How to Find Your Dream Job

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Finding a dream job, especially in today's economy, is tough. There are many other applicants to compete against, some of whom are much more qualified. Most companies don't even respond to rejected applicants, making the entire process frustrating and disheartening for job seekers. If just finding a job is so difficult, it should go without saying that finding a dream job is even harder. However, all job seekers should be aggressively pursuing their dream job. This makes planning a career path easier and gives professionals a clear road map to reaching their career goals.

There is no end to external circumstances that might occur while job hunting. Another candidate may be more talented or a job seeker may not have the right personality for a specific company culture or team. Fortunately, there are a handful of job hunting steps and techniques that are largely agreed-upon to work. Following these steps will help applicants land the job they truly want.

1. Determine the Dream Job

In order to secure a dream job, job seekers need to first decide what their dream job is. This is harder than it sounds, and it takes some research. Job seekers are advised to consider what they are passionate about and research what types of jobs are available in each industry. There are many unusual jobs that most people overlook or don't know exist, so job seekers should really dig deep to find the best role for them. For example, for someone who is interested in surgery but doesn't want to be a surgeon, a role such as surgical technician should be considered. A niche job might require less education and therefore be cheaper and faster to get, so they should not be discounted.

2. Research and Obtain the Qualifications

Once the exact nature of a desired dream job is determined, applicants then need to research what qualifications are required for that job. Some dream positions can be obtained rather early in one's career. Others, such as managers and executives, will likely take years and significant experience to achieve. The end goal should always be considered when evaluating any job to see if it will provide a good next step in a career path. If the job seeker has not yet completed the required education or needs additional education, that should be done before the job search begins. This can also include obtaining special certification, licensing or passing exams that might be required to work in a particular field.

3. Network With Other Professionals

Once ready to begin the job hunt, applicants need to leverage their network to the fullest. This is a difficult, delicate and somewhat confusing affair, but it is one of the most effective ways to land a job. Job seekers should reach out to anyone they know who works in their desired field or has significant connections. Do not just outright ask for a job. Ask them any questions about the field, such as what they like and don't like about it and begin to form a professional relationship instead. When a connection gets to know a job seeker they will feel comfortable recommending them to their own connections.

4. Dedication to Continued Education

The best professionals know that they never stop growing and learning new things. In order to succeed at a dream job, aspiring applicants know they must keep up with industry trends, new technologies and additional professional development. This continuing education should occur during the job search itself, as job seekers should work to perfect or obtain skills that are necessary or helpful to have in their chosen profession. New skills can be obtained by volunteering or other work. For job seekers who have held jobs before, advertise transferable skills that could be helpful in a new position.

5. Build a Tailored Resume

Now is the time to begin drafting a resume. A resume should always be tailored to each and every position a job seeker applies to. This shows initiative and that the applicant cares about landing the job. It also helps get resumes past resume screening software, which often look for keywords and phrases and discard resumes that do not include them. Building a resume can be a challenge, especially when there are many details to overlook. For example, including an objective statement is largely considered outdated advice but a professional statement could be included in its place. Looking at sample resumes and making a list of job history, achievements and skills will help candidates come up with the best resume.

6. Have Error-Free Application Materials

The next step is to proofread the resume, cover letter and all other application materials thoroughly. Errors, or worse, outright lies, can cost the job. This is because candidates need to be putting themselves forward as detail-oriented, truthful, reliable people. Missing details like misspelling a word or forgetting to include something in the application that was requested will cause hiring managers to move on to someone else.

7. Only Apply to the Right Jobs

In a tough economy, it can be tempting to apply to every job available. However, this is not the most effective job hunting strategy. Applicants should focus on looking for the right jobs and spend more time and care applying to them. The more effort that is made to stand out and submit quality materials, the greater the chance of getting the job. This is where a job seeker's time should go when applying to jobs.

8. Nail the Interview

Nailing the interview comes next. After applying for a job and sufficiently impressing the hiring manager, the applicant will be called in for an interview. Candidates should arrive for the interview slightly early and looking their best. Dress professionally and come prepared with a resume copy and a list of questions to ask. Show enthusiasm for the field, the possibility of working in this job and even the company itself. Ask questions to show that enthusiasm and to determine whether this truly is a dream job.

9. Send a Thank You Note

Once applicants have performed well in the interview, following up in some way should be done. Following up can unfortunately be tricky, as applicants do not want to come across as pushy. However, it is considered polite and common courtesy to send a handwritten note to the interviewer, thanking them for their time and briefly reminding them of what the candidate can bring to the role. By doing this, and following all the preceding steps, landing a dream job will be considerably easier.

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