I love September, don’t you?
A time for new beginnings.
A time of transition.
Blackberries ripe for the picking … blackberry and apple crumble anyone?
And it’s also the time when many people start to get serious about finding their dream job.
That’s why today I’m sharing the 6 essentials you need to get right so that you land your dream job with the work-life balance you need AND the salary you deserve.
(And I’ll also tell you how you can rocket fuel your job search by signing up to my incredibly successful Job Search Confidence programme).
The 6 essentials to get right to land your dream job
1 – Clarity
First things first.
THE most important place to start is to get clarity on what you’re looking for.
This may be a step that you can skip because you already have that clarity, though as one of the UK’s leading job search coaches, I’d always encourage you to spend time on clarity so you don’t waste time and energy applying for the wrong roles.
Clarity creates confidence and confidence gives you the courage to take bold action. It’s the bold action that will land you your dream job.
It’s essential to be crystal clear in your thinking about what your dream job looks like.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What sector or industry do I want to work in
- What sort of company
- What job role / title am I looking for
- What size team
- What skills do I love to use
- What experience and achievements do I bring to the table
- What do others say I’m brilliant at doing
- What values are important to me
- What else am I looking for in a job e.g. creativity, stability, variety
Getting clarity creates a strong foundation on which to build your job search action plan.
2 – Visibility on LinkedIn
Once you’ve got the clarity on what you’re looking for, it’s time to tackle your LinkedIn profile.
Yes LinkedIn first because practically all companies nowadays use LinkedIn as part of their recruiting and hiring strategy.
Give your LinkedIn profile a loving refresh and a polish.
Identify your keywords to use as your personal SEO.
Make sure your headline says something about who you are, what you do and how you get results.
Make full use of the summary to showcase the best of your skills and achievements.
Talk about your achievements, not just responsibilities, in the experience section. Where possible make these quantifiable achievements.
Get social proof – ask for recommendations. And yes I get that this might feel scary and daunting, however I encourage you to feel the fear and DO IT ANYWAY!
Once you’ve polished your LinkedIn profile, get more visible and start networking on LinkedIn.
First and foremost, LinkedIn is a networking platform. Many jobs never get advertised and are filled through networking. Every job that I’ve landed since 2009 has been through my network on LinkedIn.
3 – Presentation
Now that you have a polished LinkedIn profile, turn your attention to your CV.
Everything you’ve updated and refreshed on your LinkedIn profile can be transferred to how you present yourself on your CV so that you go straight to the top of the YES pile.
Use the same keywords on your CV as you use on LinkedIn to help you stand out from the competition.
Your CV needs to be in alignment with your LinkedIn profile. It’s not going to be identical – you have more ‘space’ on LinkedIn whereas your CV needs to be tailored for every job application.
Check the physical presentation of your CV – clean layout, plenty of white space, no more than 2 or 3 pages, use bullet points to make it easy to read.
4 – Preparation
Clarity on your job search goals, check.
Refreshed your LinkedIn profile, check.
Updated your CV, check.
The next stage is PREPARATION for the job interviews.
Preparation of course is absolutely key and I have some fabulous free resources that you can download HERE:
- The Ultimate Job Interview Checklist
- 15 Tough Job Interview Questions & How To Answer Them
Once you’ve got the job interview booked, do your interview preparation.
For example: research the company, look at their website, check what the industry press is saying, see if you have someone in your network who works there or has worked there in the past, and check the reviews on Glassdoor.
Prepare for potential interview questions by reviewing the job description and identifying the behaviours you’ll be asked to demonstrate.
Think about what you want to find out about the role, the team and the company.
5 – Mindset
You might be reading this article on how to find your dream job and nodding your head in agreement with what you need to do.
And then you don’t take action.
Or you only take timid action and not the BOLD action required in today’s job market.
Why is that? What’s holding you back?
Is that what you’re noticing – that you don’t apply for your dream job because you’re worried you don’t have the right skills? Or you read through the list of criteria and you don’t have something they’ve listed as essential or desirable so you change your mind about applying?
Or the application deadline is 5pm on Friday but you keep putting off the application until you find yourself all in a tizz and a panic at 4.45pm on Friday which means that the application you submit is rushed and scrappy so you’re doing yourself a disservice.
It’s all too easy to hear that noisy critic in your head telling you what you can’t do, what experience you don’t have and reminding you of all the times you made mistakes or got things wrong.
Very often your inner critic is remembering things that happened so long ago, it’s simply not relevant.
Your inner critic is trying to protect you – to save you from failure but your inner critic is holding you back so it’s important to notice what you notice about any negative thoughts so you can reframe these and put your best self forward.
6 – Balance
The final essential to get right when you are job hunting is balance.
Job hunting can be overwhelming, frustrating and stressful.
Balance is about prioritising your self-care and building your resilience so you are better equipped to overcome the inevitable setbacks with patience and strength.
One of the key areas I cover in Job Search Confidence is setting boundaries.
Getting balance in your life when you’re job hunting isn’t just about self-care. It’s also about having clear boundaries. Knowing when and how to say No without feeling guilty.
Do you ever find yourself wishing you hadn’t said ‘Yes’?
Do you sometimes agree or offer to do things because you feel you ‘should’ or because you think it’s what’s expected?
Do you worry that others will think less of you if you say ‘No’?
It’s important to remember that whenever you say ‘Yes’ to one thing, you are saying ‘No’ to something else. It’s about making sure that you’re saying Yes and No to the right things.
It’s essential to prioritise Balance in your life when you’re job hunting so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and anxious about the whole experience which means that you’ll come across as SO much more confident and professional in your LinkedIn networking, in your CV and cover letter AND most importantly in the job interview too.
In summary … 6 essentials to get right to land your dream job
Job hunting can be stressful however you can take positive action to make it an enjoyable experience so that you don’t burn out. The 6 essentials you need to get right are Clarity, Visibility, Presentation, Preparation, Mindset and Balance.
If you’re struggling with one or more of these essentials, then you’ll love my popular Job Search Confidence which teaches you exactly what you need to know to craft a winning CV and LinkedIn profile that showcases the best of your skills and experiences so you become THE stand-out candidate for your dream job – before you even apply!
When you sign up to Job Search Confidence, you get immediate access to the core content and 90 days of my personal support and feedback so that you land your dream job with confidence and ease!