Job hunting is never an easy process. It takes time to sift through job boards, scan over postings, and email prospective employers. But, when you finally find that ideal job, all your efforts feel worth it.
Then reality hits. There’s a lot of competition out there and standing out from the crowd isn’t easy. You’ve found your dream job; now how do you land it? There are 5 things you must have for the best chances of getting the job you desperately want.
#1 – A Winning Resume
Think of your resume as the knock that opens the door. It’s your personal marketing tool and first impression, heavily influencing your chances of getting called in for an interview. That said, so many of us make the mistake of handing out mediocre resumes.
In the age of the internet, there’s almost no excuse for having a poor CV. A quick Google search will turn up page after page of free resources and resume building sites. Industry samples are a good place to start if you’re unsure of what to include, and almost every word processor comes with standard templates.
Aim to make your resume as strong as possible by crafting it to line up with your dream jobs posting. Take note of the skill requirements mentioned and be sure to echo the key ones you posses on your CV. Make sure you list any relevant nationally recognised qualifications you have completed and If the required work experience asks for more than what you have, try and pull in relevant volunteer work or extracurricular activities you’ve taken part in. Most importantly, ensure that every aspect of you resume is relevant, polished, and presents you in the best light.
#2 – Killer Cover Letter
If your resume is the knock that opens the door, then your cover letter is the pitch that gets you inside. It serves as your introduction and the chance to sell yourself. Don’t use it to reiterate what you said in your resume, rather, talk about who you are, what makes you qualified, and why you want this position with that particular company. Crafting the perfect cover letter takes practice but, as you need to tailor each one to every individual application, you should get plenty of it that during your job search.
#3 – Proper Attire
Congratulations, you’ve landed an interview! Now what? The next thing you’ll need to get the job you desperately want, is proper attire. While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, dressing the part goes a long way with prospective employers. With every job comes a certain dress code and your interviewer needs to know that you can maintain a professional appearance.
Every company is different, so it’s a good idea to find out the dress code beforehand by asking human resources or visiting the company. A good rule is to attend the interview dressed a notch up from their everyday office attire. If most employees come to work in dress pants and a business shirt, wearing those paired with a blazer to the interview would be appropriate. Remember, it is always best to be overdressed, rather than under.
#4 – Preparation
Another thing you must have in order to land your dream job is proper preparation. Even the most experienced of us can let an opportunity slip right through our fingers if we don’t prepare for the interview.
Don’t just walk in there showing enthusiasm for the job, but show that you want to work with the company too. Research the organization, learn their past projects, know its history and mission statement. It’s very likely that your interviewer will ask you why you chose their company and, if you’d done your research, you’ll be more-than prepared.
While you’re researching the company, do a quick search for common interview questions asked for the position you’re applying for. Craft your answers a few days before, and practice them alone or with a friend. A little rehearsal can keep you from being caught off-guard, like a deer in headlights, “umming” your way through your interview.
Lastly, almost all employers will wrap up an interview by asking if you have any questions for them, and the last thing they want to hear is an apathetic “no.” Plan ahead by drafting up a few you can ask when given the opportunity.
#5 – Confidence
Above all else, you need to have confidence in order to get the job you want. Walk into the interview knowing your value so that you can convey it to your potential employers. Confidence will keep you composed, charismatic, and communicating clearly. Having all four, previous points will help build your confidence but, if all else fails, fake it ‘til you make it!
With these 5 things, you’re setting yourself up for success, significantly increasing your chances of landing your dream job.
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