Believe in the Dream Job
As a job search coach with more than 25 years of experience, I am often asked, “What is the secret to landing your dream job?” Without hesitation, I respond, “It is simply a matter of believing it is possible and that you can!”
Many job seekers find that answer to be unsatisfactory. They want to believe their dreams are possible, but they have seen so much “evidence” to the contrary.
Anecdotal stories confirm that employers don’t hire women who have been out of the workforce raising children, nor do they hire anyone over the age of 50 or under the age of 25, who is overweight, or has gray hair.
Job seekers have offered examples of being denied jobs because they have no experience or because they have too much experience. Everyone has a story about friends or family members who did not get a job because they were male or female, black or white, gay or straight.
While all of these personal stories are all likely to be true, there is no evidence that such things are always true. Keep in mind: An abundance of anecdotes is not data.
There are thousands of plausible explanations that can be embraced to blame the world for your job-search struggles, but that mindset will only serve to keep you stuck in the process or in your dead-end job.
In my line of work, I see the exceptions to the alleged rules on a daily basis and have watched people with the best pedigrees fail, while those with far less stellar credentials soar.
Without exception, those who succeed do so because they are confident about their abilities and what they have to offer employers. They challenge any misconceptions about their backgrounds and unequivocally explain how their atypical experience can benefit the employer.
Undeterred by any obstacle, they are prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve their objectives, acknowledging that while it is rarely easy, it is always possible.
To reveal the possibilities, ask yourself four questions:
- What do I want?
- Why do I want this?
- What must I do to accomplish this?
- Am I prepared to do those things?
If the answer to No. 4 is “no,” return to question No. 2 and brainstorm other ways to achieve the why. The why is really your goal.
Recognizing the why will enable you to redefine what you are trying to accomplish and what actions you are willing to take to make it happen. Slowly, you will begin to see and believe in what is possible.
The next challenge is to translate your wants and needs, as well as skill and talents, into benefits for employers. Effective market research will enable you to uncover what employers in your target industry value and empower you to craft your story to showcase your strengths.
The Internet and job boards offer a plethora of information, as well as company websites and industry publications. Also, visit your college or public library to access additional databases like Net Advantage and RefUSA to uncover hard-to-find information.
And, of course, don’t forget to tap into your personal network. These sources will reveal where the jobs are as well as what you need to do to sell yourself effectively.
A recruiter’s objective is to assess your credentials by reviewing your resume, form an impression about your personality during an interview, and determine the degree to which your interests and background correspond with their hiring needs.
Think of your resume as a sales document. Consider which information to include in the document and the best way to format it to tell your story effectively. Tailor your resume to each position using the language in their ads. Check out www.bestsampleresume.com for industry-specific ideas about content and layout.
Once at the interview, remember the basic question behind every question is, “Why should I hire you?” Your objective is to explain why your strengths are of value to this specific employer.
Do not expect past experience to speak for itself; be prepared to state the obvious and to provide proof to support your claims in the form of specific examples. Present any perceived liability as an asset.
It is at this moment that believing in what is possible will make or break you. If you focus on the obstacles, instead of the path around them, and appear defeated from the onset, you will not be successful.
Do yourself—and the employer—a favor: Interview as if everything depended on you. Walk in with a clear idea of two or three selling points you would like to express. Use the interviewer’s questions to introduce those points and back them up with real-life examples.
At the end of the interview, summarize your qualifications and articulate your interest and enthusiasm for the job with confidence.
When you leave an interview having convinced the employ¬er you have something to offer, you are one step closer to your dream job.
Kathleen Brady, CPC, is a certified career/life management coach and director of career services at Georgian Court University with more than 25 years of experience inspiring clients to embrace their dreams and develop a comprehensive career/life strategy to achieve career success and live happy, joyful lives.Brady is the author of GET A JOB! 10 Steps to Career Success and the weekly blog, The Art of Success. www.careerplanners.net