10 Tips for Job Seekers – What to Do, What to Avoid to Land that Dream Role

This column is authored by Dinesh Goel, Co-Founder & CEO,

job huntingA dream career or a dream job doesn’t come your way. You will have to find it and go to it. How long it takes depends on how hard you look and how hard you work towards your goal – after all there are no shortcuts to success. If you are really adamant about bagging your dream job, you have to take action and steer ahead of the obstacles that you may find on the way.

The Chinese sage Confucius, once said, “Choose a Job You Love, and You Will Never Have To Work a Day in Your Life’. Ask yourself, are you really ready to follow your dreams or just go with the flow. It is widely said – If you do not plan your life, you will be a part of someone else’s plan. If you want to do what you love for the rest of your life, you have to take action, and take it consistently – till you achieve it.

There are innumerable ways in which you can search for a job relevant to your profile, and that, which is akin to your liking. Here are a few tips.

1. The first step is to assess yourself before you look out for a job. Know yourself and your skill sets – and then take advantage of those. Like the Joker of the Dark Knight says, “If you are good at something, never do it for free.”. Look out for the market opportunities that aligns with your skill sets and expertise. Additionally, set up a criteria that explains what you are particularly look for, in a job of your choice and then, use that criteria in your search actions. Sheryl Sandberg used an Excel spreadsheet to organize her job search, post she graduated from Harvard Business School. First and foremost, is commitment! Without it, nothing is possible. You have to remain committed to what you want to achieve and channel all efforts towards it.

 2. Gather information about the jobs present in the market, basis the skill sets you have mentioned in your curriculum vitae. It is not wise to apply to all the jobs that appears on your screen, when you type, let’s say IT, PR etc. It is also important to go through the job description carefully when you plan to apply for a particular job. You should apply to only those jobs that you are confident about. Prepare yourself as you might have to explain to the interviewer as to how your skills and expertise corresponds to the position you are applying for.

3. Craft your resume carefully. One-size-fits-all doesn’t work. Make changes to your CV depending on the kind of job you are applying for. Make alterations keeping your employer in mind. Your resume is the backbone of your dream job. Once you create such a resume, apply to jobs specifying your skills and experiences and how you wish to contribute and add value to the organization, once you are hired. Also pay attention to the cover letter. There is no harm in having multiple versions of your CV and cover letter. Not only will it save you time but it will also, help you find the right job.

4. Have patience. Bagging the right job may take time and hence, do not get discouraged in finding the right match. Go for a certificate course or do an internship, if that is what your employer needs. Many job descriptions mentions what kind of certifications and courses they prefer over others. It will keep you motivated and make you more job ready. You can simultaneously continue with your search. Skills and learning, never go waste.

 5. Stories capture the attention of people. Create a title that separates you from the herd and makes you a class apart. Write a hard hitting summary which concisely emphasizes your strengths and skills and how you intend to value add. It makes it easier for employers to separate your CV from the multitude of others that your employer receives and this can go a long way to help you kickstart your career.

6. It is also wise, when you are waiting for calls from employers, utilize this time to prepare yourself for ‘interviews’. Prepare a list of frequently asked questions and put yourself up for the toughest possible test. Get hold of a friend and do a mock interview and prepare yourself as to how would you approach each question and answer them. A better interview will get you a better job than just your resume. Prepare yourself for it.

7. Talk convincingly. Make your seemingly irrelevant experience look relevant to your employers by mentioning how have improved yourself and how would you be an asset to your potential employer.

8. Don’t settle for anything lesser than what you deserve. That won’t help you get your dream job. Start by searching for good companies, rather than just filtering your search by just the keyword, apply.

9. Give more options to your employer. To make your chances of getting the job better, add more cities when they ask to specify your preferred job locations. That brings in the flexibility aspect. Widening your area of search, not only makes you able to choose from more number of companies but also makes your employer consider your profile.

Last, but not the least, have realistic expectations from the company you wish to work for. Any progress is good progress.

Most people, when they switch to a new job says “learning new things” is what makes them happy. Research says that, people enter the state of optimal enjoyment when they are highly engaged in an activity. We are most engaged when we do something which lies just a bit ahead of our skill set. If it’s too hard, we fail and if it’s too easy, we lose interest. The catch is to find a balance.

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