Dream Job Search Tips
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20 Smart Tips to Get Your Dream Job

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Dream Job Search Tips
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Land Your Dream Job

Whether because there was a "resignation" during the pandemic or some other reason, the job market is hot in 2022, with historic levels of open positions and many employers going further than usual to get good candidates. Still, in a job market dominated by dehumanizing online job portals, artificial intelligence resume screening, and intense competition, landing a dream gig can often seem impossible. To help with this challenge, Cheapism talked to human resources professionals, recruiters, career consultants, and even some executives and CEOs for their top tips on landing a dream job.


Related: Hobbies That Pay Off in Jobs

Define Your Dream Job
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Define Your Dream Job

Take the time to think through and define what your dream job would involve. "Maybe it's the day-to-day responsibilities, the culture and lifestyle, or the mission or product you're supporting," says Tonya Salerno, principal/manager at talent acquisition firm Planet Professional. "It starts from understanding what it is you want, and why the job is ideal."


Related: Companies That Are Doing Good Deeds With Your Dollars

Determine the Skills Required
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Shape Up Your LinkedIn
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Shape Up Your LinkedIn Profile

One of the first things potential employers will do is look at your LinkedIn profile. "If you set yours up and haven't touched it in ages, that will reflect poorly on you," career consultant Amanda Oliver says. Make sure your LinkedIn profile features a recent photo of you and a background photo. It should have a headline that stands out and lets others know you're job hunting and a profile summary that showcases your skills as well as your background. Job descriptions should be up-to-date and include data or links if possible.


Related: Ways Social Media Can Land or Lose You a Job

Grow Your Network
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Grow Your Network

Referrals are one of the best ways to get into a company. "Maintain a large network of people within your field via LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and leverage that network when you're on the job hunt," says Jenna Houliston, principal and team leader at Planet Professional. "Stay in touch, even when you're not looking, by sharing relevant industry articles or market data. You can even just drop a line to say hello. That way if you start looking, you're not reaching out to a contact out of the blue."


Related: Job Hunting Tips for Workers Over 50

Brighten Up Your Resume
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Brighten Up Your Resume

Many companies look for unexpected details on a resume to understand your personality and potential beyond what a job requires. "Mention one fact from your life that not only sparkles and shines on your resume but is intriguing enough to strike up a conversation and build an instant connect with an interviewer,” Kapoor says. “It can be your inclination to arts, sports, volunteer work, a travel story, or even a failure story. The more personality insights the interviewer gets, the better your conversion chances."


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Don't Hide Your Feelings
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Don’t Hide Your Feelings

Finally got an interview for your dream job? Don't be shy about how excited you feel. "If you act like this is just an interview or role like any other, they won't know how strongly you feel about the opportunity," said Sarah Connors, of Planet Professional's HR division. "Use specific examples and let him or her know why you're excited about this role. Your energy will likely be infectious, and your reasons could make you stand out from the crowd."

Talk to Strangers
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Talk to Strangers

You never know what doors will open when you engage new people in conversation. "Sometimes the best way to find the perfect job comes from calculated spontaneity," says Rana Campbell, host of the business podcast “Dreams in Drive.” "I've found that sometimes the best opportunities come from totally random strangers." Challenge yourself to try to spark up five "random" conversations weekly and watch it pay off.

Don't Limit Your Networking
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Don't Limit Your Networking

Don't stop your search for contacts at LinkedIn. "If you have the opportunity, join applicable professional organizations in your area to meet others in your desired industry," says Robin Schwartz, human resources generalist at Armstrong Institute Patient Safety and Quality. "Often, these organizations hold happy hours or events where the sole purpose is to mingle and discuss your job and career path. You can guarantee there are always a few managers or leaders looking for new talent."

Connect With the Right People
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Connect With the Right People

Develop a network of solid references, as well as contacts at the company your targeting. "It's not that you must have a hundred people vouching for your skills, but even one influencer backing up your skill set can make all the difference," Kapoor says. "Approach your mentors and university professors, or you can even try building a connect with one of the insiders in your dream company to crack the interview with flying colors."

Go Beyond the Job Boards
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Go Beyond the Job Boards

Don't hesitate to reach out to a recruiter, says Robin Schwartz of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. "A recruiter can get your foot in the door for jobs that are never posted to the public and you would have otherwise never known about." Strong recruiters have the unique ability to market candidates for positions that might not seem like a direct connection.


Related: Can Employment Agencies Actually Help New Grads Land a Job?

Have a Strong Elevator Pitch
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Have a Strong Elevator Pitch

When you talk to people, be sure to have your elevator pitch ready — meaning a very quick summary that sells you. "You should be able to tell others who you are, what you stand for, your credibility, and what you're looking for," adds Rana Campbell of Dreams in Drive.

Divide Your Time
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Divide Your Time

When pursuing your dream job, spend 50% of your time sharpening your skills and the other half establishing connections with people who can vouch for your skills and talent. It's a good idea to connect with employees already at your dream company on LinkedIn. Join groups and forums where they hang out to grow those relationships and give you an upper hand when applying, Kapoor advises.

Understand Your Dream Job Market
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Understand Your Dream Job Market

Whatever your dream job happens to be, it's important to know where you can find work, including what type of companies offer that role. "Take the time to do some internet research about your field of interest and where the job market is at this particular time," Schwartz says. "We all know that highs and lows with the economy can drastically change where the jobs are or if there even are jobs. Know where the jobs in your desired career field are located and where you have the best chance of success."

Hack the Interview
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Hack the Interview

A job interview is about far more than just covering the technical aspects of a job. You must know the hacks to ace the interview. "It's important to rehearse and learn tricks to keep your stress and anxiety levels in check during the interview while you prepare to get into your dream job," Kapoor says. You'll also want to be well-groomed and exhibit confident, positive body language.

Don't Be Afraid to Follow-Up
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Don’t Be Afraid to Follow-Up

Many candidates just hit "apply" when submitting a resume through an online portal and wait to be contacted, but you can follow up. "To find who to follow up with, check your LinkedIn network for contacts who work at that company," says James Hu, founder and CEO of Jobscan. "Check the company's website or LinkedIn page, even check the job description to identify the team that the role reports to."

Do Your Homework
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Do Your Homework

When it comes time for an interview, not only should you research the company — you should research the person you'll interview with. "Find some common ground," says Jill Caponera, hiring manager for Promocodes. As for the company, dig through LinkedIn and identify the types of backgrounds employees have. Check all social media for your target employer and read recent articles to learn about initiatives or news you can discuss during an interview.

Become an Expert in Your Field
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Become an Expert in Your Field

Make an effort to stand out in your industry. "Write for leading industry blogs, get quoted as a source in the media, and find ways to connect with hiring managers and recruiters," says career consultant Mark Anthony Dyson, who podcasts about employment at “The Voice of Job Seekers.” Do these things and you'll likely have to apply less for jobs because more opportunities will present themselves to you. Be strategic about writing for publications and places where your dream companies are likely to look.

Connect With People Who Already Have Your Dream Job
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Connect With People Who Already Have Your Dream Job

Identify people who have the job want and contact them for advice. "They can give you tips, leads, advice, and support," says Ronda Ansted, career consultant and founder of Be the Change Career Consulting. "The easiest way to find people to connect with? Go to your school's alumni page and type in your dream job title." Doing this should provide you with a list of people you can approach for advice with the opening that you went to their alma mater.

Don't Be Scared to Take a Lesser Job
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Don’t Be Scared to Take a Lesser Job

Sometimes you may need to take a more junior position than hoped to get a foot in the door at your dream company. "The old pathway of starting in the mailroom and working your way up is still very valid," says Donna Shannon, career coach of Personal Touch Career Services. "However, you need to do more than just sort mail. These types of positions allow you to get to know everyone in the organization, which is essential to networking for your next promotion."

Stay in Demand
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Stay in Demand

A job seeker can no longer afford to disengage after finding work. "Successful dream job catchers remain engaged through their professional organizations and being visible online by showing social proof," Dyson says. "It's not good enough to belong to organizations. You must be active and visible through joining committees, attending and speaking at conferences, and networking with others including those who are considered influencers in the industry."


Related: The Top Job Search Sites — and Who Should Use Them