How to Get Get Hired in the Job You Want

by Kevin on December 31, 2011

If you are lucky enough to be employed in this somber economy, you might think it crazy to consider a job change. Perhaps you just came off months of unemployment and are just happy to be working for a check once again. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, we might not think our current job is the job we want to have for the long term. A paycheck is nice, but feeling fulfilled in our work and also getting paid for it is even better.

Make this year the year you make the move to the job you really want. Don’t settle for less. You might switch jobs because you don’t like your line of work, for a better pay rate, or for a better company.

How to Switch to an Awesome Job

Here are a few tips to help you better you work — and financial — situation by switching jobs this year.

Build Your Network

In a high unemployment economy it is hard to stick out from the crowd alone. Some surveys have shown that anywhere from 67% to 75% of all people find their next job through their professional network. If you don’t want to be stuck in your current role forever you need to build up a network of professional contacts.

Here’s the kicker with networking: you can’t decide to build your network the week you need a new job. You should be building your network throughout your career so that in the time you do need something, you’ve built up enough goodwill that people want to help you. It isn’t the same as calling in favors, but if you’ve done a good job of helping your network it is much more likely to do a good job of helping you.

Document Your Accomplishments

There are a lot of ways to put together a resume. Some of them are great. A lot of them are terrible.

Building your resume is similar to building your network. You don’t want to sit down the day you decide to apply for jobs and think back about your accomplishments from the previous 4 years of work. If you wait to do it all at once you will inevitably forget many of the accomplishments you had over the previous years. You need to note significant projects you completed or participated in as well as the impact to the organization.

Another resume tip: don’t be afraid of detail. Now, there are limits to this. No hiring manager is going to read a 5 page resume at a font size of 4. But there also isn’t a huge problem in having a second page on your resume, especially if the detail in the resume draws out important details that a hiring manager would want to read.

And never put an objective on your resume. An objective, no matter how many flowery words you put into it, is essentially saying “I want a job with you”. Save yourself space and put more of your qualifications on the front page.

Apply Selectively

If your network is unable to get you in touch with the right people for a specific company or job, you need to apply on your own. Or maybe you’re just looking for a new opportunity and are open to a couple of options. Be very careful here. Applying en masse to a bunch of jobs — especially with the same company — reeks of desperation. Companies are able to see that you’ve applied to 6 jobs in the last week with them. You aren’t being selective, you’re just shotgunning your resume out in hopes of it sticking somewhere. Employers don’t want that type of employee. They want the employee that is a good fit for the role, targets their resume to the job, and applies once.

These tips won’t guarantee you success in moving to the next job, but greatly increase your odds of a successful transition this year.

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