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The ultimate guide to getting to your dream job

August 8, 2021

How do I get my dream job?

 

Congratulations. You have taken care of the hard bit, that is identifying what you want to do and what your dream job is. There are several people who are confused about what they want to do next and when they are asked, “what is your dream job?”, they draw a blank. Crossing this stage of discovery and exploration to arrive at a goal is a big step.

Now comes the execution – actually finding that dream job. If this is not your first week in the process; then remember this is not as difficult as it seems. However, if this is your first week in the process; remember it may not be as easy as it seems.

The point is that you will calibrate over the next few weeks into your search and find a method that works for you.

Clearly, some preparation can set you apart in this hyper-competitive world. So, let’s try answering your question how can I get my dream job fast?

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” – John Wooden

First some key principles in your hunt for your dream job:

A job hunt is never easy.

As a first step take out the notion in your mind that your dream job is just going to land in your lap. There are probably many other people competing for getting that coveted title on their resume – perhaps some of them are reading the same article. If you acknowledge this then you won’t easily be overwhelmed or dejected.

The hiring manager is inundated.

It’s not easy for the hiring manager as well, they have to go through a pile of resumes and search for the best candidate – which is never easy as resumes are not standardized (more on that later). You are usually getting the advice that your resume should stand out – which is probably correct given the large volume of resumes for each job posting. Whereas, the hiring manager is wishing that every resume looked the same for ease. What if the hiring manager is a machine? or uses software to shortlist the first pass? Read on for what you should be doing.

office funny meme

So if it’s not easy for the job hunter and not easy for the hiring manager then where is the gap? It is important to understand what the interviewer is trying to judge? We will establish this post and give you real, practical advice on how to get to that dream job.

The best candidates win

You will hear (and maybe read) a lot about chance, luck, and preferences. We are not going to dispute that and instead want to focus on what we know – recruiters are not finding the right candidates they are looking for and you should focus on showcasing yourself as the best candidate for the job.

Here is the ultimate guide and tips to getting to your dream job.

1. Set Priorities

It’s easy to get distracted in this process. Now that you have made up your mind, create a list of milestones and things to do in your plan to get to your dream job. Remember that this list will change based on your experience but not having one is not likely to get you anywhere.

Creating this list will help you focus on the items that will help you the most. For some of you, these may very well be the hardest items or things that you don’t like at all.

Some people don’t like research while others don’t like to randomly reach out or network with others.

But as Mark Twain said “Eat the frog” and the best time to do it is first.

You can read more on this productivity quote here. But do that later – after you have completed this guide. Remember!!! prioritize and execute.

2. Research

This is what will set you apart. You will be surprised that people still send the same Resume to all their job applications. The resume is a tailored document whose role is to land you that interview (and not that job) so make it count. The interview is supposed to land you that job. So first get to the interview.

We have seen that using the right words in the resume can land you that job interview. If an organization uses Azure and all you talk about is AWS then you are filtered out. If you are a performance marketing manager then do talk about the additional skill-sets that you have; adding SEO and content marketing will get you noticed.

Remember that a typical hiring manager filters out a resume in 7 seconds and an applicant tracking system – which is software – takes just milliseconds to do that. So it’s important for you to understand what makes you better than the competition?

As per Glassdoor, On average, each job offer attracts 250 resumes. Of those candidates, 4 to 6 will get called for an interview, and only one will get the job.

Target

Standardize that resume while making yourself stand out. Choose a content format that keeps the display clean and makes the content readable, both to a human and to a machine. This is the middle ground we mentioned earlier.

Make sure your resume (and call it a resume, only academics use the word CV for a longer form document) is not built using blocks that become machine unreadable. And the document should never be a scan or something that a machine will not be able to read.

Many people would want a fancy resume to appear in front of a human interviewer but your first goal has to be to land that interview.

3. Make Job Hunting your only Job

Finding a job is like selling something – in this case, your abilities. You need to have a wide funnel of roles, people you talk to at that dream company (if you have a narrow choice). The conversations need to progress and you need to have an effective follow-up strategy | be careful that this should not be badgering or pointless follow-ups.

Think of your job search as a sales funnel. You need to spread out wide and have potentials who you talk to and trickle this down to success.

Focus

If your goal is narrow and specific such as becoming an investment analyst at Sequoia or getting that internship at Goldman Sachs then you need to spend a lot more time reading about that one dream role. There is no better substitute than talking to people – the personal vibe about the culture of the place, what kind of people do they recruit, how they dress, etc. can only come from a personal conversation.

Remember recruiters go through a confirmation bias.

4. Remember you don’t have to be perfect

While education and your past qualifications or experience matter a whole lot in some jobs; don’t let that deter you.

It’s important for you to understand the requirements of the job so that you can evaluate what your chances are with that job – these are some of the tools that we are building at Sukiru and you will get access to them soon.

At the same time, not all job applications are equal which means that the best candidate may not be available or may not be willing to switch jobs. This is where the next set of candidates come in, it is important to display your abilities to get the job done here – an internship, a project, freelancing are some of the things that help.

Randomly applying to jobs never helps.

5. Fill the gaps 

Ask yourself what do the basic requirements seem to be? What do you think the hiring manager is seeking? We often see that candidates don’t spend enough time on the job description, it’s a well-crafted document that gives you the most information.

If you are really keen to get that job, evaluate filling the big gaps in your resume and consider upskilling/reskilling or taking on another job that acts as a stepping stone to your dream job. Sometimes the path to your dream job is just not direct.

Knowing your gaps itself is a big accomplishment. Consider filling the key gaps that are in demand. Think of first filling the high impact gaps (those which are easy to work and are in demand).

Bridge

6. Apply to one Job

If that job is important you will be researching it enough and creating a custom strategy that will increase your chances to land that job itself. This will involve talking to a lot of people – those in that company, in that role, previously with the company. In the end, you should have answered the question of why you would be called for an interview?

A cover letter could work really well to display your understanding of the role and your keenness to take up the role. While many people say that cover letters are not required any longer; we see less than 1% of job applications having it. This is an opportunity but only if the cover letter is crafted well.

7. Keep Trying

No matter what happens, keep trying and don’t give up. You will need to change strategy and refine tact a couple of times but that’s a part of the process.

We know that many people give up and that’s what differentiates those who land that dream job from those who don’t.

All the best!!!

Image Credits:

  • Icons 8 on Unsplash
  • memegenerator.net
  • Anastase Maragos on Unsplash
  • Chase Clark on Unsplash
  • Kyler Trautner on Unsplash

Tina

Helping professionals around the world explore and navigate their careers

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