Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, the path to landing your dream job can be quite a formidable task. If it was a walk in the park – everyone’s life would be less stressful and more passionate.
Despair not, achieving your dream job just got a lot easier with these key steps:
Dig deep within yourself. Know what makes you happy. It’s very important to know what you like to do. It helps if you know your key interests in life. Are you a finance person? Are you more on the creative side? Do you see yourself in the medical field? Make a list of what motivates you – money, location, industry, your passion, visions, and goals.
In this generation and age, Google is everyone’s best friend. Nothing beats doing research in the comfort of your own home and own time. Search for companies that are in the industry that you want to get in. Create a list of the companies you would like to work for. Join LinkedIn. Network with friends who are in the industry that you like. Watch out for job opportunities in the companies that you set your eyes on.
Watch for Opportunities and Apply like a Pro
When a job opportunity does open at the company you want to apply for, go for it 100%! But, don’t rush in like a bull in a china shop! Make sure that you’re well prepared. Re-assess your resume and keep it to a 2-page resume – the shorter your resume, the more chances you’ll get in. You don’t need to have a novel for a resume – include only the essentials: your name, address, e-mail address and contact number; summary of your skills and education; list of your work experience along with duties and responsibilities. Don’t include your photo, your gender and your age (they are not hiring you for your looks or age). Get the right references. Create an eye-catching cover letter. The cover letter must be brief. Sell yourself and convince them that you’re the right person for the job.
Acing your Interview
You know that you’re a step closer to landing your dream job when they finally call you for an interview. One can’t stress the importance of preparing for your interview. Do an extensive research on the company and the people you’ll be interviewing with. Make sure that you’re suitably dressed for the interview. Depending on what type of industry, you must wear the right fit of clothes and shoes. If you’re applying in the corporate world, wear a conservative dark suit; preferably black. For women, don’t wear stilettos! I find that kitten heels work best in the corporate industry. The first impression is indeed lasting so make sure that you’re dress to get the job! Shake with firm hands. During the interview, answer each question by using the S.T.A.R. technique: based on situation and task; based on your action or response on the situation; and finally, the relevance or result of your action in the situation. Be specific. Give details. Always refer to past experiences that you dealt with. Always give an example. Don’t ever wing an interview. Instead, be accurate. When faced with more than one interviewee or a panel interview – relax and stay calm. Never fidget. Be composed. When answering questions, address everyone. Look everyone in the eye. Mind your posture. Thank everyone for taking the time to interview you. Oh, and don’t mention the salary unless they ask you. The salary discussion comes after they’ve made you an offer. Lastly, be yourself. Be sincere. The best accessory you can bring to an interview is confidence.
Writing a Thank You letter or e-mail
First impression may be lasting but writing a thank you note to those who interviewed you – seals the deal! Nowadays, it’s acceptable to send a thank you letter via e-mail. Send your thank you note within twenty-four hours of your interview. Be brief with your thank you letter and use it as a tool to reinforce the fact that you want the job and that you’re the right fit for the job!
The Art of Negotiation
Real negotiators have no big egos. Instead, they are wise and smart. Real negotiators show respect and understanding for the employers and the company they’re applying for. Don’t negotiate based on short term goals. Negotiate based on mutually beneficial relationships – for your well-being and for the well-being of the company. When negotiating, always use the word “we,” not “I.” For instance: “It would greatly benefit us if we reach an agreement on these key areas: employee benefits, our key expectations from each other, what is an acceptable salary…” When doing so, you make the company feel that you are after their best interest as well, not just yours. If you want to negotiate for a salary, be confident but don’t be egotistical. Make sure that they know you’re worth it based on your past professional experience. Be realistic as well. Prepare to meet your future employers half way. At the same time, don’t ever sell yourself short. Part of landing your dream job is knowing that your job can actually sustain you and your family.
With these key steps, Confucius might be right after all!
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