6 Steps to Finding the Perfect Job
Finding the right job for you can be difficult, and you may not even know where to start. It takes far more than scrolling through job postings, latching onto one that sounds remotely interesting, submitting a resume, and hoping you get hired. You’ll never get a good job that way—you need to be deliberate in your search and always submit a resume specifically tailored to that job. Take the initiative and put yourself out there so employers can see who you really are. Since this can be difficult, hire a career coach to walk you through the process.
Here are some tips for finding your dream job.
Do your research
You might think that casting a wide net increases your chances, but if you’re applying for jobs you’re ill-qualified for, all it does is hike the number of rejections. Hiring managers aren’t interested in a somewhat qualified worker—they want the most qualified one.
Follow these tips for a more successful job search:
- Decide on your career goals and increase your knowledge in that area. Finding a great job is all about specializing, so dedicate yourself to a particular field and master it.
- Ensure your qualifications match the requirements for a job in your field. It doesn’t need to be a 100% match, but you should at least have most of the qualifications and a way to prove your value.
- Figure out how far you can go within a given company. What opportunities does each job open up for you?
- Create a list of traits that employers in your field expect from their workers. No one’s perfect, so you don’t need to possess every single trait, but you should check most boxes and constantly strive to improve in areas where you’re lacking.
Doing research before applying for jobs can significantly narrow down the number of resumes you have to submit, but it simultaneously increases your chances of actually getting hired. In a job search, you have to focus on quality over quantity.
Tailor your resume
Another common reason why people fail to land a job is that they don’t tailor their resume to the particular position they’re eyeing. Instead, they submit a generic resume that can be sent out en masse. If you want your dream job, invest some time in your resume.
Here are some tips for tailoring your resume:
- Include a professional email address and a phone number along with your LinkedIn and other social media profiles that promote your professional image. If you have no professional email address yet, set one up with Gmail or a custom domain. Just use your name, adding your middle name or job title if necessary.
- Remove your objective statement and replace it with a professional summary that highlights your qualifications for the job. It should read like a succinct description of your top skills, achievements, and attributes, piquing the hiring manager’s interest and enticing them to read more.
- Use the keywords and job requirements from the vacancy ad to create your skills section. These are the skills the hiring manager cares about.
- Prove the skills and qualifications you list in your professional summary and skills section by describing accomplishments in your previous jobs.
- Don’t list irrelevant entries in your job history, but do include any volunteer work or internships that demonstrate your professional development. You can even mention activities from hobbies or clubs if they’re relevant and add value.
- Double-check for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Better yet, hire a proofreader for ultimate peace of mind.
If you want that job, taking the time to tailor your resume is vital. In case time is the one thing you can’t spare, hire a professional resume writer to do all the work for you.
Expand your network
Work on your professional development—including your network—even while you’re searching for a job. In the professional world, it’s all about who you know and how you can use your resources and connections to go places.
The following are great ways to expand your network:
- Create a LinkedIn account and start building connections. A well-designed and well-written LinkedIn profile is crucial to establishing meaningful relationships with other professionals.
- Connect with professionals in your field or the company you want to work at.
- Enroll in courses that drive career development and meet fellow professionals. You can also learn a lot on your own, but in-person classes allow you to network with other ambitious professionals.
- Reach out to people you don’t know.
Expanding your network may feel daunting, but it can deliver excellent results. Don’t let the fear of rejection keep you from growing your network and exposing you to new career opportunities!
Plan your job search
If you don’t draw up a job search plan, it may never happen or at least in the way you want it to. It takes self-discipline and motivation to find the right job.
Here are some ways to be proactive in your job search:
- Decide how many jobs you want to apply for in a week (or a day/month).
- Set aside time every day to look at job postings. (In other words, make looking for a job a job in itself.)
- Take care of your mental health—burning yourself out won’t help.
- Create a professional persona on social media.
- Decide whether you’re willing to relocate for a job, work remotely, etc.
- Apply for jobs even if you feel underqualified. If you have most of the qualifications and can demonstrate your value on your resume, you may still get hired.
- Beware of scams. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts.
- Exercise patience while searching for jobs and waiting to hear back.
Being intentional in your job search is the key to success, and that starts with creating a plan. If you want to achieve a goal, you first have to set that goal. Also, work on your professional development, which will lead to being qualified for even more jobs than you realize.
Prepare for the interview
If you follow all of the above steps correctly, you’ll line up some interviews. As you prepare for them, keep the following in mind:
- Research the company and the job you’re interviewing for. If you can find out who will interview you, that will also help. Being knowledgeable about the company will impress the interviewer.
- Dress appropriately. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. First impressions matter, so aim to leave a good one.
- Prepare multiple copies of your resume and references.
- Be confident in your answers, but not overly so. Think about your answers to likely questions in advance so you can offer a response with confidence.
- Be aware of any mannerisms or phrases that could be distracting or inappropriate for the setting. You want to project a friendly, confident, and professional demeanor.
- Ask questions throughout the interview to show the hiring manager you’re engaged in the conversation.
- Conduct a mock interview with a career coach to help settle your nerves. You’ll get feedback that will allow you to improve your performance.
- Be ready to answer tough questions, both about the job you're interviewing for and about your previous work history and skills.
- Take a deep breath and remain calm.
The interview allows the hiring manager to get an idea of your personality, and it’s your chance to show them you’re fully qualified for the position. You may be nervous during the interview, but don’t let your nerves control you. Instead, practice your interview skills and stay calm. Recruiters understand that job interviews are nerve-racking, but you still want to appear as confident and professional as possible.
It’s incredibly discouraging when you get to the interview stage but still don’t land the job. However, don’t forget you’re competing against hundreds of other candidates, so rejection is a natural part of the process. Besides, there might be an even better job right around the corner. If you’re struggling with your job search, reach out to our resume experts and career coaches for assistance.