Landing that dream job in 3 easy steps!
They say the Gods punish us by granting us what we wish for.
So assuming statistically that this is not another Monkey’s Paw but represents the job that will propel you to the next rung in your corporate career, read on.
We all love these quick fixes, don’t we? X easy steps to the new YOU from weight loss schemes to get rich quick ones. However whether these steps to a dream job are easy or not depends on you.
I assume you are a well qualified, hard working individual with smarts and personality and you have a reasonable track record of success in your career till date. That’s a good starting point but then there’s one job and there are many others vying for it at one of the best companies to work for. So it’s not yet a done deal and that’s where this blog hopefully helps you in some small measure. If you already know some of these, then bully for you as you have less work to do but it might still be worth a read.
1. Write a great resume
I read many resumes as that’s par for the course for a search consultant. One develops a ‘Blink’ kind of feel for a good resume from a bad one in less than 1 minute. Whether the resume fits the current job in hand or not is one decision and if the resume is worth keeping for future options is another. This is your primary marketing collateral for you as a potential candidate. Make sure your resume gives the reader the highlights about you in the first paragraph or max a page else they will lose interest. I suggest senior candidates to have their entire resumes in 1 page and certainly not more than 2. Let potential employers ask for more details at the interview if you pique their interest enough. No one really wants to know a blow-by-blow account of all the tasks you did or were supposed to in each role. What you achieved is critical viz. I built a new business initiative from scratch to X Million US$ in a year; I brought down attrition from 28% to 15% in one year or whatever. Get one of those resume writing books or a professional to rewrite your resume but if you can’t write a good resume, you probably can’t communicate yourself into that dream job either. If I had a buck for every poorly written resume I see, I might be sunning in Monaco right now. Only a great resume may not get you the job but a poor one can certainly nix your chances in the bud.
2. Prepare your pitch
This sounds obvious, doesn’t it? It’s surprising the number of folks even at middle and senior levels who come unprepared for interviews. Whether it stems from arrogance or something else, it certainly leaves a residue if you fail in the interview. Most people presumably do the obvious stuff – find out who they are meeting, look at company website etc. The better prepared ones also practice their own pitches about what they have done over the years, where they succeeded and where they failed, and more importantly what they learnt from failures. The step beyond that is to be aware of potential traps that someone astute will pick up from your resume or even from referencing you in the market. Stuff like – what happened in 2012 when so many people from your division were let go or what went wrong with the product launch that your team did in Mumbai market or why is there a gap of 6 months in your resume between these 2 jobs? These are sure to trip up the unwary candidate. If you put yourself in the shoes of n interviewer and ask yourself the tough questions or ask a well-wisher to do that, you maybe better off in the interview.
3. Research the job and employer
How much do you really know about the job you have applied for or the culture and structure of the company? Do you have a clue about the reporting manager, his style and track record and whether this will sync with yours? What you did in steps 1 and 2 are mostly common for every interview situation but what you do in step 3 is specific to the job and employer. Knowing who you will meet in the interview, who you will report to, what you will do for the most part of each day on the job etc are all things you need to know before you step into the interview. Many senior people are fascinated by the company name and job title, and at junior levels people care more for the money or travel opportunities. However if you are serious about a reasonably long stint at that company and job, lots of other things need to be researched a priori. Talk to people in the market who deal with the employer and that role, talk to people who have worked there before etc. Everyone can find a link in these days of online networking to anyone else who can give them valuable info. This also helps be mentally better prepared for the interview and you can ask some searching questions of your own too!
Good luck with the next dream job!
Good luck with your journey into leadership and remember, to be a good leader you need to be a good follower first.