In a previous post I showed the "Perfect Job Venn Diagram."I created this because I know that life is too short to waste it working in a job you hate. Work is a huge important part of all of our lives.
I've reviewed the perfect Job Venn Diagram with many of my friends who are trying to decide which career or job to get. The other day one of my friends asked me a good question. He said, "Ok, your diagram helped me know exactly what I want to do. What next steps do I take to get my perfect job?"
"Great question," I thought, "I should write that up!" I interview people for my company and I can tell if someone has prepared for the interview and for the job. I find that many people have not taken the time to do the research. When I do see someone who has prepared, it's almost guaranteed they will be hired over the many other applicants. I typed out seven steps that I think will give an advantage to any job seeker.
The 7 steps to get your perfect job:
1. Research the Job Requirements
Google your perfect job title. Look for people résumé's, linkedin.com profiles, and job posting. These will let you read the requirements of your perfect job. It should list the educational requirements, type and length of experience required, and type of certificates required. Build your network of others who already have your perfect job. If you have friends who are in this field, sit down and ask them about the things that helped them get their jobs. If you don't already know people in this job, then search out people on linkedin.com. Use meetup.com or facebook.com to look for and join communities, societies, and user groups where people in this field meet.
2. List the Key Missing requirements
Now that you have the detailed list of the job requirements, take time to review your own qualifications. Think about how some of your experience can be shown to help you with the new target job. Identify the items that you are completely missing including education, certificates, and experience.
3. Make a Plan
The list of missing job requirements might seem overwhelming at first, but ever journey starts with the first step. Making a plan will help you achieve your goal. If you are determined to get into your perfect job and stop wasting your life doing something you hate, it's worth the time an effort. Create a time line and put each requirement on it depending on how long each takes. Make sure you coordinate them so that you do them in a way that lets you finish the most quickly. Check out pre-requisites for each. If you need to get a Masters degree, check the university's pre- requisites. Make sure you have a plan to get those first. Often your list of job requirements is end goals which in themselves will take many steps to complete. Don't get discouraged!! Just check each one and document the steps to achieve each job requirement.
4. Fulfill all the Key Requirements
If one of the requirements is experience don't fret. Often you can get experience by doing internship and volunteer work. Most of the time you have to do a job without getting paid before you get paid. Check with non-for-profit companies to see if they have openings or needs for your perfect job. Try finding someone who would be willing to let you do the job for free for them in return for a recommendation. Any experience will benefit you not only during the interviews but to give you confidence. The confidence is really the key to getting the job during the interview.
5. Target Organizations and Apply for the job
Near the start of your prepping for your new job, start looking for your target organization. This will allow you to get super detailed in your preparing. Select a company that matches your own values and offers the job benefits you need. Be picky! Know why you want to work at that organization. Then be ready to articulate those reasons during the interview. Find out what their culture values and make sure that it matches your values. Add any items to your list of requirements that might help you. For example, if they are often looking for new hires at top coder events, then think about adding that to your list of hobbies.
6. Prepare for the interview
Before you walk into the interview room you need to research the company, the department, and even the hiring managers. Linkedin.com can be a great ally by allowing you to search for the hiring managers and studying their job histories and interests. Find interests that you have in common that you can bring up during the interview. Prepare 5 real life stories where you solved problems using the key skills of the job. Have a few different friends practice the interviewing you. Create a PowerPoint for yourself (not to be shared with anyone else) that explains why you are qualified and must be hired by the organization. Make a list of your stories you prepared. Being prepared shows the interviewer that you care, and that goes a long way in selling yourself.
7. Follow up
After the interview is over, be sure to thank the interviewer and ask for an address where you can mail them a thank you card. This is so rarely done in an age of texting and emails. This personal touch really will help. Most of the time the interviewers go back to their offices and struggle with a bunch of highly qualified candidates and they try to figure out who to hire. Your card will put you over the top on their list.
These 7 steps are guaranteed to give you an advantage while trying to land your perfect job. Companies are looking for motivated entrepreneurial candidates who look for problems to solve. If you do this much prep for a job, it will show and put you in a category apart from the hundreds of others people seeking the same position.