Job of your choice is one of the best things you can do in the beginning of your career. But if you ask grad students what they want to do, most of them would bite their fingers, tickle their heads and then would say something like – “Any management post would be fine or maybe a manager of some sort!” That’s not an ideal way to land the job of your choice. Let’s break down the title – Land on the job + of your choice. Means there are two steps to be taken. First you need to know which is your choice of jobs and then prepare yourself to land the same.
So, in this article we will have two separate sections. In the first section, we will try to understand what jobs you may like. And in the second section, we will explore tools and techniques to land a job of your choice.
Remember, the first thing is to find out which job you like. We’re assuming that you’re on the brink of starting your career. Thus, it’s important to know that which area or industry you like to work in. If not, there will be wasted effort and wasted years as Personal Development expert Dr. Stephen Covey mentioned –
Make sure that you’re not climbing against the wrong wall.
Let’s get started then with the first section of “Finding jobs of your choice” and then we will go to the next section on preparation.
Finding jobs of your choice
What most students go wrong while choosing their choice of jobs is to try out what they think they’re passionate about! But it’s silly. Without even trying a job or two how would you know that you’re passionate about something? Passion is not a feeling rather a belief and enthusiasm for an endeavor. Thus, author Cal Newport says –
Don’t go for passion. Passion is illusory.
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For the time being if we imagine that you’ve found out your passion, can you assure that it’s scalable and can make you a living? Most often it’s not.
For example, most writers who are passionate about writing don’t write what they want to write to make a living. They write what they’re passionate about in the leisure while earning a living doing something else or writing what clients want them to write.
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There is clear distinction between making a living and making a life. Even if people scream about making a life; without making a living, it’s not pragmatic.
Thus, find something that you can do without dread.
For example, if you would like to work as a musician and have no background in it; best way is to work in a music industry, learn the business and in your leisure learn the music. After a certain period of time when you’re ready with your business acumen in the music industry and music learning, you can start your own.
Here’s only one suggestion would be prudent. Align the jobs with your top 3-5 core values.
If your values are compassion, empathy, environmentalism, veganism you can’t work in a slaughterhouse. It wouldn’t match.
Make a list of 50 values that you believe you have or like to have. Values are the things that you would like to possess. Then choose the top 10. From top 10 you need to pare down the list into 5. While searching for jobs, try to see whether these 5 values or the majority of 5 values are being met or not! If yes, go for it; if not, say no.
We would like to put more effort on the preparation because even if you find out which jobs you would like to do, without preparation it’s impossible to land.
Let’s look at what to do and what not to do to land the job of your choice.
Preparation (The landing)
This part is also as important as the previous one. But we would argue that this part is even more significant. As Carl Newport mentions that it’s not required to start working on what you’re passionate about; you can start with anything and can become a master doing that. So, pay attention to this part as it will help you land the job of your dreams.
It’s your ticket to shortlisting. Most people make the mistake of thinking that a smart job resume will get them the job. Yes, it can, but first of all, resume is a ticket for the entrance of the interview room, not the job.
Having a great resume will job help. Here’s a list of things you should include in your job resume to get a shortlisting.
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- Include the keywords recruiters are looking for in a resume. Search the job description and see what words recruiters use to describe the job. Replace the words you mention in your resume with the keywords recruiters have used.
- Make your resume short, not more than 1-2 pages.
- Re-check your grammar and any typos.
- Have a clear and traditional formatting. Don’t try to play smart.
- Include only what is relevant for the job and not what you have to show forth.
- Include a skill section which will properly describe what you can do for the company.
- Always remember that your resume is an outline of your professional life. So, pare down all the unimportant details and only mention the important key events.
- While preparing your resume think from the perspective of the recruiters. Make it readable, scan-able and maintain a decent font (Times Roman/ Arial in 11 points is best).
Imagine two pictures.
A guy with stubble, in casual jeans, eats his nails, looks like a person who hasn’t bathed for few days, shows up for an interview.
Another guy with properly shaved cheeks, dresses in formal shirt and trouser, sits smartly and reads a book while waiting for the interview.
If you don’t take the interview, who would you choose among these two guys?
You know the answer, right?
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That’s the reason it’s so important to groom yourself, before you land up for an interview.
Few things you should do to ensure that you impress the interviewer with grooming.
- Power-dressing: The way you dress speaks so loudly that the interviewer often can’t hear what you are. It doesn’t mean you don’t need to develop yourself. But thing is you need to dress up so beautifully that even the lack in your knowledge would get subsided.
- Business etiquette: If you know how to shake hands, how to talk to the interviewers, how to pull the chair and sit, how to keep your hands on the table while sitting, how to gesture to make things tick, then it would help you to land the job of your choice.
- Art of presenting your ideas: Most interviewees when go for interview do not prepare for presentation. But presentation is the most crucial part of an job interview. If you don’t know how to present your ideas (not only in power-point/slide format), you wouldn’t be able to convince the interviewers. If you would like to work on your presentation skill, you need to remember 3 things and act upon them. First thing is the language you use; it should be lucid and easy to understand. Second thing is clarity; to bring clarity in your presentation use only short sentences while communicating. Third and the last thing is focus; don’t try to present too many ideas in a go – take one idea and focus on expressing it with practical example. If you follow these 3 pointers, your presentation would be amazing and your chances of getting selected in the interview would get enhanced by multifold.
- General knowledge: In case of power-dressing we mentioned that your power-dressing will help to suffice for your lack of knowledge. But power-dressing is for external look. To feel from inside, you also need to work on the internal as well. Read the newspaper daily for half-an-hour and make notes of the important news; every week, read those notes. Within a year, you would develop a great level of general knowledge only few can master.
- Communication skill: While presenting your ideas, you need to have a great verbal communication; to be a good communicator as a whole you also need to take care of your non-verbal cues. To develop it, notice people in the top position and observe how they behave, how they nod their heads, how they move their hands and how they respond to others. You would learn a lot more from your observation of people than any text book.
Most of you who are going to appear for the interview may skip this one. But if you want to score high on the card of interviewers, please don’t. Remember, only top 10% prepare for progressing in their own domain. That means if you prepare for your domain knowledge, even for the sake of the interview, you will be walking along the extra mile than the other 90% of interviewees. Thus, take it seriously.
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If you’re a fresher, you may wonder that you don’t need to prepare for your domain, because you’re just about to discover which position or role suits you (even after evaluating your core values). But never go for the interview unprepared. Read these and go confidently.
- What’re the latest trends and evolution in your domain?
- Name the top 5 experts in your domain and watch one video for each person about what they have to say about your chosen industry.
- Know the history of your dream company. Find out what made them tick in the long run.
- Read about the projection of your domain in 10 years down the line.
- Read at least 5 researches being done to be able to remain top in your domain.
- Articulate how your core values are aligned with the characteristics of your domain.
How many people you’ve known who’ve followed up after being interviewed?
Chances are almost none.
But there are great success rate in the follow up.
Interviewees need to realize that the recruiters are humans too. They love to be appreciated, honored and remembered. And that significantly affect the way they think about you, as a candidate. If you make them feel good, they will remember you. Even if you don’t get selected for the said position, you would surely be remembered for any future opportunity.
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Any action has equal and opposite reaction. If you simply go home after the interview and within 24 hours drop an email to the recruiter about how grateful and thankful you feel for the opportunity, you will instantly get an edge over others. This is the difference between thinking “what’s in it for me?” to “how may I be of service?”
Don’t stop there, if you can manage to have the email ids of the interviewers, send them a ‘thank you’ note after the interview is over. It’s not like pleading or oiling, it’s simply reconnecting with people who thought that you might be their next champion in the company. Why don’t you thank them for their generosity?
Don’t stop there yet. After a week of your interview, give a call to the recruiter or email to mention that you’ve appeared for the interview for the said position and you’re yet to get a response from the company; you just want to know the feedback and at the end thank the recruiter for his/her time and effort to make you through.
It’s being seen that 91% of recruiters like candidates who follow up. Why don’t you start following up from your next interview? You would be able to see the difference right away.
There are certain things you need to know. Landing the choice of your job is more about your willingness than your ability. If you give up too soon it would be difficult for you to get selected for your dream company. You would fail, repeatedly. You would feel terrible, day after day. You would find life miserable, again and again. But the people who succeed, don’t see the failures as dead-ends, they see them as opportunities, as ways to embrace their growth. Irrespective of whatever happens they keep moving forward, always. Ultimately their willingness, grit, hard work, never-to-say-die attitude bring them closer to success and people call them lucky. You don’t get lucky, you make lucky. Make it. That’s what we would like you to do.