Does this sound familiar? You search for hours, days, weeks, or months to find jobs you want to apply for. After you go through the grueling application process and soul-crushing rounds of job interviews. You grind through the sleepless nights, negotiations, and months of nerve-racking stress. You are one of the lucky ones, and you land the job. It’s time to celebrate. Or is it really?
What if your job is far from a dream job?
Perhaps the job you have today was a job that you once loved. It might have been your dream job in the past. But, if you are like most of us, the job you have today is far from the job you dream about.
You might be thinking; it’s time to make a career change. A dream job is more about what you want and less about making your parents, friends, or spouse happy. A dream job is not about a paycheck. It’s about passion and doing what you love.
Is it even possible to have a career you love?
Yes, you can have a career you love. Perhaps the most important first step toward finding the best career for you is honesty. Many of us have been stuck in jobs we need to pay our bills. You have to be really honest with yourself. If you are used to working in jobs, you don’t really love long enough; you might be an expert at selling lousy jobs to yourself. By now, you might be really good at putting up with a job you hate. But what if it doesn’t have to be that way?
Don’t be Afraid to Apply for a Dream Job
Never hesitate to apply for a job you think you might enjoy. Even if your previous experience doesn’t perfectly align with the job requirements, don’t be afraid to apply. If you get the job in the end, you will be glad you took the shot. And if you don’t get the job, you can work on your skills to help you get it the next time.
What is your dream job?
Unfortunately, many people can’t even dream about a career they love anymore. They have settled into a job they tolerate for a paycheck. Every day is a sad routine, grinding through the day.
Be really honest. What is your dream job? Before you start your job hunt, have a clear picture of what you want in a job. This is not a simple process because it requires honest answers to several questions.
Look for jobs that offer the following if you want a dream job:
- The tasks and work environment should fit with who you are. If you work for a company that clashes with your personal values, you will be miserable working there.
- Look for a job with a company that values and respects its employees.
- Find work with meaning. This can mean many different things to different people. The work has to be meaningful to you, not your friends or loved ones.
What work environment do you prefer?
If you hate to work in an office environment, you should avoid jobs that require employees to sit in an office. If you love the outdoors, you should probably avoid jobs that require you to spend most of your day indoors. Do you like working from home? Search for remote jobs. If you really want to work from home, you will never be truly happy commuting to a job every day.
Check Out the Work Environment
Check out the work environment when you go for a job interview. Take a long hard look at the place. Is this a place you want to spend your days working? Learn as much as you can about the company culture. Do people look happy to be there? Are you getting the type of vibe you would expect at your dream job?
Talk to Former and Current Employees
Before you accept the job, check out the company on social media. Make connections on LinkedIn to find out more about the company. Try to have a genuine conversation with at least a couple of people working for the company.
Find Your Dream Job Networking
The best way to find your dream job is through networking. You can network in person or online. Make connections with people who already work for your dream companies or in dream jobs. Attend industry events to meet people and find out about job opportunities. You can also search by job titles on LinkedIn to start networking with industry professionals.
Even if you only attend one networking event a month can help you land your dream job. Make connections, find something in common, and follow up. Don’t be annoying or exceedingly needy.
What do you like to do?
Every job description includes several key requirements. If a job requires constant interaction with customers, but you would rather work alone with few contacts, you should avoid such a job. Do you love to talk to people, or do you prefer working on tasks on your own?
Think about your current job. What do you like about it the most, and what do you dislike about it? Look for jobs that require more of the activities you enjoy.
What values are important to you?
Do you want to work for a fast-growing company where the only thing that matters is revenue? Do you prefer to work in a low-paying but more relaxed non-profit job? Your dream job must align with your values. Your core values determine who you are and what your dream job should be. Identify your core values as you look for your ideal job.
How much money do you want to earn?
You should be able to earn enough money to support your lifestyle. Research pay for your dream job and determine if it would support your current lifestyle. In the best possible situation, you can earn enough to support your family. If your dream job pays less than your current job, you could think of ways to reduce your expenses.
Imagine the perfect job.
If you could create your dream job, what would it look like? Would you work in an office, at home, or out in nature? Would you travel as part of your job? Would you work for a large company or a brand new startup? What would your daily job responsibilities look like? What would you do? What skills would you need to have to excel at your dream job? A great way to assess your perfect job is to think about activities you would enjoy doing even if you didn’t get paid. Of course, it helps if what you like to do is also in demand.
Do you have the necessary skills to land your dream job?
What job skills you have is completely in your control. The most important thing is to know what skills you must have to work in your dream job. Make an honest assessment of what you need to learn to interview for the job confidently. Create a realistic road map to master the required skills.
Do you have a great cover letter?
You are ready to launch your job search with a carefully crafted résumé, but what about a cover letter. Do you need one? And, if so, what should be included?
There is no doubt the cover letter is a key part of an effective job search and can help you stand out from other candidates.
So the answer to the first question is, “Yes, you do need a cover letter”!
What should be included in your cover letter?
Your cover letter should match the style/formatting of your résumé and should offer the reader additional information about who you are and what you offer an employer.
Each cover letter should:
- Be addressed to the person who will be reviewing your résumé.
- Mention the position you are applying for (larger organizations advertise more than one position at a time).
- Focus on the value you bring the employer and highlight information not found in your résumé. This is your opportunity to be you (while maintaining professionalism)!
- Demonstrate your knowledge about the organization and how you can meet their needs.
- Be error-free. Proofread! Proofread! Proofread!
- Call for action! Ask for an interview. That’s the only way to get a chance to find your dream job.
Simple is the way to go! Use a three or four paragraph format. The first paragraph should note the position being sought and briefly mention why you are interested.
The next paragraph should lay out specific skills that are relevant to the position being sought. Use an introductory sentence followed by bullet points. This method is quite effective and helps highlight areas of interest.
Your closing paragraph can be more personal and should call for action. Make sure your cover letter does not simply rehash the same information found in your résumé. Put your cover letter to work for you by addressing the specifics found in the job post. Showcase strengths, interests, achievements, and motivation related to their needs and challenges.
Refer the reader to your resume but add more details to highlight your experience. With a carefully crafted résumé and a well-written cover letter, you will most certainly increase your interview opportunities!
What should you include in your resume to find a job fast?
If it has been a while since you have needed a resume, the landscape has definitely changed. Keyword-rich documents that can pass today’s high tech scanning technology along with social media networking is the ticket to interviews. So what should you include on your resume?
Do Include the Following in Your Resume
- Basic Contact Information (Name, Contact Number, Email Address)
- Brief Opening Statement (who you are and what you offer)
- Employment History (where you’ve been and what you’ve accomplished)
- Bullet Points that highlight your professional achievements (not tasks performed).
- Education (degree held, college/university name)
Focus on the job you are seeking and only include relevant information. Use powerful action verbs to describe your achievements and keep your statements brief and to the point.
Don’t Include in Your Resume
- Fonts that are hard to read (scrolly or scripty) or less than a 10 point in size.
- Overused clichés; team player, self-motivated, driven to succeed, etc.
- An Objective Statement; focus your opening on what you offer rather than what you are looking for.
- A Work Obituary that includes every detail about tasks performed; this makes your resume longer and loses the reader’s interest. Instead, select critical highlights that will prove your value.
- Personal Information; sorry to say the scam artists have become pretty slick these days. If you are executing an online job search, leave your personal information OFF your online resume. You may include this on your mailed hard copy.)
- Personal Information (Mainstream); never include a photo or personal information on your resume.
With scanning technology, writing a resume is more than just putting your experience on paper. Today’s resume is about clearly and concisely communicating your unique value. Although you can use a resume template to gather your necessary information, I would caution any job seeker about presenting a template-resume to employers. One major drawback of using a template is looking like every other candidate. Your resume should be as unique as you are. It should help you stand out from other job seekers and say, “I have the skills you need, and I am ready to tackle the challenges you are facing.”