I wonder if there’s a way to guarantee a dream job through the job search process. Or if there’s a sure way to conduct a job search today that yields employment, a paycheck and paid benefits. Is there a perfect job search in today’s market?
Glenn MacIntosh, dean of student life and vice president for student affairs at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., doesn’t think so.
“There is no ‘perfect job’ for anyone,” he said. “In reality, we see jobs that arouse optimism based on their title, salary level or elements of the job description that coincide with our past experiences or vision of an ideal job.”
OK, so there may not be a perfect job, but can you prepare and plan to reshape your job hunt to gain a decisive edge to land employment? Many people seek a job that satisfies his/her inner self.
Take time to identify where you want to land and be aware of your knowledge, skills and abilities. Take time to process and prioritize your employment interests.
While working and gaining experience are important, seeking employment knowledge — setting aside time to read about the industry job requirements and job practices — is important, too. Interview someone that is working in a position that you aspire to. An informational but informal exchange with a person working in an area that interest you can provide great insight and give your questions some answers.
And be sure to understand the entire job description of a position you’re pursuing.
“You should spend considerable time studying the job description and ensuring your résumé and cover letter language are cast in a complimentary position. In other words, verbiage matters,” said MacIntosh who is also an author, inspirational speaker, and founder of the A-Game Movement.
You can also gain insight into the position you want by leveraging your network through friends, family, high school and college alumni network.
Arthur Lumzy, director of career services at the University of North Texas Dallas, suggests another route.
“Try to find a connection between yourself, the hiring manager and organization by researching the organization thoroughly using the website Glassdoor,” said Lumzy. Glassdoor shares anonymous comments from employees and former employees about companies and their management.
While it may sound nonsensical, toughness during a job search is vital. Let your struggles be your motivation to do better. Take the attitude that you will be someone who overcomes obstacles. Hiring managers and recruiters like hearing about a candidates’ growth, progress and how a candidate strengthens competencies through experience.
Obviously, be prepared for your interview. Interviews secure jobs, not résumés. All too often job seekers spend more time and effort to develop a résumé than they do preparing for the interview.
To help with interview prep, develop or update your LinkedIn profile and layout your education, experience, interest, increase your contacts and secure endorsements.
Also, know your worth. You should have a good idea of your value and what you bring to the workplace. Experience is important and so are skills.
Kathy Smith, director of budget and personnel with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at Michigan State University said it’s important to emphasize both.
“I believe that not only does a job seeker need those hard skills that they learned in high school or college, but also ‘soft skills’ such as communication, teamwork and collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking,” she said. “Being able to exert these competencies are just as important.”
With all these strategies, I think finding that dream job is achievable. Make your job hunt a priority. Let family and friends know you are focused on the job hunt.
With a strong commitment to proper planning, interview preparation and job search determination know that you will have a successful job hunt. The more you get out and meet people and make your job search known, the closer you’ll come to securing your dream job.