What is your dream job? Is it one that provides you with opportunities for career development and promotion? One with flexible working practices? Or perhaps one that presents you with a challenge? Whatever your dream job may be there are steps you can take to land it. Here are our seven steps to getting that dream job.
1. Decide What You Want To Do
How? Firstly, picture where you see yourself five years. This can be a difficult task to do but it is one worth dedicating time to. Trying to look into the future can be a daunting exercise but it is one that will give you a goal to pursue. You may find it easier to picture a lifestyle you want to pursue, do you see yourself having a better work/life balance, work remotely or perhaps being self-employed? Having an idea of where you see yourself will help you decide what you want to do.
2. Talk To A Career Advisor
Getting advice from a career counsellor before starting out on your job hunt can save you a lot of time by helping you target the right jobs. A career counsellor can give you advice on how to put together your CV, help you edit an existing CV, recommend networking opportunities and even put you in touch with some recruiters. They will also help you identify your vocational strengths, interests, motivations and sort through what career paths are most likely to satisfy your needs and desires.
3. Do some research
Once you have an idea of what you want to do, it’s time to start thinking about the skills and experience that can help you get there. Do some research on the types of jobs on the market that fit your idea of the perfect job. Search the jobs sites and make notes of those that catch your eye, paying close attention to the desired skills and experience. Create a target employer list, consisting of companies you believe you are a good fit for. Also, have a look at what your college alumni are working at through the alumni search on LinkedIn.
4. Reach out to your network
The idea of networking can be intimidating. Start with your informal network- friends, family, neighbours, college, alumni- anyone who can help give you information about job leads or put you in touch with a desired employer. Start by asking for information and advice from this network. Drop them a brief email asking them to keep you in mind if anything of interest comes their way.
Next, connect to those in your formal network- prior colleagues and business associates – who can help you connect with recruiters. Try going to a business social or an association meeting and have business cards ready to exchange. You can also connect via LinkedIn and join any alumni groups. Contact the career services office at your alma mater who are always happy to help in your job search.
5. Put it all together
Then it’s time to pull together all your information and get ready to apply for your dream job. Tailor your CV to the job you are applying for, organizing your CV in chronological order. Keep your experience recent and relevant to the position. Keep the language simple and provide numbers to support your claims, i.e. “increased social media following by 100% to 50,000 in 25 months.” Demonstrate your skills through practical examples and use specific keywords that will be picked up by an applicant tracking system. For more top CV tips check out our CV advice.
6. The interview
The interview is where you aim to show the recruiter that you are the right person for the job but also a good fit for the company. It is important that you perform in-depth research on the company and it’s stakeholders. Know everything there is to know about the market, customers, suppliers, competitors and employees. Prepare a list of questions and ask a friend to help you hold a mock interview. Know who you are meeting in advance and where to meet and turn up no more than ten minutes before your scheduled interview time. During the interview be cognizant of your body language. For more advice check out our interview tips.
7. Follow up
Make sure to send a thank you email after the interview, no later than 24 hours. The email should be brief and to the point, reiterating your interest in the job. If you still haven’t heard back from the employer in a week or two consider sending a follow-up letter. Recruiters in large companies receive hundreds of emails a day, so they will be more likely to read and remember a handwritten posted letter. For sample follow up emails check out these articles.