be surprised at where you see yourself next.

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The wow factor: Impressive job candidate qualities


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The employment market is saturated with various resources for job seekers. While some of them offer consistent advice (always send a cover letter, tailor your résumé and wait for the employer to bring up salary), the truth is that conflicting information exists.

Especially when it comes to what employers are looking for in a new hire.

A recent survey from Express Employment Professionals, one of the nation’s largest staffing firms, showed that the top three aspects that employers are looking for in a new hire are credible work history (97 percent), job experience (88 percent) and specific skills (87 percent). More than 15,000 current and former clients of Express were surveyed for the first quarter of 2011.

To get the story straight, we asked hiring managers to tell us the most impressive qualities they see in potential job candidates. Here’s what they said (in no specific order):

1. Results

“Something I always ask anyone I interview is, ‘what is something you do better than anyone else in the world?’ with the follow-up of, ‘what is the evidence of this gift?’ I think that truly driven, passionate people leave behind them a wake of results wherever they go. Talking about measurable outcomes separates the contenders from pretenders.” — C. Daniel Crosby, corporate psychologist and president, Crosby Performance Consulting

“Candidates that can tell me an anecdote about how they got something done, against all odds, really impress me the most. Those who understand the rules and conduct of business but are not afraid to push the envelope a bit in the name of a job well done.” — Jennifer Prosek, author “Army of Entrepreneurs” and CEO, CJP Communications

2. Good fit

“There is no giant totem poll of qualities that makes one person more impressive or better than another. People who excel in one position are going to flounder in another if it doesn’t fit their talents, interests and skills.” — Ann Latham, president of Uncommon Clarity

3. Preparation

“Showing that they have done their research by knowing something about me, and my business.” — Kenneth Sean Polley, president, Global Asset Management Group

“When a candidate asks really great questions it demonstrates not only their interest in our company and the issues we’re facing, but also their research skills. Most impressive are those who think about what they discovered in their research and then ask really great questions.” — Anita S. Fisher, marketing communications manager, Briggs & Stratton Corporation

4. Initiative

“I look for the ability to take a project and run with it, to function independently and creatively with a minimum of oversight.” — Kathryn Minshew, co-founder and editor-in-chief, Pretty Young Professional

“Proactivity — the act of taking initiative, being able to operate independently and finding a way to get things done.” — Jordan Rayboy, recruiter, Rayboy Insider Search

5. Sense of humor

“Going over a recruitment cycle is long and very often annoying listening to the same pre-prepared answers. A candidate with faith and sense of humor de-dramatizes the atmosphere.” — Sarah Licha, owner, EspaceRH

6. Passion

“Typical candidates answer questions the way they believe they should. I want to see their passion for the company, the job opening and the industry. I want them to tell me why they are truly excited about the opportunity rather than every other opportunity out there. For me, passion is the ticket to a second round of interviews.” — Abby Kohut, staffing consultant, Staffing Symphony, LLC

“Passion is energy, drive, motivation and commitment. Candidates who are infused with this quality demonstrate an enthusiasm and aliveness that is contagious to their colleagues and clients. It can be harnessed to learn the job to be done and then to do it without having to be constantly encouraged, prompted or micromanaged. Such people are willing to ‘go the extra mile’ to assure that everything is done and done well. They demonstrate initiative and creative problem-solving skills.” — Betty Gilmore, program director, Lift-The Bronx

“Truly passionate candidates are not only likely to excel in their role, but, because they enjoy what they do, they will also remain engaged in their responsibilities and energize those around them. If an employee is not eager to learn, he or she will have difficulties accepting change and bringing innovative ideas to the table.” — Kathleen Dumlao, employment specialist, Rising Medical Solutions

“Passion and resourcefulness. You can see right through robotic folks who ‘say the right thing.’ It’s those who come specifically prepared to tell you exactly why the position is right for them that impress me the most. Very few folks lean across the desk and tell you ‘I really want this job, and here is why.'” — Jennifer Prosek, author “Army of Entrepreneurs” and CEO, CJP Communications

7. Confidence

“I coin the most impressive quality in a job candidate ‘humble confidence.’ Humble confidence shines as knowledge, humility, skilled verbal and written communication, friendliness and appreciation.” — Stacey Hawley, principal and owner, Credo

8. Professionalism

“At the interview, it is all about how the candidate presents him or herself. Are they projecting an image of professionalism? Are they showing enthusiasm and motivation for the position? Are they really listening to the questions and answering them accordingly? These are the qualities that are not shown on a résumé and are near impossible to teach.” — Darlene Johnson, director of career services, PEAR Core Solutions

“Being a professional — no matter what your industry or career — demonstrates that you have the right blend of technical and soft skills, mixed with enthusiasm and dedication.” — Matthew Randall, director of the Center for Professional Excellence at York College of Pennsylvania

“Presentation, presence, energy — how they carry their personal power. They need to be engaging and personable.” — Emma K. Viglucci, founder, director and supervisor, Metropolitan Marriage and Family Therapy

9. Body language

“The hand shake: it has got to be strong and firm from the get-go. Candidates usually come prepared to an interview, but I’m looking for people come to the interview telling me what they can do for the job and what they can add to the job. These are usually the ones I recommend for second interviews.” — Muriel Alloune, recruitment and training specialist, Federation CJA

“Body language, including a good handshake, confident shoulders, a smile [and] eye contact. I know it’s cliché, but it really helps.” — Marissa Wright, hiring and training coordinator, Europe for International Studies Abroad

10. Longevity

“What will wow me about a candidate is a consistent job history. I like to see that people have been in a position for at least five years and that they have grown in the position. [A candidate with] lots of short stints [or who has] been in the same position for 10 years and their responsibilities have not changed is a big turn off.” — Carmel Napolitano, managing director and principal, CGN Associates

“People move around so much, that longevity says a lot about the stability of a candidate when they have been in a position for a long period of time.” — Sarah Cullins, president, Finesse Staffing

11. Communication

“Qualifications in the form of experience and tangible skills aren’t enough to grab a hiring manager’s attention these days. You need to be a creative, proactive problem solver. Hiring managers want to know how you (and only you) can solve the needs of their organization. Read between the job description lines. What are you bringing to the table that the next person with a similar background is not? If you educate yourself and build awareness around what keeps your next potential boss up at night, and you clearly communicate how you can help to solve that, chances are you’ve got their attention.” — Dana Leavy, career coach and founder of Aspyre Solutions

12. Attitude

“The most impressive quality is to be a ‘high performer,’ a package of the right attitude, a passion for doing the work and the skill. ‘Attitude’ may mean different things to different people, but it boils down to having an ‘I can’ attitude. Everyone thinks his or her attitude is fine, however, some of these same people think it’s OK to blame, make excuses and declare something cannot be done. That’s the attitude employers are looking to expose during the interview and avoid extending a job offer to.” — Carol Quinn, CEO and author, “Expert of Hiring High Performers”

“Someone who is enthusiastic about the company and has thoroughly done their research about the position. Open-mindedness, perseverance and a can-do attitude (someone who takes true ownership in the company) will get you the job.” — Heather Minsky Nottingham, owner, Nottingham Consulting Group