Potential candidates for a new job should express interest in the position with excitement -- but not desperation. An excited potential candidate sees a job as a perfect fit for her background, skills and experience. A desperate candidate may appear to just want a job -- any job -- because of long-term unemployment or financial problems. A hiring manager choosing between the two might select the excited candidate because her interest in the position appears more genuine. Even if you are desperate for a job, there are ways to express interest without allowing your desperation to show.
Appreciate your current position -- if you are employed. Having a good job and performing well with great performance reviews eliminates desperation to find a new job. Desperate job seekers may come across as pushy, uptight and tense. There's no reason to feel that way if you're happy where you are and simply waiting for the next great opportunity.
Network extensively. Network a lot when you have a job, and network even more if you are unemployed. Get to know hiring managers, human resources representatives and employees at other firms. Meet them at industry functions such as conventions and after-work gatherings. Make connections on professional online sites as well. Use the connections to hear about jobs before they are posted and to express genuine excitement in the jobs without sounding desperate.
Identify target companies and schedule so-called "informational interviews" if possible. Some companies will interview good potential candidates even when there isn't an opening. It's an excellent chance to meet with a potential boss without pressure -- and without sounding desperate. Try to schedule informational interviews several times a year, even when you're traveling on vacation and would consider relocating for your next job.
Express interest in a job currently advertised by calling one of your contacts who has knowledge about the position or can refer you to someone who does. This could result in a professional introduction or referral to the hiring manager or HR representative.
Contact the hiring manager of human resources directly if you don't have another contact for the position. Practice a 60- to 90-second, very low-pressure sales pitch about yourself that you can say slowly and very conversationally with an upbeat, pleasant tone. Use the pitch to leave a voice mail message introducing yourself and to express interest in the position based on your great qualifications and background. Do the same if you speak with the person directly. Keep the call to just a couple minutes as you express excitement -- but not desperation. At the end of the conversation or voice mail ask for permission to visit with the hiring manager or HR representative to learn more about the position.
Follow up after the phone call by sending a cover letter and resume.
The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire reports that learning to handle rejection is a key to avoiding desperation as you look for a job. The university maintains that only about one-third of all jobs are actually advertised; the rest are filled internally or through word-of-mouth, making networking skills essential.
Don't call repeatedly to inquire about a position. One or two phone calls and a followup letter is enough outreach until the HR person or hiring manager responds. Bombarding a company with phone calls about a position may suggest you are desperate for a job.