We live to work and earn better. Irrespective of the economy, we need our incomes to escalate at the rate of our dreams. There are jobs in the market that can address this, and hence begins the race to be awarded with, and often, by our dream job!
Let’s begin with why and how to find your dream job. The answer to both these questions lies best with the hiring manager who will hand you the appointment letter.
As a talent, you are first defined in two categories. You are either an active job seeker, which means you have already resigned from your existing job, or would be in the next few weeks or months. Or you may be a passive job seeker, working in a role you don’t want to change or are too reluctant to push through a transition
Interestingly, the second category is viewed as “prize worthy”, blessed with the halo of being more valued by the current employer, and hence assumed to be far less aggressive on job sites and LinkedIn.
Here are some guidelines that you could follow to better your chances of getting that dream job.
Designing your profile: Writing CVs is the norm. The difference lies in where you make it available and how it can attract recruiters. Include key words relevant to the profile you are applying for, and a few broad categories as well. Recruiters google key words such as “database administrator” to find resumes. But once such key words lead them to your CV, they would want to refine their search for key areas for alignment. So, for instance, if the role needs you to deliver client-facing responsibilities, include them on your CV. Balance between “broad tags” and “fine-tuned” ones.
Defining your target role: You may have many capabilities. But depending on what you want your next role to be, chose the right ones for you. The best way to remain focused would be to search extensively for the job description best suited to your target role. Pick the right target words and identify how your deliverables are aligned to it so far. Choosing between the most hired positions and a dream job is your prerogative. If you are in a hurry to get hired, aim for the roles that are being hired in bulk, such as “call centre executive”, “business development”, etc.
Mastering LinkedIn: Keep your LinkedIn profile updated with all your credentials, publications, presentations, and pictures of you receiving awards at official events. Use every aspect of the media available to showcase your service offerings. Recommendations are important when they are from the decision makers on your existing roles. Identify the influential people in your job and request them to recommend you. Stay away from overpopulating the section. A line from the C-suite in your firm will weigh very differently from the paragraph by a peer. Try and seek focused recommendations citing examples of your capabilities, rather than rhetorical statements.
Deciding your cartel: Since recruiters are keen to understand your eagerness for “job-hunting”, try and remain in the second category, i.e. the passive job seeker. Connect with the recruiters but don’t chase them with your resumes unless you want to be hired in the next one month. Find the recruiters hiring for your desired role and start interacting with them. Once you have established a relationship, share your profile. If you have enough time, avoid sharing your profile, and list your achievements instead. Offer support by helping them spot candidates with referrals.
Choosing your battle: Every job has its pros and cons. Pick the cons that will help you grow. Would a low paying job that allows you to moonlight add to your skills? Or would that high paying, restrictive role offer you enough learning to encash it in the next few years?
Listening and paraphrasing: We often make the mistake of sharing too much, which might put off recruiters. The easiest way to keep the discussion going in the right direction is by paraphrasing the recruiter and hiring managers. Share your ideas on how exactly you want to work in that direction. For instance, if the hiring manager is discussing the role with incumbents, share how you have already delivered on that. If not, find out how they want it to be delivered.
All in a day’s work: Ask how a work day might be in the new role. Ask the recruiter how the list of activities might flow in. This would give you an in-depth insight into your job, and the escalations and troubleshooting you may need to manage on a daily basis.
Knowing your worth: You are not as pricey as your salary slip, but as much as the value of the responsibilities you deliver. Suppose you are being hired for a business development role that would pay you 30,000 a month. Check for the targets you may need to close and the business valuation of the project. Identify how much your efforts would contribute to it. This calculation isn’t important to negotiate at this new role, but to grow and negotiate in the next role. Your “net worth” depends on what you deliver and not what you earn.
Building relationships: Look at building relationships through all your interviews. Value the time and attention offered to you by the hiring managers. Appreciate them not just with words but with actions. At any point of time, if you feel you won’t take up the role, refer them a fitting candidate.
Valuing feedback: Every interview is unpaid training to a better you. Treat feedback sessions like a gold mine. Even if the feedback wasn’t too seasoned, it will still have some key words to help you grow.
No matter who you work for, how much you get paid depends on you. Be crystal clear about your goals, and decide the living expenses and the growth opportunities you want or need. Jobs will follow once you are best aligned to the hiring process. Your future employer needs talent who can deliver the most, at the best price to them. Tailor your presentation and skills for the role.
Wishing you all the best!
Nabomita Mazumdar is Community Manager at Cite Community, CiteHR. An alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur, she is on the list of SHRM India's Top 20 HR Influencers and one of the Top 100 Tech Influencers in India. She tweets at @nabomita_smiles.