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The A-Z to Getting Your Dream Job

01 Aug 2019

The A-Z checklist that securing that dream job!

A: Adapt Your CV to the Listed Job Spec: As qualified as you are and as invaluable you consider your professional experience to be, recruiters are looking for specific words to align with listed positions. Not only looking, but using technology programmed specifically to source and match candidates to roles. Dedicate some time to refining your CV and job applications to every job that you are applying to. Time consuming? Yes. Worth it in the long run? Absolutely.


B: Be Bold: The most successful people in the world didn’t get to where they are by hiding in the background and adopting a lackadaisical approach. Be bold, reach out to people that could be of use to you, utilise your network, stand firm when pressed on your remuneration expectations. As difficult or awkward as this might seem, remind yourself that everyone else is doing the same.


C: CSR: There is no doubt that more and more people are choosing to work with companies whose values align with their own. With the current push for social purpose within the workplace, it’s easy to filter companies based solely on their Corporate Social Responsibility policy. Whether you are socially and environmentally conscious, believe strongly in charitable causes or would like to promote fair trade within the workplace, impactful CSR initiatives are an effective way to gauge whether a company could be a good fit for you.


D: Delete Anything Suspicious Online: “Once it’s out there, it’s out there FOREVER!”. We hate to say it, but it’s true. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even just a Google search, information (good or bad) is almost too readily available. Go through your social media with a fine-tooth comb and, if in doubt, delete.


E: Evaluate your Unique Selling Point: Whether it’s filling out an online application, schmoozing at networking events or presenting yourself in an interview, you only have a certain amount of time and opportunity within which you can really sell yourself. Establish your USP by asking yourself, “what differentiates me from everyone else?” Once you do this, refine, refine, refine.  


F: Find Out the Exact Location: It’s an underrated, age-old rule. Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable. Do yourself justice by making the best first impression possible. Allow yourself sufficient time to get there and avoid being late by finding out in advance exactly where you’re supposed to be.


G: Get Ahead of the Crowd: Half of the battle when on the job hunt is utilizing your time efficiently and your time is just as valuable as anyone else’s. Get ahead of the crowd by not limiting your job search to online platforms. Although job-search websites have revolutionised employment in recent years, many applications are assessed by automated machines and not by people. Attending networking events, acting on referrals and advising specialist recruiters of your own requirements and availability, can speedily propel you towards your next job.


H: Have it together: Job searching is a fast-paced whirlwind that will not wait for you. Whether you’re actively looking for a job or merely considering a change, you should always be prepared. An up-to-date CV and snappy LinkedIn profile with current and relevant information could mean getting your dream job ahead of the next contender. Another important factor to remember is to have your references in line. Allow for sufficient time when reaching out to your listed references and, to avoid being forgotten about, use more than one medium to contact them.  Call them directly and put it in writing via email or LinkedIn, just to be sure that you’re being remembered.


I: Invest in Yourself: Make no mistake, job hunting and interviewing can most definitely be an emotionally and, at times, financially draining process. Investing in yourself is key when trying to make an impression on employers and recruiters alike. Whether aesthetically, professionally or academically, these are key components that will separate those who are serious about themselves from those who aren’t. Buy that new suit, pay for that haircut, invest in that coding course. If you expect employers to take you seriously, you need to start by doing so yourself.


J: Just Do It: Whether you’re overworked and underpaid, hate the 2-hour commute to work or have finally decided to pursue a passion, only you can take the next steps and effect change in your professional life. Without putting too many clichés in the same sentence, life is too short so just do it.


K: Know Your Audience: When interviewing with a ‘young, hip, trendy’ start up, it might be best not to wear that three-piece suit. Similarly, it’s probably not advisable to show up wearing converse and a pair of jeans to an office with the word ‘corporate’ in its description. An incredulous amount of people miss out on job offers from having misread, or even chosen not to align themselves, with the culture and ethos of a company.

 This also applies to the approach you take with the people interviewing you. Greet informal with informal, and formal with formal. Stand firm with who you are as a professional, what you represent and what you aim to bring to the company.


L: Look at Yourself from the Employer’s Perspective: When job seeking, it’s very easy to convince yourself as to why a company needs you. However, what is often forgotten about is the perspective of the person who matters most in this decision-making process; the employer. When targeting a potential employer for a job, try to put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Remember that they aren’t just focused on your CV and experience to date, they need to do what’s best for the company and its employees by sourcing the right fit and personality to seamlessly align with their brand. Have a serious look at the job requirements and specifications and assess if you can fulfil them by being your most authentic self.


M: Mentorship: Sometimes one of the best and most effective ways to plan out your next career move is through the adoption of a mentorship programme. Choosing someone whose values and career trajectories align with your own can give you an idea as to what steps to take next. Even doing a LinkedIn search on people you admire can give you the insight you need regarding companies to target, courses to undertake and people to connect with. A mentor can also offer invaluable and objective insights into what is best for you as an individual, instead of taking a more generic approach. Regardless of whether you chose to follow in their exact footsteps, choosing a mentor can give you the guidance necessary to make an informed decision on your professional future.


N: Network : “A group or system of interconnected people or things”. The importance of networking and how it can expedite a career move is invaluable. This is where the old school approach comes into the equation. And by old school, I mean actual human interaction. You are far more likely to garner traction and better your chances of getting the job that you want and deserve. People talk, and by putting the word out there that you’re on the job hunt, you never know who’s listening. Whether informal or formal, a coffee date or a networking luncheon, the power and effect of face-to-face or indirect networking is undeniable.


O: Open Yourself to Opportunity: Many people don’t realise how many crossovers there are between jobs and industries. Put yourself forward for training, volunteer to undertake new tasks and make it known that you’re willing to experiment with work. You might just discover a hidden talent for something that you otherwise never would have considered. More importantly however, you’re enhancing your current skillset and making yourself more marketable and enticing for future employers.


P: People Count: The working culture/environment has done a 180 over the last 10 years. To put it bluntly, people are no longer only taking salaries, perks and location into account when considering a change in their career. More and more importance and emphasis are being placed on the people and community of a company. Female CEOs, smaller tight knit teams, company CSR policies, these are all growing factors having a major influence on an individual’s motivation to work for certain organisations. Inclusive workplaces and growing numbers of teamwork-oriented organisations are constructed by companies as a means of developing high performance units to guarantee sustainability and growth. Seek out companies whose employees’ values and motivations align with your own.


Q: Questions are key: Whether in an interview or reaching out to people or potential referrals, ask as many relevant questions as possible. Asking questions is the most effective and valuable way to gain proper insight to a company. Asking questions will display that you are an eager individual who has done their homework, is willing to learn, and could ultimately be a major asset to the company and its people.


R: Research the Role: If you can display with confidence and certainty that you have done your homework and researched the role intently, it allows for you to timely and cohesively pitch yourself in an interview. Do your online research, or even better, get in touch with somebody currently occupying the same position as a means of obtaining honest, pragmatic and real insight. Researching roles also allows for you to really ascertain whether or not the job in question would be a good fit for you.


S: Salary: In an increasingly competitive market, there is an array of different factors to also be taken into account when making a decision to accept a new job offer. The commute to work being one. Even when your salary expectations are being met, can this outweigh a daily lengthy commute? Benefits (medical, dental, laptops, cars) are an increasingly important additional add-on that, when broken down and analysed, alleviate the financial pressure of an individual. In short, don’t let a salary alone dictate your decision to accept a role. Looking at the bigger picture will allow for you to make a more informed and strategic decision regarding what matters most to you outside of salary.


T: Transferable Skills: Never underestimate the power and relevancy of transferrable skills in the workplace. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of only including in your CV or application what you think people want to see. Skills that you have honed that you wouldn’t even realise (portability, flexibility etc) can be applied to completely different and unrelated jobs. For example, working in the service industry hones verbal communication skills, ability to work well as part of a time, ability to multi-task in a high paced environment, and in many cases, managerial skills. There is no shortage of jobs and industries to which these skills could align.


U: Upskill Upskilling is the only way to ensure that you are making a conscious effort to move forward in your career. Industries and trends are growing and changing at an exponential rate, make it your mission to fall in line with this growth. Upskilling will prove how adaptable you are, whilst also allowing you to stay competitive and relative in what is just as competitive an employment market.

V: Voicemail: Whether it be an intro call, organising an interview or scheduling a post-interview chat, the job searching process will always entail phone call communication. It is for this reason that it is absolutely necessary to have your voicemail set up. Value your time and the time of others by being able to seamlessly return calls to recruiters and potential employers alike.

Waffling: W : From an interviewer’s perspective, there is no greater frustration than trying to stay focused whilst enduring endless amounts of waffling. For you, the person being interviewed, it displays a lack of certainty surrounding what you’re supposed to be talking about and a lack of direction in general. Do your homework, keep it brief and cohesive, and be mindful of the interviewer’s body language. The interviewer’s time is precious so make the most of it by answering questions concisely in a descript yet swift manner.

X: Xerox: Just because the world has very quickly adjusted to all things technological and modern, there are some traditions that should always be upkept when it comes to attending an interview. Bringing an up-to-date, printed C.V is one of them. Not only will this display effective organisational skills on your end, it will show that you’re not assuming the interviewer will have your CV on hand. Don’t be caught off guard, always print multiple copies as it’s rare that you will be meeting with only one person.

Y: Yardstick of Success: By using someone as a yardstick, you’re using them as a standard of comparison, and as they say, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Comparing yourself to other people professionally (their goals, achievements, salary and work title) can often hinder a person’s ability to progress in their own career. This inhibits their ability to recognise their own strengths. You should measure your success only by your own standards. Be a yardstick of quality and excellence for yourself when looking for a new job. Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is to use yourself as your own measurement of success.

Zzzzzzz: You’ve done the research, you’ve put in the groundwork, your interview attire is ready to go, you’ve prepared your questions and you’ve planned out your route. What next? Get a good night’s sleep. There is a direct correlation between sleeping well and operating at a maximised level of performance. Take comfort in knowing that you’ve done all the groundwork possible, now it’s time to rest!

Brightwater has multiple opportunities with a range of companies across a broad variety of disciplines. Find your dream job today with us by contact us on 01 662 1000