9 Rules to Land Your Dream Job
Are you a new grad, switching careers, or unemployed? You know how hard it is to land your dream job and get hired without a plan. Wouldn’t it be great if recruiters started reaching out to you and competing for your talents?
I graduated at a pretty rough time in the job market. It was right after the 2007 housing crisis and the financial market crash. I thought my job search would be a few months. Unfortunately, it was a little over a year before I landed something promising… and I was one of the lucky ones!
Notice I say “promising” and not my “dream job.” Luckily, you might be looking at prospects at a much better economic time than when I first started. Either way, most recruiters say to expect to spend roughly 6 months looking for a job. That’s half a year devoted to searching, sending out resumes, and getting completely ignored by many companies. It starts to feel like a job in itself.
What needs to change
It’s not enough to blast out your resume every week anymore. You need to be up-to-date on the tools recruiters use. You should know how they go through a hiring process. And you need to know the impact social media now has on your resume and your image.
Your primary goal is to sell your strengths and package them up in a way that recruiters can process. This doesn’t mean sending a standard resume. Irina Pichura is a top Fortune 500 company recruiter. Her “Get Hired!” course suggests going through a whole image re-invention when you’re pitching your talents.
Her biggest piece of advice? Don’t ignore your online presence! She gives an in-depth tutorial on how to revamp your LinkedIn profile. You’ll ensure you stand out and get recruiters interested in you before you even send that resume!
These are the nine fundamentals she covers in her course for landing your dream job:
- Don’t neglect social media
- Shift your mindset and your confidence
- Get selective when choosing your companies
- Don’t get eliminated by the ATS
- There’s a human behind that job application portal
- Nail the interview basics
- Research industry standards
- Don’t feel rushed by the process
- Go beyond the job board
1. 73% of companies have used social media to recruit and hire talent
That’s a staggering figure! Your online presence is your interactive resume. Start with LinkedIn. In Get Hired! Irina focuses on perfecting your LinkedIn profile. But, other platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are fair game for recruiters to check out.
This is both to your benefit and it might also be to your disadvantage. Keep up a professional appearance and never post anything that can come back to haunt you. At the very least, edit your social media history before embarking on a new job hunt.
2. Shift your mindset
Are we all familiar with the duck-rabbit and old-young woman optical illusion illustrations? If you’ve been on the run for the last 20 years without access to the internet, here they are again for you:
Your job search mentality should shift perspective similar to these two illustrations. You can keep looking at it as a dog-eat-dog world where you are in the grind competing against others for a coveted position. Or, you can view yourself as the valuable holder of resources that companies out there are bidding on.
In other words, it’s essential to build confidence to ensure you won’t burn out.
3. Go from looking for a dream job to looking for a dream company
Let’s say you land a job that perfectly matches your skillset, but it’s at a company that absolutely does not match your values. The people don’t like doing the things you do, the company culture seems to be stuck in the ’50s, and the hours are grueling with little respite.
Does it still feel like you’re working at your dream job?
Probably not. This is why it’s crucial to approach your “job search” as a “company search.” Finding your ideal company culture is easier said than done, but a great place to start is LinkedIn.
4. Don’t get eliminated by the ATS
Fun fact: More than half of all applicants get IMMEDIATELY eliminated from the search by the Applicant Tracking System. Actually, it’s not very fun at all. Never heard of ATS? It’s a tool recruiters use to narrow down resumes to candidates that meet job criteria as written. Your first task is ensuring that you get over that hurdle. If you don’t, you can’t actually impress anyone.
A human will never see the resume that’s eliminated in the system. Make sure you’re following the criteria for the job requirements and give your resume extra attention if you really want that dream job.
5. Remember that you’re interacting with humans
When you’re sending out hundreds of resumes a week, it may be easy to forget about the human who’s on the receiving end. A personalized process becomes automatic for you. If you’re simply clicking “send” to as many jobs as possible without any follow-up, you’re doing it wrong.
There are hundreds, sometimes thousands, of applicants like you vying for the same job. You need to stand out. If you found that “dream job” in the “dream company,” you need to make sure you’re personalizing everything from your cover letter to your follow-up.
6. Nail the interview basics
You might be sweating the interview process for each individual job offer, but you need to understand that every interview will have many basic over-lapping questions. Your job is to prepare for the questions you’ll get at every interview, not for every interview question.
Nearly all interviews begin with the very open-ended ‘tell me about yourself’ type question. This is your short 30 second pitch about yourself. You need to have a tight edit of the story you’d like to tell.
After this, you might be asked several performance-measuring and behavioral questions like:
- Tell me when you faced a difficult task and how you solved it.
- Why do you want to work here?
- What are some of your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- How have you displayed leadership in your previous role?
- Tell me about a project you owned and how you made it succeed.
- Tell me about a time you failed.
Finally, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions for them. And here’s a hint: yes, you do.
7. Research industry standards
You need to know what you’re up against once you receive a job offer. Remember point two about shifting perspectives? You’re offering something valuable and the company is paying you for it. Therefore, you need to know the value of your services in the marketplace and use this as leverage in your negotiation.
Remember that a salary is only one part of the compensation package. There are factors like healthcare, PTO, work-from-home policies, free lunch and other things you can consider when you’re negotiating.
8. You don’t need to rush things
Did you get a dreaded “ticking time bomb” offer? There are companies out there that give you 24-48 hours to respond to an offer they made. Not many large companies do this, but it’s more typical in the start-up space.
Here’s the deal: this is a pretty shady tactic and you’re in no way obligated to make a life decision in a day. Simply respond back with a courteous email asking if the company is able provide you with more time.
You need at least a week to decide the direction your life will take and what you will be committing to. If they’re not backing down, don’t be afraid to move on. Unless, of course, you feel like this is the opportunity of a lifetime. Most likely, it’s not.
9. Don’t wait for the job board
If you’ve found THE perfect company you’d love to work for, don’t be afraid to network! Go on LinkedIn or on their website and get the contacts of key decision-makers in the department you’re looking to work in.
Reach out and tell them why you love their company and their work. Give them a glimpse of what you’re passionate about and ask if you could send a resume in case they’re hiring in the near future.
Don’t be afraid to make those connections even though the company might not have an opening on a job board right now.
Not sure how to put it all together?
Irina put together a 6-week step-by-step course that guides your job hunt from beginning to end. She spent 12 years perfecting the recruiting journey for her students, putting together a curriculum that gets results!
Each module contains a comprehensive workbook and actionable items outlining exactly what you need to do. She goes into every point we discussed in this article in detail. You’ll receive templates, examples, and exercises to perfect your job marketing materials.
You’ll master the interview process and learn how to effectively negotiate, ultimately accepting your dream job!
BONUS: You’ll receive up to $60 cash back by completing the workbooks and submitting them! Irina will review your work, ensuring you have an accountability coach.
Looking for a career change and a new lease on finding your own happiness? Irina spent the better time of her career as a corporate recruiter for top companies and the hottest startups. She’s teaching all the top tips for how to land your dream job by crafting the perfect resume, interview questions and putting your best foot forward with the ATS (Applicant Tracking System). Click to see the full curriculum.
Q: I ALREADY HAVE FULL-TIME JOB. WHEN WILL I FIND THE TIME TO DO THE COURSE?
A: This is a self-paced course, meaning you can take your time go as quickly as you want. You’ll also have this course and all the updates for life, meaning, if you find yourself in a job search again and need a refresher, you can come back and watch the course again.
Q: I HAVE GAPS IN MY RESUME. WILL I STILL SEE RESULTS?
A: This is an incredibly common occurrence. Irina addresses it directly in the modules.
Q: I DON’T KNOW IF I HAVE THE RIGHT QUALIFICATIONS FOR MY DREAM JOB. WILL THIS PROGRAM STILL WORK FOR ME?
A: 100%. Part of the process is digging deep into your life experience and positioning your skills in the most palatable way we can. Even if you’re young or have been unemployed, Irina guarantees you have skills that an employer needs and wants.
Q: THE JOB MARKET IS TOUGH IN MY AREA. WILL I STILL BENEFIT?
A: Even in the toughest job market, we have seen people succeed with this program. Even when it’s hard to find a job, standing out with a killer resume and interview skills can make all the difference.
Q: IS IT WORTH THE INVESTMENT?
A: How valuable is your time? This course can easily save you weeks (if not months) of time researching and learning how to find your next job – not to mention the likely salary increase you’ll get in your new job.
Q: DOES IT WORK?
A: If you follow the step-by-step process and do the work, it will work for you.
It has worked for 100s of students who are happily employed at jobs they love today. This course includes everything you need to do the same.
Q: WHAT IF I HAVE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS OR NEED MORE SUPPORT?
A: Irina wants you to feel fully supported along every part of your job search. That is why she hosts a weekly Q&A inside a private Members Only Facebook group.
Main photo by Thought Catalog via Unsplash