Oh what a catchy title! Notice I’ve used “simple steps” not “easy steps”. Getting your dream job is hard! If it wasn’t, everyone could do it and every good position would be filled, worlds would collide and I would have an iPhone in my pocket right now.
So, since I’ve just landed my dream job and had been in the hirer side for a couple of years now, I tough I’ll share some of my personnal tips.
1. Be remarkable
Being remarkable does not mean being perfect. It means doing something that is worth making a remark about. So do just that! Have a colourful resume, a singing presentation letter or have your CV delivered in a golden box by flying elephant man. The point is, don’t be afraid to do remarkable things to get noticed. It’s always better to have the employer find your resume cheesy then boring. Boring and average are career killers! Seth Godin’s blog and books are a great source of inspiration on how to be remarkable.
2. Invest in your knowledge portfolio
This one is from The Pragmatic Programmer. Your brain is your most valuable tool, but like your wallet if you don’t invest in it properly you won’t grow it’s value.
- Serious investors invest regularly – as a habit.
- Diversification is the key to long-term success.
- Smart investors balance their portfolio between conservative and high-risk, high-reward investments.
- Investors try to buy low and sell high for maximum return.
- Portfolios should be reviewed and rebalanced periodically
– The Pragmatic Programmer, p.13
Read books, listen to podcast, fill up your feed reader, you can’t learn too much. If you’re still no convinced, Eric Sink wrote an amazing article on why knowledge is the only thing you truly control in your career.
3. Showcase yourself
Even if you’re the best programmer, graphist, sys admin in the world, if you can’t prove it, it’s worthless. Not having any portfolio, showcase or work sample is like a tree falling in an empty forest. Action speaks louder then words, so you got to prove yourself to be a great doer ratter then a great talker. Good employers (and Joel’s readers) always look for two things: smart and get things done. Be proud and care about what you’ve done!
4. Aim for the best
Don’t spam employers with unpersonalized cover letters. Focus on the one you really like and show them you care. Jobboom and Workopolis job spamming was dead the day it started. Looking for a job is marketing yourself, so think about it the way you’d like to be approached for a product: intrusive phone call at lunch time, spam or personalized funny email ?
When interviewing with the employer make it clear you think they are the best and that’s why you’re applying. In return, they should make you feel that they’re looking for the best candidate and care about finding the one. If you get the feeling like they only want to fill a position with anyone that can fit the mould, run! Employees are not commodities but investments. When you’re about to be hired you should feel like the best in the world not like being fooled.
5. Be passionate
Actually this is not really a step as it’s a requirement. If you’re passionate about what you do, doing all this will be a breeze and so much fun. If you’re not, maybe you should start thinking about changing career path…
And when you can standout as a candidate you can get any job you want! Really!
(Conditions may apply, see small invisible footprint for details).
What are your tips on finding your dream job ?
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