Whether you’re a recent graduate or seasoned professional, chances are you’re reading this article because you’re not happy with your current job. You’re not alone; last year Indeed revealed over 50% of Australians listed ‘finding a new job’ as one of their New Year’s resolutions. It can be reassuring for dissatisfied employees to know that there are over 180,000 job vacancies each month [Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017], however with this number of job possibilities comes the challenge of finding and securing the right one.
So how do you go about finding your dream job? Here are three key steps:
1.Know what your dream job looks like:
The first step to getting your dream job is determining what that job looks like. Your long-term goal might be to become an executive, but in most industries, there isn’t a clear path to the top. Alternatively, the idea of becoming an executive may have you running in the other direction. Even within the same industry jobs can differ greatly; it’s possible that you haven’t yet heard of your dream job. So how do you know what the dream job looks like?
Networking at industry events is a great way to find out about similar jobs to yours from like-minded professionals. People generally like talking about their job so be inquisitive. Next analyze your current situation – your own strengths and weaknesses, what aspects of your current job you enjoy most and what key elements are missing. With a greater self-awareness and broadened industry knowledge, you can draft a list of must-haves for your dream job. This will allow you to quickly disregard job descriptions that don’t match and focus your time on becoming the ideal candidate.
2.Become the ideal candidate:
Becoming the ideal candidate is essential to stand out to recruiters. Large companies like Google can receive up to 3 million resumes a year [Scott Bacon, Google recruiter, 2015] – what are you doing to become the perfect fit for the job?
Look through job ads posted online that are similar to your dream job, paying close attention to the skills and experience requirements. This includes technical skills, soft skills and industry knowledge. Jot down any points that you don’t have, or feel you need to improve on – these are what you should work on to become the ideal candidate.
For each skill you want to develop, brainstorm ways that you can improve, keeping in mind that you’ll need to be able to discuss them in an interview and apply your learning if you’re offered the job. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Watch online tutorials
- Complete a short course
- Obtain a recognised certification
- Start your own personal project
- Find a mentor
- Attend industry events
- Subscribe to a reputable blog
- Listen to podcasts
Taking the initiative to improve on relevant skills will ensure you look better on paper, but also shows that you are proactive and a keen learner – excellent qualities for a job candidate to have.
3.Stand out in the recruitment process
Now that you’ve decided what the dream job looks like and you’ve upskilled to become the ideal candidate, you’re ready to send off a stellar application. The old adage is true here – quality over quantity. Find one job that fits your criteria and craft an application specific to that company and position, rather than a generic one you can reuse many times over.
Recruiters spend only six seconds reviewing a resume before deciding if they should discard it [The Ladders, 2012]. This first check is mostly to see if you meet the requirements of the role, so make sure your relevant skills and job experience are prominent. Don’t waste space or the recruiter’s time with irrelevant job history or skills that aren’t relevant to the role.
Another resume essential is making sure all information is accurate. In addition to reviewing your resume, the recruiter or your potential employer will likely look at your Linkedin profile (or any other social media links you provide) and contact your references. If there are any inconsistencies in skills or experience it will break the employer’s trust and your dream opportunity will be lost.
A common delay in the recruitment process is pre-employment checks, such as qualification checks and police checks. Fortunately, you can speed up this process by preparing your documents ahead of time. For any formal education, collate certificates of completion and transcripts. In Australia, police check, you’ll need 100 points of ID for a police check, such as a current drivers license and passport. Having all your documents in order, not only will potentially cut down the time from interview to job offer but will show your future employer how organized you are.
Getting the dream job can seem daunting, however, there are clear steps you can follow to make it a reality. By identifying what your dream job looks like, becoming the ideal candidate and standing out in the recruitment process you can get the job you really want.