We understand. Life is short; and it is important to have your potential recognised — and then rewarded. The search for your dream job is very understandable and legitimate — but it can often be a minefield to navigate. Herein lies the rationale behind our mission statement at Dream Job CV — and our work is centred around four key pillars for success!
(1) Cover Letter + CV
First of all, there are a lot of myths out there about what would constitute an adept package of application materials. NO: it is not vital to limit your CV to only 1 page, but YES: it is vital to ensure a maximum of 2 in the UK labour market.
The process of application is also changing; large companies are now using an initial screening process with “Applicant Tracking System” (ATS) software — in order to determine keyword compliance. It is, therefore, crucial to implement a forensic analysis on each job specification, in order to induce a match — because otherwise, if you are not getting an interview offer, it may well be that your CV was never actually in fact read by a human!
If you thought that it would be best to place your CV in a PDF document, think again: only a Word document is ATS-compliant. But, once these foundational underpinnings are in place, and the structure is spot on, one can then move on to ensure that all of the keyword skills are backed-up with tangible and quantitative evidence from prior experience (with the transferability to the new role clearly articulated).
This is true of the CV, but also the Cover Letter, where you also have a platform to start to outline your particular reasons for wishing to target that specific industry — and, most importantly, that specific company. Research, and the related compelling statements of motivation, start to ensure that you can burst from the pack — and be seen as someone who could slot into their particular company!
Source: Katarzyna Bialasiewicz (Canva Pro)
Job Search Success!
(2) LinkedIn Profile Optimization
There are 700M+ users on LinkedIn, many of whom are HR managers and recruiters — and therefore this is a space to repudiate at your own personal peril. But it is not about simply dumping the text from the CV onto your LinkedIn Profile; because we are now looking at the perfect personal branding space, and one that can really start to ensure that you can be visible in the crowded space.
In the first instance, you have the chance to implement a pertinent SEO keyword plan, in order to boost the number of search appearances for potential recruiters and connections. But, once they have arrived at your LinkedIn Profile, they do not want to be confronted with the default LinkedIn Banner, unprofessional headshot, and no content featured. You have a blank canvas upon which to project your personal brand and value-added potential; a perfect complement to the more traditional CV (at the top of which the custom LinkedIn Profile URL can be placed).
Peer affirmation is also key, and because you are no longer sending written references with your Cover Letter + CV, the LinkedIn Profile provides the perfect chance to ensure that endorsement clicks and recommendations are present (and able to guarantee that a HR manager does not regard you as a risk; but rather an asset that has been able to benefit many others in the past).
At this stage, although constantly in need of update and revision, one has the perfect Cover Letter + CV + LinkedIn Profile. But you cannot simply pat yourself on the back and let them sit there! The truth is that, whilst certain opportunities might come your way (if someone reaches out on a LinkedIn DM, for example), you have to be proactive — in order to make these application materials work for you!
Again, LinkedIn is the perfect platform for this, but only if one follows the correct (and most sustainable) approach to such. It is not about reaching out from a cold and standing start, to ascertain whether someone has got a position for you. Rather, it is about building relationships and trust, in a non-pushy and professional manner. It is about being a “giver” (rather than simply a “receiver”) — and it is about mutual benefit and reciprocal support.
You can not only provide insightful comments on the content of your LinkedIn Connections and other content producers, but you can also start to become a thought-leader in the industry yourself — putting out LinkedIn Posts that showcase your knowledge and value-added potential. In this sense, one does not have to wait until the interview to start communicating with your future employer!
Source: your_photo (Canva Pro)
Job Search Success
(4) Interview Preparation
Once you do get to the interview, however, it is important to realise that this is a conversation (not an interrogation). I understand, interviews can be daunting, but with a slight psychological shift, it is my hope that you can start to see these occasions as an assessment of compatibility (rather than an attempt to catch you out; or make you feel embarrassed on the spot).
Ultimately, an interview is designed to determine whether you are well placed to add value to the company in front of you, as based on past experience, and the related company pain points and difficulties that you can therefore cater for hereafter at the new role. As with the Cover Letter + CV + LinkedIn Profile, start with the keyword skill, provide a past example as evidence, and then finish with talking about the transferability to the new role.
That process, combined with an extension of the specific reasons for wishing to enter this company (as initially articulated in the Cover Letter), will definitely provide that killer formula for success at the interview. Of course, situational questions can always be tricky to navigate, but always think in terms of how to best maintain a strong company brand and customer satisfaction. Finally, don’t fall at the final hurdle: when asked whether you have got any questions for them, this is not a tick-box exercise (but rather a further chance to highlight your company research — as well as articulate how you can add value to them hereafter).
Source: pixelshot (Canva Pro)
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Overall, the point to internalise here is that a dream job does not fall into your lap; but rather the output is commensurate with the input. If you work hard, but also smart, it is more than achievable — but you need to understand that the process is multi-faceted in nature.
Apart from the ins and outs of the specific application materials and stages, however, the final thought that I would like to leave you with is this one. It all starts with a strong psychological underpinning — one where you appreciate the value that you have to bring to bear; and one where you can enter the race through a position of strength and competence.
It is not easy; but what important and worthwhile factor in life ever is? The great news is that, here at Dream Job CV, we are here to help and support at each stage of the process hereafter. Let’s together move forward — and make sure that we can secure that dream job for you in the near future!
Author: Mathew Warboys
Co-Founder at Dream Job CV
CEO at The CEO Hub
Top 10 LinkedIn Coach (Yahoo! Finance)
Shortlisted for the “Junior Nobel Prize” (2014, 2015, 2019)
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