5 Tips to Help You Snag That Dream Job
Whether you’re someone looking to change careers or advance in your field, today’s competitive job market makes it imperative to stand out in the hiring process. With the ever-growing ways to go about your job search, knowing where to start and how to stand out can be overwhelming. Take a look at these five steps to guide you on a successful job search that can land you that dream job.
1) Network, Network, Network
Studies show that 80% of jobs are found through referrals; because of this, building your network should be a top priority when looking for your dream job. Stay active on LinkedIn, attend local networking events, and join professional networking groups or Meetup groups to build your network.
Remember, as you are creating new contacts in your network, don’t forget to keep in contact with old connections. Create a list of people that you already know that may be able to help you in your IT job search.
2) Make Your Qualifications Match
Key factors in a successful job search are well thought-out and refined application documents. Snagging your dream job requires time and effort, so it’s crucial to create a standout resume and cover letter; these documents are the “first impression” a hiring manager could have of you.
Don’t forget that these are living documents that can be tweaked for each job you apply to. Carefully read the job description to identify required technical skills and soft skills, then add any of the skills you have to your resume. This will show the hiring manager that you are qualified for the position and help you get an interview. Note: check out the resume tool Jobscan to see what percent your resume matches a job description.
3) Prepare for Interviews
Once you have an interview set, you want to make sure you can knock it out of the park. Practice your elevator pitch to be able to respond to “tell me about yourself.” Do your company research to answer questions like “Why do you want to work for this company?” A quick Google search of the company and review of their company website and LinkedIn page can tell you what they do, who their clients are, and what technologies they use.
In addition, practice both general and technical interview questions before the interview. Practicing common general interview questions will help you be more prepared with examples of different scenarios you can talk about in an interview. Practicing technical questions will help you feel confident and have a more fluid way of explaining your answer.
4) Highlight Your Real World Experience
Have you recently created a new website? Were you the go-to IT guru in your family? Did you complete a network design project in class? Whether you were paid to do a project or just did it to help a family member, it is all valuable experience to highlight.
Add website links, descriptions of projects, and explanations of your technical experience to your resume. When asked about your experience in an interview, talk about the technologies and troubleshooting skills you used to demonstrate your know-how.
5) Always Follow Up
It is always important to follow up at various points in your job search. After an interview, be sure to send a follow-up thank you email within 24 hours of the interview. Express your appreciation for their time and reiterate your interest in the position and the company. View tips on writing a thank you email HERE. If you haven’t received a response in one to two weeks after applying for a position, send a quick follow-up email to check on your application.
Alex Carnahan is the Career Coach & Employer Relations Specialist at Centriq Training. Each year, Alex helps place hundreds of IT Career Program graduates with over 1,000 hiring companies in the Midwest. For more information on how Alex can find you a job, read more about our Placement Services.