A Monster Poll asking, ‘Are You Thinking About A New Job in 2017’, reveals that 82% employees are unhappy with their current job. While 7% remain undecided, a mere 11% said they loved their current job. If you’re one among those keen to explore new job opportunities, this may be your chance to land that dream gig – it could be a designation, a coveted company, or perhaps a new career you’d like to switch to. So how do you get there? Your dream job will certainly not fall into your lap. What’s needed is a proactive approach—backed by careful thought, hard work and a smart job search strategy. Wondering what that entails? We’ve got it figured out for you. Read on to know how you can improve your chances of landing your dream gig and put yourself on the path to a happy and successful career.
1. Identify your dream jobIt’s likely that you’ve already figured out what your dream job is but in case you haven’t, here's how to find one. An ideal job is one that strikes a balance between several factors—your interest area, your aptitude, career ambition, and of course, the revenue-generating potential of the job. It’s necessary to take all these factors into account while zeroing in on your ideal job. If you have already decided on the job you want, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate that choice in the light of these parameters.
2. Picking up skills and work experienceYou aren’t going to be taken as a serious candidate unless you have the right qualifications, so find out about the skills you need through Internet research and talking to people. Then get yourself enrolled in a suitable programme. Try not to quit your current job while you attend the course; night classes, online courses or executive education are viable options that will allow you to gain the skills you need while keeping your job intact to pay for your bills. Sometimes, educational qualification alone isn’t enough; recruiters also look for work experience. There are several ways of gathering it, including getting yourself transferred to a department that’s better aligned with your career goals, or picking up some valuable experience through voluntary work.
3. Start networkingThe role of networking in career growth can’t be overemphasised, and it assumes greater importance when you are pursuing a specific job. Try connecting with relevant people like those who hold the same designation, work in the same sector or are employed by your target company. They can guide you the best; they can also help you get a foot in the door by introducing you to others in their professional circle.
4. Make a great CV and cover letterDraft a customised cover letter articulating why you want the job (to see what you should include, click here). Next, tweak your CV to play up the experience that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you want to differentiate yourself from the other candidates (not a bad idea given the sheer volume of applications that recruiters receive), a visual CV might be the answer. But how much it will be appreciated depends on the nature of job and/or the culture of the hiring company.
If you are sending a visual CV, it’s always a good idea to add a traditional CV as backup.
5. Prepare for the interviewIt’s impossible to predict the questions you’ll be asked at the interview, but you can rehearse for some expected ones. (For an exhaustive list of possible interview questions, click here.) Dress well, speak politely and confidently and don’t forget to pay attention to your body language. Finally, remember to have a good career story—one that ties up all that you’ve done in the past with what you intend to do in the future through a neat, overarching narrative.
Choosing a job that is close to your existing skill set will improve your chances of getting it. Equally, don’t expect an easy life once you land the job. Every job comes with its own set of challenges and this one will be no different. Happy job hunting!