The ancient Chinese proverb has it right: "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life." The trick is you need to land your dream job so you have a fulfilling profession without suffering through burnout, boredom and financial difficulties. Luckily, you can take concerted steps towards making your daydream a reality with these seven strategies.
1. Know What You Love
You cannot seek out your dream job if you don't know what you're looking for in a career. Take some time to assess what kinds of tasks you truly enjoy doing. Would a job working with people suit you best, or could you have more fun spending time fixing machinery? A psychological assessment can point you in the right direction if you're not sure about the type of career you love.
2. Understand Job Requirements
Job requirements are not a strict set of rules. See them as negotiable. The primary qualification may be a college degree, but if you have five years of experience, that might make up for your lack of a degree. Instead of a bachelor's degree, you might have an associate degree with a few certifications attached to it. Some skills might be ironclad, but other qualifications have wiggle room as your search for your dream job.
3. See What You're Worth
Your professional value entails the culmination of your professional experiences. Examine the quality of your experience rather than the quantity on your quest for a dream job. Five years making presentations in front of potential customers that honed your sales skills are, perhaps, better than someone's 15 years at a desk job analyzing sales metrics.
4. Create Your Narrative
Your resume is just one part of your professional story. Write a cover letter that introduces your highest-level skills. Start with a hook, show how you solve a company's problem and then state how you're ready to work.
5. Network, Network and Network Some More
The best way to find opportunities for a job is to keep your eyes and ears open through your professional network. When you develop relationships over the years, the people in your network can someday recommend you for a position by attesting to your skills, qualifications and experience. According to LinkedIn, employers fill up to 85 percent of positions through networking. So, beef up your network and get to know people at a firm for which you want to work.
6. Use Keywords to Satisfy Applicant Trackers
Even though you network to find the dream job you want, you still need a resume to present to the hiring manager. Some positions may require you to apply through traditional means like every other candidate does. Maximize your chances of getting an interview by preparing a resume filled with keywords that match the qualifications listed in the job description.
7. Tailor Your Message
Tailor your message to each company along all aspects of your job search. The same cover letter, network connection and resume doesn't work for a sales position as it would for a data analyst job, for example. Once you know what you want, zero in on a particular job and create a custom message for that position.
Your dream job is out there. Follow these seven strategies to strengthen your position.
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