People spend about one-third of their lives working, and, according to a Gallup poll, most are unhappy about their jobs. If you are still working on your current career or work situation, it is time to focus on finding something more fulfilling. Follow these tips for landing your dream job. 😀👍
Discover Your Dream Job
Do you already have a dream job in mind? It might be a low-stress gig with minimal hours or something super demanding that keeps you organized and busy. Aside from your lifestyle preferences, you may have a true passion you want to follow.
If you need help identifying your dream job, you can take free career aptitude tests to gauge your abilities and interests. You can learn more about yourself during this process. Don’t be deterred by a lack of experience if you have a hobby you want to take full-time. You might be surprised to see how your current talents and skills can apply to the responsibilities of your dream job.
Make a plan to achieve your goal. Try to set clear objectives that you can obtain. Articulate your short-term and long-term goals and develop a plan to reach them. It can be helpful to picture where you see yourself in five years.
Design a Job Search
If the perfect job falls into your lap, it’s too good to be true. However, through networking, you can make finding your dream job easier and quicker. Research shows that about 40 percent of hires come from employee referrals. Furthermore, less than two percent of online job applicants get interviews. CNBC reports that up to 70 percent of jobs are not even posted on job search sites.
Thus, it is better to build a network by interacting with people within the industry. That way, instead of just sending out CVs, you can actually interact with higher-ups within your field. LinkedIn is an excellent tool for networking. Social media also allows you to follow your dream employers online to learn about open positions or gain insight into what the company is looking for. By following the owners and executives, you can get a complete sense of the business’s goals to ensure it fits your lifestyle and morals.
Using job search sites can still be helpful with landing your dream job. However, set up a specific job search to follow your desired niche. You can discover openings, manage applications, set up email alerts, and more. Many sites even offer employer reviews and salary details to see if the job is exactly what you wanted.
Create Your CV
You probably already have a CV. However, will it help you land your dream job or just some other regular gig? You must tweak your CV and cover letter for each opportunity. You might have to hone your skills to ensure you have what it takes to fulfill the responsibilities of your ideal career. Besides having specific qualifications for the niche your dream job is in, you will likely need to possess top skills for leadership, communication, project management, customer service, strategic thinking, time management, and more. Digital skills are also essential in this technological era.
You can make your dream job skills shine in your CV by including specific keywords from the online job description. According to CNBC, over 95 percent of Fortune 500 businesses use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to find CVs with relevant keywords for the position. Ensure you include keywords to get your CV out of the online screening process and into the hiring manager’s hands. For example, rather than saying you work great with a team, you can emphasize the keyword teamwork instead.
Include your relevant work experience, education, and contact info. Employee referrals can also help your application get to the top of the stack. In other words, don’t just dust off your typical ole CV; highlight essential qualities that will help you stand out and get an interview. If you don’t have a CV, you can use a CV template to start.
Build Your Cover Letter
This isn’t any boring 9-5. Spruce up your standard cover letter for your dream job by getting personal about who you are talking to. That is, find out the hiring manager’s name instead of just writing ‘To whom it may concern.’ Regarding names, feel free to drop names related to this position in your cover letter of people you network with.
Remember to keep it short and sweet. Your cover letter is not an essay but a personal elevator meeting. Showcase your most relevant skills, qualifications, work experience, and the value you bring to the role.
Show your excitement for the role, especially since it is your dream job. Of course, include your contact details and availability, and adding a handwritten signature at the end shows you took the time to give your all.
Prepare for Interviews and Follow Up with the Employer
If you haven’t already, do your homework about the company you are interviewing with. You can review the website to learn more about the mission, values, and leadership.
Write down a list of questions to ask during your interview. Yes, you should ask the potential employer questions, too. In fact, Alison Woods Brooks, a Harvard Business School professor, claims asking many questions actually unlocks learning and improves interpersonal bonding.
Practice asking your questions and answering common interview questions before the big day so you can feel comfortable. Like anything else, the more you practice, the better you can perform. Even ask a friend to help by asking difficult questions, ensuring you are ready to answer.
Remember to dress for success. When choosing your interview outfit, familiarize yourself with the company dress code. Some places prefer business casual over formal, but make sure your clothing is wrinkle-free and clean.
Bring extra copies of your portfolio, work samples, CV, and anything else you need to bring to your interview. Get directions in advance and practice driving to the location so there is no issue on the interview day. If you are interviewing via video, download the software you need and test it before the meeting.
After your interview, feel free to follow up to show you are grateful for their time and that you are enthusiastic about this opportunity. You can send an email within 24 hours of the interview and remind them of your top qualities and what you’ll bring to the job. Furthermore, you can also say thank you as a polite gesture.
If you want to really show your gratitude, prepare thank you notes to hiring managers or anyone else who interviews you, even if you don’t get the offer. You are building your network and strengthening your connections. Remember to thank your references, who can help seal the deal.
Evaluate Your Progress
Remember that no career path is an exact straight line. Pause from your zig-zag journey and make sure you are on track. Take a small step back and look at the big picture: Are you getting interviews? Do you have any offers? If you are still waiting to see positive feedback or beneficial results after a few weeks, tap into your network.
Feel free to ask for help with your CV, interviewing skills, or overall approach. Request feedback from those within your industry or anyone you view as successful. 😉