Landing Your Dream Job: Strategies to Get Hired
The labor market is a fierce, dog-eat-dog world, and finding the perfect job for you is incredibly challenging. A successful job search doesn’t mean applying for any opening you come across; rather, it’s applying for the right jobs and making a good first impression.
The strategizing starts before you even begin to look—first, you have to make sure you’re ready to handle the job search. As you go through this process, remember that you’re not alone. Contact our career coaches for help with formulating the perfect strategy.
Here’s what you need to do before, during, and after your job search to land your dream job.
Before the job search
If you want to be successful in your job search, you need to start from a strong position. If you have insufficient qualifications and a poor network, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. You should take time before you start searching to build your professional image and your reputation among companies and colleagues.
Establish an online presence
Many employers look up candidates on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. It’s important to maintain social media profiles that promote your professional image.
LinkedIn is the most important platform since it’s specifically designed for professionals and allows you to build connections with people from companies you want to work at or with people in your field. However, if you’re careful enough, you can also display your professionalism through your Facebook or Twitter profile. Creating a professional online presence helps companies see your dedication to your career.
Compile a list of dream jobs and employers
Before you begin the search, create a list of dream companies and jobs. If you embark on your job search without a plan, you’re bound to flounder aimlessly, but if you’ve thought about what you want, you’ll know where to look and won’t waste your time with irrelevant postings. Even if you land a job, you may soon realize it’s not what you want, and then you’ll have to start the search all over again.
During the job search
Once you lay the foundation of a successful job search, it’s time to put in the work. If you just passively look for jobs, you probably won’t find the right one for you. It takes time, effort, and determination to achieve success.
Set aside time
Allocate time every day to look for jobs. Openings crop up all the time, so spending an hour or two daily is crucial for catching new opportunities. Schedule the job search into your plan for the day. If you just say you’ll spend a couple of hours searching, you’ll probably keep putting it off, but if you earmark specific hours for the task, you will be more likely to do it.
In addition, optimize your efficiency by concentrating on jobs you’re truly interested in and qualified for. Refer back to your list of dream jobs to stay on track. While you should be qualified for the jobs you apply for, you don’t need 100% of the qualifications—don’t be afraid to apply even if you feel a bit underqualified for a position.
Put in the effort
Your resume will either make or break your chances of success. As you search, constantly update your resume to reflect the specific job you’re applying for. This is more important than you might think since most companies today use applicant tracking systems (ATSs) to narrow down their candidate pools. These automated programs scan resumes for relevance and toss out the ones that aren’t good enough, so if you submit a generic resume, it likely won’t ever be read by a human.
How do you update your resume for each job? Find keywords and job requirements in the vacancy ad and, if applicable, use them in your resume. This tells the ATS that you’re sufficiently qualified for the job while also showing the recruiter you took the time to read the job description and update your resume accordingly. This can be time-consuming, which is why your best bet is to hire a professional resume writer to do the hard work for you.
Searching for a job is never simple or easy. It’s a tiring process that can last for weeks or months. It can be quite tempting to give up and settle for any job offer, but it’s better to stay focused on the search and your professional development. Don’t let a few rejections prompt you to abandon your career goals. Learn from your mistakes and use them to fuel your passion and personal growth.
After the job search
Your efforts don’t stop when you find a job and get called for an interview. Job interviews are tough, so you’ll need preparation.
Prepare for the interview
As you prepare for the interview, there are several areas to focus on. First, you want to look professional and neat. Not sure what to wear? The rule of thumb says it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Find an outfit that accentuates your professionalism.
Next, research the company not only so you know what it’s looking for and what its corporate culture is but also so you can appear knowledgeable. Hiring managers want to be certain that you’ll benefit their company. If you don’t know anything about the organization, it’ll be much harder to show them you can help it achieve its goals.
Finally, mind your manners. Watch your posture and facial expressions, and don’t say anything unprofessional. Hiring managers will look for anything that sets you apart from other candidates—good or bad. If you slouch or let a profane word slip, you’ll stand out for the wrong reasons.
After the interview, thank the hiring manager and anyone else who was instrumental in helping you land it. You do this by sending them a thank-you note within 24 hours of the interview. This also gives you an opportunity to remind them why you’re the best candidate for the job. Sending a thank-you note can help you stand out from the other candidates.
To ensure a successful job search, it’s important to develop your professional image beforehand. Lean on determination and discipline to ace the job search, and work on your professionalism and manners for the interview. If this seems like a daunting task, hire a resume expert and a career coach to help you along the way.