Are you still wondering what you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question many people, young and old, are still trying to figure out. The reality is that our aspirations change with new relationships, blossoming interests, and relocation. Whether you’re unhappy with your current career path or you’re just graduating from college, learning how to land your dream job can be a difficult task. Here are some tips to get you started.
Define Your Dream
To start, ask yourself how you envision your work day. Is it spent behind a desk or traveling the globe? Is your schedule consistent or different each day? The reality is that only 30 percent of employees are engaged at work, according to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report. Envisioning your day-to-day ideal by combining your talents and desires will place you among the engaged elite.
With an ideal job in mind, start researching the career path of others who have successfully landed that position. Check company websites for team listings and bio information. Find the person whose job you want and read where they began their career on LinkedIn. Everybody starts somewhere.
Expand Your Network
With the expansive communications options available to you today, you have more networks at your disposal than you may imagine. Update your profile on LinkedIn and invite former professors, business contacts, and previous employers to connect with you. Look for associations and business groups in your industry as they frequently host networking events.
Even location-based social-networking apps are rapidly changing to accommodate the young entrepreneur in search for professional contacts. Utilizing apps like Coffee (which acts like the Tinder of professional networking) is a unique way to connect with professionals near you, gaining insight and, hopefully, setting up informational interviews in the industry of your dreams.
An informational interview allows you to speak with employees in your dream industry. Request a phone call or cup of coffee, and ask about their career, how they started, and where they see growth. Remember this is informational, not a time to ask for a job or a reference.
Update Your Resume
As you review your network for opportunities, update your resume with your work experience, skills, and any achievements you want to spotlight. Try to emphasize your work experience that aligns with the type of employment you’re seeking. For example, if you worked as an administrative assistant but your dream job is in project management, highlight your talents in coordination, time management, and multitasking — all skills required of a project manager. After updating your resume, have a friend look over the changes. Misspellings and incoherent bullet points could prevent you from getting that first interview.
Prepare for the Interview
Once you have an interview lined up, it’s important to get yourself ready. Start by thoroughly researching the company and the position. Explore the company’s website to learn about its mission and history, and be sure to check out websites like Glassdoor for any insider information on the business culture. Write down a few questions to ask the interviewer; asking well-researched questions shows that you are interested in the position and demonstrates your ability to take initiative. With questions prepared, the interview can flow more like a conversation, leaving the interviewer with a memorable impression.
According to a LinkedIn survey, only 30 percent of people earn a living from their childhood dream job. The depressing reality is that it’s easy to get stuck in the majority. Luckily, these tips on how to land your dream job can help you claim your place amongst the elite minority.