Summer is quickly fading—what strides have you made towards landing your dream job? Before the sun sets on the magnificent summer days, you should do something (anything!) to strengthen your chances of landing the job you want.
Finding your dream job is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. You have to prepare for it. Visualize it. Make small, consistent efforts to position yourself in the right place at the right time and with the people with the power to give you the job you want. There’s still time to take small actions this summer that will pay off big later.
Make a Definitive Career Decision
We all go through times when we aren’t sure what we want to do with our lives. It’s part of career exploration, and it’s completely normal. If you are still in this part of your career path, you aren’t exactly ready to pursue your dream job because you don’t know what your dream job is.
You know you’re ready to pursue your dream job when it’s all you can think about. When you find that perfect career, you know it. You see it in your mind’s eye. You talk about it with everyone you meet. You look for opportunities to get closer to your goal, and opportunities continue to present themselves for you.
If you aren’t there yet, spend your time this summer researching potential dream jobs. For example, if you love sailing, look into yacht jobs. If you love singing, look into jobs at theme parks or local theaters that will allow you to express your passion. Take a personality quiz and see what jobs are recommended for your personality type. Volunteer with different organizations and try a variety of jobs on for size. Keep searching until you find something that feels right to you.
Create a Sparkling Resume
A sparkling resume alone is not going to snag you your dream career, but it’s certainly going to set you in the right direction. If you’ve chosen your dream job, start researching resumes for other people in that industry. Look at their LinkedIN profiles and figure out what the people doing the job you want have in common. Likely, they have similar education and a similar skill set.
To make your resume stand out from the crowd, ditch Word’s standard templates and buy a unique, inexpensive template on Etsy. Artists there create resumes with color and professional formatting that will make you look like you know exactly what you’re doing. All you need is good word-smithing and you’re well on your way to your dream job.
- Ditch Your Resume’s Objective
- Customer Service Resume with Proven Results
- Replace Your Customer Service Resume Objective
Always Be Networking
If you know exactly what your dream job is, the best thing you can do to ensure you land it is to network. You should be making an effort to meet at least two people who can help you with your career every week. You should be following people on LinkedIN who already do your dream job. Heading to job fairs and landing interviews is an important part of this process, too.
You can network anywhere. If you’re still in college, network with your professors and students in the same major field. Ask them to make introductions for you. Don’t feel like you’re imposing by making this request—you will return the favor later when you’re in the position to help someone in your industry.
Jarell and I have even networked at the grocery store. You never know when you’re going to meet someone who can help you along your path. Always be ready. If you have an online portfolio, spend a few dollars to have business cards made with your contact info and a link to your portfolio so you can hand them out during “surprise” networking conversations. Always be ready to make a connection.
The concept of GRIT is making its way in the conference circle right now, so make sure you are persistent and know what employers want from their employees. You will face setbacks—they are part of life. How you handle those setbacks largely determines how successful you are in life and your career. Persevere over your obstacles at every opportunity.
This summer, to work on your persistence, find an inspiration of some sort. Find a role model who was successful and beat the odds. Having this will help you keep focused in the tough times.