Woman looking up with a thoughtful & optimistic expression

Your job hunt may be a long, hard road at times, especially if you are seeking a specialized position in a tough market. While true success is rarely struck upon easily, there are many ways to improve your job search, both in practical and emotional terms. Take it from some of the most iconic figures in history—anything you want is worth working for.

Here are some words of wisdom to motivate your job search from people who achieved truly great things:

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas”

Marie Curie was no slouch, winning the 1911 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Clearly, Curie cared more about her vocation than trying to simply please people. When it comes to interviews, keen job-hunters can learn from Curie’s singlemindedness. Most employers will give you an opportunity to ask your own questions in interviews… this is not an invitation to say what you think they want to hear. Rather, ask what you actually want to know. If this is a job you really want, channel that passion into your curiosity. Any company worth working for isn’t looking to hire sycophants, it is seeking to hire qualified people that are keen to contribute to its goals. So, show your curiosity about the company’s ideas.

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do”

Henry Ford was no stranger to success and your resume should reflect your past successes. Where did you make a positive impact in your previous roles? Be specific. Be accurate. Be transparent. The company you are hiring for is going to check your references anyway, so any resume has to be honest. To make your application stand out, show the hiring manager that you aren’t just chasing your dream job. Rather, show that you qualify for your dream job now by evidencing a reputation that is based upon your previous successes.

“I am only a sparrow amongst a great flock of sparrows”

Evita Peron, the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952, inspired a nation. But as her quotation shows, no one person can achieve success alone. Bear this in mind as you persevere in your job hunt. LinkedIn, conferences, trade shows, and your old work/schoolmate are wonderful resources for networking. Even if none of these sparrows secure you a job, being part of a great flock is inspiring and emotionally reassuring on its own. So get networking!

“Know first who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly”

Euripedes specialized in Greek tragedy more than 2000 years ago but his words ring true even today. Dressing for success in an interview isn’t a cliché—it’s common sense. Nobody is saying you have to show up to every job interview in an Armani suit but it is important to show the interviewer that you care about the job opportunity. An extra half-an-hour making sure your blouse is pristinely ironed or your hair is properly combed are simple examples of what dressing for success looks like. So let the interviewer know who you are: somebody who will do what it takes to get the job.

“I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance

John D. Rockerfeller has a point. Keep your chin up. Do not let rejection get you down. Seek feedback, seek knowledge, seek friends, dress well and ask questions. There is a lot to be said for perseverance, as your job-hunt should show.