Do you ever look at other people working their dream jobs and wonder how they got there? Do you trawl through job sites, looking for your own dream job and making applications that lead you nowhere? Finding your dream job may be something that you view as ‘just a dream’. Well it need not be! This will of course require some effort and creativity on your part, but if this is truly your dream job then this should be fun.
The first thing that needs to be done when searching for a job is to update your CV. Make sure that you a write concise profile about yourself at the top, explaining who you are as a professional and what you wish to do next. What can you do to add value to their company? Try to keep this to 5 lines, readers often only skim this text to start with, so make sure that it grabs their attention in only a few lines. It may also be useful to add some key skills, listing unique skills that you have, example using a particular software. Add your most recent experience first, and try to only go as far back as is relevant. Use bullet points listing your key responsibilities in the most relevant roles, and also use keywords that are in the job spec that you are going for. If you have been temping, make a few bullet points on the companies you temped for and the skills you gained there. Try not to have any gaps on your CV, and if you do, make sure that you have a good reason for the gap as you will most likely be asked about it. Always run a spell check on your CV and proof read it, checking the grammar. Try to keep your CV to a maximum of 2 pages if you can. More valuable information can be found on Robert Half’s website.
How to find the dream job
In this day and age, we have many useful tools to aid us in our job search, LinkedIn being one of them. You can view company profiles on LinkedIn and see which jobs they are advertising. You can also look at similar companies that pop up while you are searching. A word of advice: when using LinkedIn, make sure your own LinkedIn profile is completely accurate and portrays you as a professional in the best way possible. There are also many job sites relevant to type of job you are applying for. Register on those and make your profile searchable by recruiters, you can even set up job alerts that get sent to you when new, suitable roles are added to the website. When applying for jobs, it may be a good idea to follow up your application with a call to the company / hiring agency. Wait a day or so before doing this.
Common interview questions
Once you secure yourself an interview you are on the road to your dream job! Make sure that you are thoroughly prepared for the interview. Spend some time going over the job spec, make sure that you can give examples of your work and relate your experience to the job spec. You may be asked some competency based questions, example “give us an example of when you had to work under extreme pressure and how did you handle this”. Another common question is “what are your strengths and weaknesses”. This one can be tricky. When mentioning weaknesses, choose something that can be turned into a positive, and that also won’t matter in the job you are going for. Example – if you are not good at using a particular type of software, you can add that you are doing some extra training to become more proficient, therefore, this will no longer be a weakness.
You may also be asked why you are looking to leave your current job. Try to keep this positive and do not speak negatively about the company or the people there.
Be prepared for the question “where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?”. If this interview is for a permanent role, let them get the feeling that you see longevity in the role there.
Make sure that you really do your homework on the hiring company and the hiring managers. Look at the company website, find out the company history, what they specialise in etc. A common interview question is “what do you know about us?”
You should also prepare a couple of good questions to ask the interviewer, as you will almost certainly be asked “do you have any questions for us?”. Interviewees almost expect you to ask a good question. A few examples of what you could ask are “what is the structure of the team?”, “can you describe your ideal candidate for this role?”, “what is the company culture like?”.