Letters from Carey: Finding Your Dream Job
Happy April! Most professionals in the job market have their “dream job” in the back of their minds. Many are willing to settle for less because of the sheer need to work. We all have families to feed and bills to pay.
My father, who was a cattle rancher for over forty years, always told me, “If you love what you do, the money will come.” After college, I started a job that paid well, but I was not passionate about it. Only now am I doing what I love—sorry, Dad, it took me 20+ years to get here! So, that brings me to my message this month: I hope to help each of you get closer to doing what you love and are passionate about while also being able to support yourself and your families.
Step 1: DISCOVER – discover your strengths, understand what options you have, and determine how you're going to stand out from the other possible candidates. This step involves being honest with yourself as well as learning to receive the criticism of others around you. My strengths are implementation, sales, and leadership, but put me in a job that requires strong attention to detail and accuracy, and I fail! As we become more aware of what we can offer, we will not only be better equipped to find jobs that will fit better, but we will also gain confidence in our ability to do them.
Step 2: INTEGRATE – this is where you should create an online identity such as a LinkedIn or Twitter account. At this point, you should be building a powerful résumé as well as your "elevator pitch"—a short introduction about yourself and why you deserve the job, if you ever happen to get stuck in an elevator with your possible future boss. I am continually amazed at how many professionals do not access social media. I kicked and screamed before we implemented our Facebook page, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts. However, these are now incredible recruiting tools for ProRecruiters by allowing us to stay in contact with candidates about our process. Open communication is hard but important!
Step 3: ENGAGE – you should be developing productive relationships with the recruiters and, at this point, getting more interviews. Be an active participant in your job search. Follow up appropriately, take courses, volunteer, and then let the recruiters you are working with know what you are doing.
Step 4: PREPARE- have a great résumé and cover letter that presents you professionally and illustrates the skills you would contribute to a company. Highlight statistical successes from each job. Résumés are the one document whereby recruiters can assess you as a person and as a professional. If you were asked to be on national television, would you show up in your PJ’s without showing in 2 weeks? NO! So make sure your résumé reflects you as a professional.
Step 5: DECIDE – Know what you want to do and clearly communicate that to recruiters. Often, recruiters are mistaken for outplacement counselors and/or résumé advisors. They are neither—they are deal-makers and match-makers. A recruiter’s job is to find the best suitable match for a professional and a company. If the recruiter does not have a sense of what the professional is looking for, it makes matching a near impossible task. Decide what it is you want to do (and base it on your strengths), and go for it!
I hope these tips help you get closer to landing your dream job. As always, if you find employment on your own, please let us know so that we can update our database!