You want to get the job of your dreams, but you don’t know how to get it. You don’t have the required experience, or you don’t meet the exact education requirements. The good news, you can still get your dream job. All it takes is some strategy, planning, and personalization.
So, let’s take a look at how you can get your dream job even if you aren’t fully qualified or experienced for it.
Define your goal
Like any other goal, your goal should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). For example, it is not probable to become a NASA astronaut if you have a degree in business management. So, it is important to what your goal is. Ask yourself the following questions before starting the job hunt:
What job do I want to do?
Is it possible for me to land that job?
Am I qualified for that job?
What skills are required for the job, and how can I develop them?
How long would it take me to get this job if I start working on it today?
Answering these questions helps you create a blueprint. For instance, if you are a financial advisor, but you want to become a financial analyst, you’ll need to develop analytics skills. And it might take you three, four, or six months to develop these skills. Having a roadmap makes it easier for you to achieve your goal of getting your dream job.
Understand your value
Experience can be one of your greatest attributes when looking for a job. What matters more than the amount of your experience is the quality of your experience. When searching for a job, most people make this mistake of either undervaluing and overvaluing themselves. Let’s understand it with a quick example.
Justin is the Operations Manager in a local, small-scale company that manufactures steel flanges. His job involves making sure the production process is appropriately followed, and the final product is as per the quality standards. His core skills include forging, welding, and working with various kinds of metals. His other abilities include leadership, management, and problem-solving.
But he is not comfortable in applying for a larger mid-size firm for a similar role because it works on copper alloys. Justin feels he is not skilled enough because he has no experience of working on copper alloys. Here, Justin is undervaluing himself because although he has no experience of working on copper alloys, he is skilled in all the processes required.
On the other hand, Justin would be overselling himself if he thinks he can perform this role easily as working on steel and copper alloys is almost the same. While it is quite similar, there are significant differences, and the new employee will need to go through a learning curve.
Therefore, get rid of a fixed mindset and adopt a growth mindset. Figure out what you have to offer and which skills you lack. Understanding your value can give you a direction for how to develop your skills to land your dream job.
Don’t see job requirements as set-in-stone
When you come across a job listing, consider the list of requirements as a starting point and not the bottom line. While some specific requirements may not be changeable, most of them are negotiable.
For example, let’s say you want to apply for the role of a journalist. And the job description says,” A candidate with strong research, writing, communication, and analytical skills. The candidate should have a Master’s degree in Journalism or Mass Communications.” But you have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and all the necessary skills required.
You can still apply for the job and land it. Just be sure to emphasize your qualities, skills, and experience in the cover letter.
Tell a story
Yes, storytelling is an art that can help you land your dream job. Who doesn’t like a good story that shows how great a candidate you are for a particular job? Your resume provides a snap of your skills and experience, but that’s not what makes you stand out. It is critical for you to set a narrative.
What can you bring to the table? Are you an underdog who wants to trade his skills for experience? Or, are you a bold career change who’s looking to use his skills and experience in a new industry? So, even in these days of automated submissions, cover letters hold significant importance. A cover letter allows you to add more color and context about who you are and why you are a great fit for this position.
A well-written cover letter can also come in handy to bridge a potential experience gap with the skills you have. Frame your cover letter in a way that gives the reader a reason to keep reading instead of flipping to the next resume. Spend some time working on your elevator pitch that answers who you are, what you are capable of, and what you are looking for. This way, you can set up your brand and stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Outsmart the resume robots
With the rise in technology, bots have replaced several human roles. And there’s a good chance that the first reader of your resume is not even a human. And most job applicants fail to pass the bots. However, it’s easy. All you need to do is professionally punch above your weight class.
A smart thing to do here is to understand the exact requirements of a company. Thankfully, the job description tells almost all of it. Look for the keywords the company is targeting and include them in your resume and cover letter, especially the ones related to education, skills, and experience. Also, make sure to proofread your resume properly.
The high-priority words should be spelled correctly to ensure you make that robust first impression. You don’t want to lie in your resume and cover letter, but try to be creative with your skills and qualifications. Putting small effort in personalizing your resume and cover letter will take you a step closer to an interview and possibly to your dream job.
Focus on networking
Your network should not be limited to a few connections between LinkedIn and Twitter. You should connect with people whose experiences and kinship can help boost the chances of your job application’s acceptance. These people can vouch for you and make the process of background checks and referrals easier for the hiring company. Instead of following the regular procedure of finding a job, applying for it online, and waiting for the HR to call or reply, it is helpful if you have someone talking about your skills and expertise. Therefore, focus on building valuable connections that not only increase the numbers but also increase your chances of landing a job.
Package yourself well
Lastly, it is your dream job, and you don’t want to showcase your weaknesses and lack of experience. When creating a resume, craft it as per the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a job, but you don’t have any past experience to back your application, your resume should focus on highlighting your skills. On the other hand, if your experience is your USP, tailor your resume to highlight your professional experience.
If you’re entering a new industry, do some preparation, so you don’t sound like a complete beginner. Understand what the company does and prepare accordingly. Keep on practicing and working on your total package so that you can smoothly represent yourself in the interview.
If you want to apply for a job, but you don’t fit the exact eligibility criteria, focus on packaging yourself intelligently. Focus more on your strengths and what you can bring on your table and less on your weaknesses and what you lack.