The journey to your dream job and getting hired by your dream company is a long and challenging one. It is normal to have many doubts and questions along the way. People are unsure about how to proceed and end up feeling intimidated and stressed. But it does not have to be that way. With a little clarity, you can overcome your fears and even enjoy the process. And that is what we will attempt to do here, by describing the journey in detail and explaining what you need to do.
Build Your Resume
Building your CV is your first step towards getting hired. It is going to be the foundation of all your efforts, so you need to make sure that it is a strong one.
Employers almost always use CVs to shortlist candidates before further rounds of selections. So, you have to provide a compelling argument in your CV for the recruiter to select you. Even if you are the most qualified for a job and have all the necessary skills and aptitude, it will not matter in the end if you are not able to convey it properly through your CV.
To be able to write an effective resume that catches the attention of recruiters, you need to know how a recruiter goes through a resume and what he/she looks for. A good resume contains the following elements:
Relevant – It is not a good idea to make a single, standard CV and use the same for every job that you apply for. You need to be able to modify your CV every time you apply for a job and tailor it to suit the specific job requirements. It should convey why you are best qualified for that particular role. This is going to vary every time you apply for a different job.
Know which keywords to use – When recruiters go through a resume, they do not read the
entire document. They look for specific keywords. Nowadays, most companies use special software to scan resumes, and they do the same – look for keywords. You need to know which keywords to use, and where to use them.
Coherence – A good resume is minimalistic, but at the same time, it should form a coherent whole. It has a flow to it, and a clear story emerges out of it – a story of you. The recruiter
scanning your CV should be able to get a picture of who you are, what your experience has been like and what you have achieved so far.
No human being is capable of doing everything. However, there is always some activity, skill or domain that a person can excel at. Your task is to find that one area. However, this is easier said than done. Only a rigorous analysis of your aptitude, personality, interests, abilities, strengths and weaknesses etc. can help bring out where your true potential lies. Oftentimes it so happens that a person is not fully aware of all the options that are available and relevant to them. The usual support system of a person – parents, family, friends – who
normally guide on different matters, also come up short when it comes to career counselling because even they are not aware of all the latest industry trends and career option. There are over 12,000 different kinds of jobs out there and new ones are being created every year – it is difficult for any single person to keep up. And this is why professional guidance can be of immense help here. Professional counsellors can provide aptitude tests, personality tests, analyze your strengths and weaknesses and come up with a comprehensive list of career options that fit you best. They can chart out career trajectories and inform you what are the things you need to do to start and excel in a career of your choice.
Building a Personal Brand
A personal brand is the idea of you, that you communicate to the world. It conveys who you are and it helps to shape people’s perception of you. It helps you establish your credibility before your prospective employers.
Personal brands are developed by creating and maintaining a professional online presence through LinkedIn accounts, Facebook accounts, blogs etc. All of your online presence must be aligned towards projecting the desired image of you to prospective recruiters, and you should be able to communicate your story, your skills and knowledge, your achievements and goals through this presence. This is important as more and more employers are using social media to screen candidates in the hiring process. They also use it to check on their current employees. If a recruiter searches for your name on Google and finds a well-crafted, professional online presence, it puts you head and shoulders above your competition. It can also open up interesting opportunities in the form of job interviews, internships,networking, etc., which might not have existed otherwise.
Preparing for interviews
Preparing for the interviews is the final, and crucial, part of the journey. How you plan and strategize before the interview is an important determinant of your success. This may seem like an overwhelming task, especially for those with relatively lesser experience, so it is helpful to break the whole process into specific action points.
The first thing to do is to carefully analyse the job description and understand what the role entails. What are the responsibilities and tasks associated with it? Make a list of the qualifications, knowledge, skills and other requirements for the position. Find an alignment: The second list that you need to make is a list of all your qualities, skills and experience that will help you meet the job requirements. You can use this list to justify to the recruiter why you are a good fit for the role. You should also think through the responsibilities and see if it aligns with your interests and competencies.
Apart from the Job Description provided by the company, you can carry out your research to find out more about the role. Find out people on LinkedIn who have similar roles and see the what are the kind of experiences that they have had. Try connecting with a few of them and ask them for advice. Also, check what the culture in the organization is like and whether you will be able to fit in. Employers often consider this culture fit while making hiring decisions.
Also, research as much as possible about the company itself. Make sure to go through their website and other articles on them you can find. There are also certain websites where you can check reviews of the company by current and former employees. Find out more about the activities they do, the markets they are in, who their customers are, their competitors, the industry they are in, the hierarchy and the important people in the company.
Practice Interview Questions:
Based on your analysis of the JD and your research, think about the possible questions that may come up during the interview. Get a clear idea of what you are going to speak, otherwise, you may end up fumbling during the interview. Some people prefer practicing their answers by speaking them aloud. If the interview is virtual, as is common nowadays, get to know the software that is going to be used and do a test run well before the interview. This will ensure that you do not have to
worry about last-minute technical snags.