If you read my post Saturday (Your Career: 5 Signs You May Be Ready To Move On) and decided you are ready for a new challenge, then read on for my tips on how to find your dream job.
Firstly, it’s important to establish a few things:
Do you actually know what your dream job is?
If you aren’t sure which job would suit you, why not start by brainstorming a list of things you are good at. You don’t have to show anyone else if you don’t want to, so don’t be modest! Once you have a list of your skills, cross off anything you know you wouldn’t want to do as a job. For example, I am good at sales, but I absolutely hate cold calling.
Now you should have a list of things you are good at and enjoy doing. Which jobs do you think would want those skills? List down some you can think of. For a bit of inspiration, have a look here – you can select your skills and the site will tell you which jobs they are relevant to.
Do some research
You now know what your dream job is! Now it’s time to do some research.
- What qualifications (if any) will you need?
- Do you have those qualifications and if not, can you enrol on a course and get them?
- Will you need any experience that you haven’t gotten yet?
- Will you be able to do some voluntary work to get them? Or better yet, paid work?
You can now put a plan of action in place, and start working towards it. The next step is for once you have gained the relevant experience and qualifications.
Do a bit more research and start networking
Now it’s time to think specifically about any companies you would like to work for. Check the websites of companies you are interested in and see if you can find out a little about their employment packages and recruitment processes. Find out who the recruitment team are and look them up on LinkedIn. If you can find them on any other social media sites, have a look – it never hurts to know a little about someone who may end up interviewing you!
Before you start applying for jobs, it’s time to do some damage limitation. I would be amazed if there is even a single
recruiter out there who doesn’t Google potential employees before inviting them for an interview.
Google yourself – find out what comes up. Even if there’s nothing you can do about it, at least you will have a heads up if you get a chance to explain.
Go through all your social media sites with a fine tooth comb, and make sure you are happy for a potential employer to see what is there. Remove anything that could be taken as even remotely racist, sexist or homophobic. Your friends get your humor and might know that joke is tongue in cheek – potential employers don’t.
Similarly, drunken antics are funny amongst friends. A potential employer might not see the funny side of your pint downing record, or the time you got drunk and your friends drew a beard on you when you passed out.
Drug related statuses are definitely a no. Regardless of the legalities, your potential employer is unlikely to take you serious if you are talking about drugs you take on a night out!
Put yourself out there
If you have a dream company in mind, now is the time to see if they have any openings. Check their website, send a polite but friendly email to the recruitment manager telling them what you are looking for and ask if they have anything relevant opening up in the near future.
Now is the time to set up a LinkedIn profile if you haven’t already got one. I know it’s tempting to add all your friends and treat it like Facebook, but if you’re serious about your job search, resist the urge.
- Follow people in similar roles to what you are looking for
- Follow inspirational people from your chosen area
- Follow companies you would like to work for
- Join relevant groups
- Share things that would appeal to people within your sector
Some companies advertise openings on LinkedIn, so keep an eye out.
If you don’t have a particular company you want to work for, starting searching for jobs in your field.
- Check the Government Gateway (what used to be the job centre website).
- Put your CV on Monster and have a good search around on there.
- Google search keywords relevant to your chosen role.
- Ask your friends and professional contacts if they know of any suitable openings.
- Check local newspapers
- Check social media – some companies advertise openings on their Facebook pages.
Hopefully you are now at the point where you have a list of one or more jobs you want to apply for. Remember, competition for jobs is tough! Not long ago, I advertised a position for a bar maid on the Government Gateway site. Within two hours of it being posted, there were over 300 applicants!
With that in mind, it’s important to stand out from the crowd! Check back over the next couple of days for advice on how to write cover letters, CVs and some interview techniques.
Are you looking for your dream job, or have you already found it? Let me know in the comments 🙂