Make this the year that you get your dream job. I’m serious – if you put some effort in, you could be booking a vacation from your perfect job this time next year, and looking forward to going back to work as much as you look forward to a break. If you’re ready to take fate into your own hands and get that dream job, here’s some great tips that’ll get you started.
1. Work out What You Want
It sounds obvious, but if you don’t know what your dream job is, you can’t make a plan to get it. Have a think about your goals and dreams, and learn how to describe them. If you can’t tell interviewers what you want, you’re wasting their time and yours. There’s loads of information about careers online, or seek out a careers service.
2. Be Flexible
Don’t get set on a particular job title – look at tasks and responsibilities. The job market does change, and the titles being used today might be totally different in ten years. You need to be flexible and prepared for industry changes. Make sure your CV reflects those tasks that you want to keep and you’ll stay employed regardless of any changes.
3. Get on LinkedIn
Many recruiters use LinkedIn to identify and contact candidates, so if you’re not there, you’re really missing out. Spend some time crafting a profile that really reflects both your experience and your aim, and ensure that everything is spellchecked and professional. Recommendations and examples of work successes are hugely valuable, too.
4. Learn to Communicate
How good are your intangible skills? More and more companies are expecting these to be developed at a younger age. Focus on qualities like leadership and communication, and don’t be surprised to attend interviews or workshops that include personality assessments, role plays and in-depth conversations about how you handle difficult situations. Get practicing now and you’ll always be ready.
5. Don’t Stop Learning
If you can’t walk straight into your dream job, you might feel demotivated and stop striving. Don’t! Move with the times and look for opportunities to get involved in things that your seniors are doing. Ask for feedback, learn new skills and think ahead. These are the skills that will get you a promotion, which will put you one step closer to that elusive dream job.
6. Stand out
Think of ways that you can stand out in your industry. In some, it might be sending a handwritten note rather than an email. It could be adding a unique commentary to interesting articles or having unique experience. You might need to think hard to find what can make you stand out, but anything that sets you apart from the other 300 million job-seekers on LinkedIn is a good thing.
7. Don’t Look Too Hard
Passive candidates are becoming all the rage. That means that you’re not necessarily job hunting, but you’ve connected with recruiters and you’re engaging with them. It suggests that you are performing so well that you’re being recognized at a job, and you might be able to negotiate better pay or more benefits for being lured away from a job you enjoy. Companies don’t want employees who have performance issues or are demotivated and unhappy, so stay professional.
Get a friend or family member to quiz you on some interview questions and practice everything, from thinking up an answer quickly to explaining yourself well and coming across confidently. Ask for honest feedback and take constructive criticism on board. It’s the only way to make sure that you rock that interview – if you use real interviews as practice, you might miss a brilliant opportunity.
You might find that cutting out some pictures of things related to your dream job and creating a mood board that you see every day keeps you motivated, or you can schedule regular pep talks to remind yourself of your aim. It’ll be worth it when you’ve got that job! What’s your dream job?