Do you have a job, but feel unfulfilled and dream of working in a job you love? Whilst this may feel like a pipe dream research has proved that with the right planning and mindful preparation that you can be successful. Denise Matthews is a Career Coach with extensive recruitment experience ( Here are her top seven tips so you can land that all-important dream job…

Denise Matthews

Denise Matthews

1. Step back

When you are given a project at work how do you approach it? Usually it involves planning, designing a system, seeking feedback, research, recording results. These are all elements of a great plan. Make this job change ‘Project You’, taking away any emotions or limiting beliefs; plan it as though it is for someone else.

2. What is your dream job?

If all jobs paid the same – or you weren’t going to get paid what jobs would be on your wish list? Before starting the journey of a job search give yourself time to build an ‘ideas bank’ without limits even the crazy ones (perhaps you wanted to be a lion tamer or tour guide at Niagara Falls as a child) – add them to your list and then start to do your research on all the ideas and industries, narrowing down what fits with your aspirations and meets your sense of what is important to you and your values.

3. Belief and Behaviour

Firstly, behaviour follows belief so having decided on what the dream job is for you, you must believe in your abilities as once you feel confident and in control that is how you will act and secondly belief follows behaviour, so behave as if you are already successful. If you act confidently, you become it, setting you up for success in your job search.

4. Your connections

Forget the term ‘networking’ and hold on to the thought that at least 50% of roles are hired through connections and referrals! So warm up your relationships on social media, explore who may be linked to your ‘ideal company’, send a casual email, like and comment on their posts – don’t be a taker, get involved if you can help them, also explain you are job searching and ask for their advice or help for an informational interview or an introduction. Reach out to one person a day for a week and prepare to be surprised at how many new circles you will create by re-establishing connections who will be your ambassadors!

5. Your CV

Your CV is the tool that opens the door, yet on average most recruiters spend less than a minute reviewing it, so its crucial that to get in their ‘yes pile’ that you have a result based, well formatted CV which makes it easy for the recruiter to identify key strengths and experience. Also remember social media ‘editing’ is not optional and remove any irrelevant or inappropriate content.

6. Mindful applications

It’s so easy to press click and send when applying for roles online, so stop, take time and step back, read the job details carefully and identify why you are the perfect candidate. Check your CV covers all the requirements, perhaps tweak it to highlight relevant skills and if possible, craft a covering letter about why this role is perfect for you. Remember real people are making the decision about inviting you to interview and a well-designed CV and letter will have impact. Keep a timeline record of every role applied for with copy of the advert, dates, and responses so you can start to see a pattern of results on what stage you get to, what feedback is received – has salary been a barrier etc? This all adds to your project information and will help you with future applications. It also means that when you get invited for interview you know the details of the role you applied for! Sounds basic? Sadly, on average 65% of invites to interview are met with ‘err, what role was it’

7. The interview

Decide in advance what impact and information you will want to leave behind. The interviewer is exploring your fit, your abilities and most importantly your motivation. Practise and be prepared for answering the ‘Tell me about yourself’ question concisely and engagingly. For those probing questions you may dread, prepare short, upbeat, uncomplication answers which keep you in your safety zone. If it’s a competency-based interview, have a punch line to highlight different competencies. Close the interview strongly with insightful questions and have a punch line question to convince them you are the right person for the role.

Once you find your perfect job don’t forget how you got there, keep your network alive and help people with their career success too. We all need the support of others!

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