5 Steps to Land Your Dream Job

Monday, June 19

1.    Be prepared: Before you even apply for your next job, you need to be prepared. A lot of professionals have given me advice to dress for my next job in my current position. This may sound silly but it can put you in the mindset of your next position. If you are looking to become a manager then dress like one!
    Also, be strategic in your job hunt. Search through Linked In and connect with professionals who are currently working for the company you want to work for or have the title you are striving to get. Some companies even let you job shadow (if you’re applying within the company) so you can get a feel for what your workload would be. It is really important that you take these opportunities and ask as many questions as you can.
    Once you find your dream job, then it is time to apply, apply, apply! I had to apply a few times to get into the position I am now, and I’m beyond grateful that I kept reaching for my goals. It is easy to get discouraged when you get turned down, but just remember what motivated you to apply in the first place and keep pushing forward!

2.    Job description: A job description is the position roadmap. It will outline what you will be doing and the minimum requirements to be considered for the position. One technique that I have been taught is to print out the job description before you create your resume. Once you print it, highlight everything you do in your current position under responsibilities and everything you can do under the qualifications. You can also underline key words such as “analyze, assist, research, provide, etc.” The job description is the best way to know what the hiring manager is looking for so make sure you know it very well.

3.   Resume: Resumes are a tricky art so I’m going to try and keep this section to a few key points.
    First off, you will want to create a master resume. This is a document where you will be able to maintain your skills, qualifications, accomplishments and everything you have done; but never actually submit to any managers. You want to make sure and update this periodically so it current.
    Once you find the job you’re wanting to apply for, and have highlighted all the important info, you’re ready to start creating your specific resume. It is important to have a specific resume for each job you are applying for instead of a general one that you submit to multiple jobs. Your specific resume is going to be portions of your master resume that are specific to the job you are applying for. To tailor your resume, it is good to include a key qualification section that will hook the hiring manager and spotlight what makes you the best fit. Also, tie in some keywords from the job description if you can. 
    Finally, format and design play a large role in building a great resume. A few tips I have learned while talking to hiring managers are: do not exceed two pages, balance the white space vs text, don’t have a fancy template that is hard to follow, and use a basic font around 12pt. Also, your resume must be consistent. Don’t use a period after a sentence on one bullet point and no period on the next bullet point. Make sure you are bolding and italicizing consistently throughout; instead of having random bold words. And finally, remove clutter from your resume. Don’t write “references on request” because if a manager wants references, they will automatically request it. Don’t put irrelevant hobbies or clubs that you participated in and do try to convey your thoughts in the shortest way possible.

4.   The interview: Woo, you made it to the interview! This part can be extremely nerve racking but the biggest tip I can give you is be confident. A manager’s goal is to get to know who you are, not who your nervous self is.
    The best way to gain confidence is to be prepared. Ask your friends or family to do mock interviews with you and become familiar with articulating your answers. Get a good night’s sleep the night before your interview and set out your professional outfit before you go to bed. When it comes to interview attire, it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Your attire should be all business, even down to the notebook and pen you bring with you to the interview (yes, you should bring a notebook and take notes).
    When you get into the interview room, shake hands and make eye contact with each person. Make sure you engage each individual in the room if you have a panel interview.
    To conclude the interview, the hiring manager will probably ask you “do you have any questions for me.” You absolutely have to have questions to ask them! It is a good idea to come up with three to five questions to have ready for the interviewer before you even step foot in the room.
There are a lot of do’s and don’ts to interviewing but the best thing to do is be authentic and show the interviewer why you deserve to be in the position.

5.    Follow up: After the interview, follow up by sending the manager a thank you note (handwritten is best but an email works too) no more than 24 hrs after the interview. If you get the job, congrats! If you don’t, get feedback on how you can improve your next interview and keep pushing forward.

Finding a job and developing your career are very challenging. However, if you put your heart into it and are motivated to reach your goals then it is 100% possible! Good luck to everyone out there!

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