Finding the perfect job is a dream every individual shares—that something that you would love to do for the rest of your life and happened to get paid a lot of money to do it. However, this dream job can seem allusive and out of reach when you begin your search but it is attainable (Read: 7 Signs You Landed Your Dream Job).
As easy as it would be to just start out with a really broad (and let’s be honest, random) internet search, there are some other things you can do to enhance your searching experience.
You need to know what you are looking for, how much money you really need at the moment, and how to write a killer résumé before you even start your search! Also, you need to intentionally craft your search method so that you aren’t drowning in obscure job postings.
Try these seven tips for finding the perfect job before you get lost in the scary world of job searching, eventually give up, and try your hand at the local mini-mart…forever…
- Start with some soul searching. You aren’t just looking for a paycheck anymore (although that would be nice)—you are looking for the perfect job. So before you start sending your résumé to any company that will hire you, remember that you can have standards and expectations. What do you love? Or maybe the better question, what do you hate? These are some pretty basic things that you need to figure out before you start searching because you might not actually know what your perfect job is yet! Once you lay out what you want from a job, you will be closer to knowing what kind of job to search for (or what kind of job to avoid).
- Assess your financial situation. The old saying “beggars can’t be choosers” could stop your dreams in their tracks. What can you afford to look for? Do you need money for food right now or do you have a little more stability to start with? Your financial situation can determine what kind of job you search for. For example, could you afford to start with a low paying (or no paying) internship? Internships are sometimes the only way to get in the door for your perfect job. However, if you can’t afford to not get paid, look for some line of work that is close to your dream job and gain some parallel experience. Maybe you already have the skill-set and financial stability necessary for your perfect job—so go for it! What do you have to lose?
- Play to your strengths. What kinds of jobs have you had in the past? Were you good at them? Did you learn any skills that you could build off of in pursuing a new career? Do you have any special skills—skills that other people don’t have? Your strengths are a good place to start in figuring out what your perfect job might entail. If you love music but are tone deaf, maybe you could go into some kind of management instead of being the musician. Make sure you are realistic about what you are good at—don’t pursue a dream just because it seems like a good idea. Make sure it will play out in your favor. The best way to ensure success is by using what you are already, naturally good at and pursuing that. Exploit your talent.
Once you have done some self-assessment, you can focus on the actual searching. Here are some tips on how to begin that process:
- Make sure your résumé is awesome. First impressions do matter. Because so many jobs accept (and in some cases, prefer) the submission of online applications, your first impression will rely on your résumé. Get someone else to read over it. Better yet, get someone in the field you are trying to get into to critique it. You want to always tweak your application depending on the company you are applying to. The goal should be to make them want you. Your résumé is something you need to do before you even start your search—and be sure you do it well!
- Use connections. Once you have decided on what your perfect job is, talk to your friends and family about it. There is a good chance that a friend of a friend’s sister’s husband is looking to hire someone exactly like you! Networking is one of the keys to success, so even if you aren’t looking for your job yet, make sure you are making intentional connections so that you will be prepared when your time does come. If you’re lucky, you won’t even have to go through an intense interview process—you will be hired because you are known and backed by a close friend (which is the best way to get a job).
- Use the Internet. If none of your friends can hook you up, don’t be afraid of the Internet! You will definitely want to use very specific searches so that you aren’t having to sift through every job ever posted, but you can definitely find a job this way! A lot of times you will be able to find connections through jobs that the Internet found for you. Also, you can join networks (like LinkedIn) and search engines (like Monster) specifically geared towards people trying to find jobs in your desired field of work. The Internet is a very useful tool, just be prepared to be patient and persistent.
- Don’t be overwhelmed. Sometimes it can get overwhelming searching for a job. You start questioning everything—like is that random job you found on the Internet really your dream job? However, this sense of being overwhelmed could lead to over searching. This happens when you have actually found a job that would be perfect for you, but you keep searching because you have been made aware of the billions of other opportunities and options. Remember that you will find the job you are looking for if you are persistent in searching, but at some point you need to just choose something and start sending in applications.