Find your Dream Job

Unlock Your Dream Job: Proven Strategies Revealed

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We’ve all found ourselves in situations where, despite having ample time to accomplish a task, we procrastinated, wasting the time we had, only to then scramble to make up for lost time. If you’re serious about finding a new job, it’s crucial to approach each day as if it were your last day of employment. For those already out of work, consider it a blessing in disguise and begin your job search immediately.

  • Optimize Your Resume: Tailor your resume for each job application. Highlight relevant skills and experiences that match the job description. Use keywords from the job posting to pass Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
  • Leverage LinkedIn: Update your LinkedIn profile with a professional photo, compelling summary, and up-to-date experience. Connect with industry professionals and join relevant groups to increase your visibility.
  • Network Effectively: Networking is key. Attend industry meetups, conferences, and webinars. Reach out to professionals in your field for informational interviews to learn and make valuable connections.
  • Apply Strategically: Don’t just apply to every job. Focus on opportunities where you meet most qualifications and have a genuine interest. Customized applications are more likely to stand out.
  • Prepare for Interviews: Research the company thoroughly. Practice answering common interview questions and prepare questions to ask the interviewer. Demonstrating your interest and knowledge can make a big difference.
  • Use Job Boards Wisely: While job boards are useful, don’t rely solely on them. Explore niche job boards specific to your industry and use them in conjunction with networking and direct company outreach.
  • Focus on Personal Branding: Develop a personal brand that showcases your unique skills, experiences, and professional interests. This can differentiate you in a competitive job market.
  • Volunteer or Freelance: Gaining experience through volunteering or freelancing can fill employment gaps, build your network, and develop new skills. It also adds valuable content to your resume.
  • Stay Organized: Keep track of applications, follow-ups, and networking contacts. Use a spreadsheet or a job search app to manage your job search process efficiently.
  • Embrace Continuous Learning: Upskill by taking relevant courses or certifications. Staying current with your industry’s trends and technologies can make you a more attractive candidate to employers.

Job Search Lists

Individually, your job search lists may be helpful, but collectively, your job search lists (recruiters, target companies, social networks, etc.) are powerful tools for your job search.

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I firmly believe that when it comes to job searching, “more is more.” While many job search specialists might suggest otherwise (everyone is entitled to their opinion), the principle is simple: just like any product in the market, if nobody knows it exists, nobody will buy it. The more people who know you’re looking for a job, the better your chances of landing one.

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Recruiters

A recruiter’s job is to find the best candidate for the job. Typically (unless they are on retainer), they do not get paid unless the company hires one of their candidates. Most recruiters will work with you to either help find a match between your skills and their job requirements or in some cases convince a company to create a job based on your skills.

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At the end of the day, recruiters are being paid by the hiring company and there is a delicate balance between closing the deal and helping you maximize your compensation. There are a few rules of the road you should consider:

  • You should not have to pay a Recruiter to help you find a job.
  • Look for recruiters in the state/region where you want to work. While many recruiters are national or international, most tend to recruit in their local market.
  • Look for recruiters who specialize in your industry/field. They have the best chance of marketing your skills and finding a job for you.
  • Don’t let a Recruiter pressure you into taking a job you do not want.

Target Companies

You likely have a list (even if it’s just in your head) of companies where you would love to work. If you don’t, make one. This involves a little research, but in the end, it will help you narrow the choices while improving your chances of finding a job. There are many advantages to creating a target list, not the least of which is maximizing your time. Most hiring managers will ask why you want to work at their company. If you’ve made your list, you already know the answer. Items to consider:

  • Select companies in your industry.
  • Include companies that have locations in the region where you want to work.
  • Leverage existing lists (Best Companies to Work for, Most Admired Companies, Fortune 500, etc.). Much of the research has been done for you.
  • Talk to people in your Network about the companies where they work. They will have inside knowledge about the corporate culture, compensation, and career opportunities
  • Research all of your picks. You can find salary trends, employee ratings, better business bureau comments, financial strength, etc.

Network

The value of your network cannot be overstated. Your network will provide leads, references, and many times, actual job leads. There are many networking tools out there, but my favorite is LinkedIn. It will help you identify and keep track of your network. It will also help people identify you as part of their network. If you are not already a member (basic membership is free), you should join now.  Regardless of the tool you use, you should consider the following:

  • Include friends, family, current and former coworkers, teachers/professors, etc.
  • Let everyone in your network know you are looking for a job (more is more).
  • Leverage your network to get interviews at your target companies.
  • Leverage your network to put in a “good word” when you are interviewing at their company.
  • Your network is your best source for references – use them.
  • Remember to reciprocate (don’t ask others to do what you would not do yourself).
  • “Anti-networking” – check your social network sites to ensure there is nothing that will come back to haunt you.
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Job Search Boards

On the surface, it feels as if there are millions of job search boards. Of course, there aren’t, but there are quite a few. You could easily get sucked into spending all of your time searching and applying for jobs you find on job search sites. That would not be a good use of your time. Pick a few sites that are highly rated and meet your needs. Balance the time you spend on job search boards against other resources (recruiters, your target companies, and your network). Some job search boards are very useful and current while others have many outdated &/or non-existent jobs. It’s not always easy to tell which sites are the worst, but there is a level of consistency in terms of the top rated boards. Best to consider:

  • Look for articles that rank the top job boards
  • Use job boards that focus on your industry/field and location
  • Use “saved searches” to alert you of matching jobs
  • You should not have to pay for a job search board

General “Rules of the Road”

  • Look for jobs at or above your level (and salary). If you aim low, you will most likely wind up with a boring job with less pay.
  • Remember to allocate your time across all sources (recruiters, companies, job search boards, and your network).
  • Use my “one a day” rule – submit one resume or contact one Recruiter every day (so little time, so many job applications)
  • Today is the first day of the rest of your job search – don’t squander it!
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