6 Effective Ways to get Hired for Your Dream Job (Disclaimer: Using Resumes is Least Effective)14 min read

“If you don’t know why you’d hire you, neither will they.”

Frank Sonnenberg

 

Jobless?

Tired of job hunting?

Questioning your career and choices?

 

Relax, you aren’t alone.

Thousands of jobs and hundreds of vacancies open up daily, but the amount of jobless individuals just seem to go up each passing day.

And no, I am not trying to make you feel good by mentioning that you are among thousand other jobless folks out there. Not at all. That would be the worst form of motivation ever.

Anyhow, these and similar stats make it all the more hard & it minimises the chances of an individual securing a favourable job, just so that he’s able to make ends meet. Give joblessness & the added dose of the current fruitless job-hunting a few years, you’ll end up in such depressing & bottomless cul-de-sacs. That’s the only reason why I used the word ‘favourable’ rather than using ‘dream’ to specify the kind of job you’d want to land immediately.

So basically till here I haven’t really gotten around to lifting your spirits or giving you something worthwhile.

Well, the primary reason why our job-hunting schemes are doomed from the start, is because we fail to understand a job & it’s vacancy from our potential employer’s perspective. The following is the order of prioritisation a typical employer would go through in order to fill a vacancy.

 

 

And we as job-hunters follow the complete reverse of this process, which in today’s world doesn’t get us anywhere other than a repetitive sensation of migraines & skull-cracks, primarily due to a recursive banging-the-head-on-the-wall shenanigans we end up doing.

I came across this amazing depiction of the current job-hunting situation versus the employer’s strategy in the book What Colour Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles. It is a perfect book for anyone looking to get successful in job-hunting or for someone who wants to gain more insights into their current jobs.

 

List of Contents

 

Here’s how an employer goes about filling a job vacancy –

  1. From Within This is a low risk strategy for the employer because he’d end up hiring someone who’s work they have already seen. Promoting a presently working full-time employee, a presently working part-time individual, hiring a former consultant or freelancer under a contract, or hiring these increasingly trending former “temp” (temporary) for full time work.
    • Implication for the Job Hunter best chance for an individual is to see if he/she could get hired to their company of choice as a “temp”, aiming at a full-time position either in the near future, or not at all.
  2. Using Proof This is a win-win for both parties, because the job hunter can easily showcase (mostly show-off) the skills & projects undertaken by them previously. And for the employer it is his own perusal to judge the individuals’ work based on the company’s skill requirements, and hire them based entirely on their work & skill-level.
    • Implication for the Job Hunter Numerous sites are there nowadays where individuals can showcase their work & talent. Dribble – for designers, Github – For developers, and Pexels/Unsplash – for photographers. And along with these online tools mentioned, individuals could carry with them their work – code, photos, case-studies & books as they go to attend interviews.
  3. Using a Business Colleague or a Best Friend Hiring someone whose work & expertise (using expertise like ‘salt-to-taste’, because it’s supposed to make us feel good) your trusted friend or colleague has seen, preferably someone who they have had worked for or worked with before.
    • Implication for the Job Hunter – As job-seekers our efforts must, in such situations, be directed towards searching or seeking out someone who knows the HR person or the hiring body in the preferred company. This someone should also know our work and would introduce us to the employer.
      “That’s the problem with best friends. Sometimes they know you better than you know yourself.” ― Cecily von Ziegesar
  4. Using an Agency They Trust – When we talk about private employment agencies, recruiters or search firms, they take proper care to vet an individual thoroughly for the employer.
    • Implication for the Job Hunter – Preparing oneself for the somewhat gruelling tests, aptitude examinations & communication sessions, of Case Studies & Group Discussions, these private firms tend to organise prior to the final interview.
  5. Using an Advertisement They Have Placed – Company websites, Online & on Job-Boards (Net Start Inc, Monster.com), newspapers, and other print media are the prime sources to look out for new job listings and vacancies.
    • Implication for the Job Hunter – Constantly being on the lookout for such new updates on jobs and openings. It’s all about being thorough with the company’s process, preparing oneself for the upcoming walk-in interview dates, having concrete projects to showcase, and a well-maintained, not copied!, Resume and/or Cover Letter to carry as add-ons.
      “Every day you should also be checking job boards to track positions as they open up. In addition to the job boards on company websites, use public job boards such as Monster, Indeed, LinkedIn, and any specialty sites. There’s also your alumni website, etc.” ― Kate White
  6. Using a Resume – Consider this to be desperate times for the employer, where they’d be open to hiring individuals based on their resumes, even unsolicited ones.
    • Implication for the Job Hunter – Now we as job-seekers tend to sit on our resumes, mindlessly forwarding it to places in the hopes of securing some kind of an office space, whilst the luckier ones among us would be imagining proper cubicles, flexible work hours & the best boss ever. Those are fictional and foolish ideals we stick to.

 

So it is quite evident from the above bits the vast difference that exists in the way an employer prioritises the process in filling a job vacancy, and how we as job hunters imagine, mostly assume, this process to be.

How do you then solve this situation, or how do you approach this problem, or how do you even begin to bridge this growing gap?

Being Adaptable to Change

The disparity in stance of the employer & the job hunter has grown in recent years because more often than not the employers have repeatedly learned to adapt to the situation, the economy and the needs of the company.

 

 

Whereas we still believe in that crisp printout of our Resumes to steer us through to the office’s parking-lot for at least a few stable years in some tight cubicle. But alas, we fail to see the bigger picture. We fail to comprehend how with the times, the job situation, the demand, the skill requirement and the competition has evolved.

Richard in his book highlights this bit perfectly by saying, “This difference is because an employer’s main value or concern is risk. A job hunter’s main value or concern is time.”

 

The Risk-Time Paradox

As job hunters we are over-enthusiastic and almost too eager to get on a speedy mode of propagating our skills & expertise for any potential employer to look at and hope that he’d hire us asap.

And our chosen mode is always the Resume.

People still revere it as a parchment of the Holy Grail itself, and irritatingly that’s something I still find questionable & strangely stupid. But that’s for another day, because with this Resume we want to be able to spread it rapidly & cover a large area with numerous vacancies at the click of a single button.

Employers will always look to hire from within or as close to within as possible, minimising risk immensely. So it is for the job seeking individual to think & act smarter than the rest of the minions in the jobless pack in such situations.

 

 

Actually all the risk & accountability is in the hands of that individual. Neither can he/she afford being carefree nor avoid the risk at the same time. Once you are accountable, you’ll take proper care to land a job based around your skills.

 

“In today’s world, he or she who gets hired is not necessarily the one who can do the job best; but, the one winnows the most about how to get hired.”

– Richard Lathrop

 

The above 6 scenarios from the book are, in their own way, fruitful & effective when done right. No longer sending your resume among a pile of thousand others, or emailing a grand but usually copied Cover Letter going to work. At best those pile of resumes will end up in the shredder, or become fuel for the late-night Christmas party miniature bonfire. And those monotonous Cover Letters will promptly be bundled into spam folders no sooner they get delivered at the recipient’s address.

The Love for Resumes

Yes, you may argue that spanning resumes on job-boards such as monster.com, naukri.com, careerbuilder.com etc., would often land you in a job after a tough period of sweaty weeks without weekends, no breathers, and all but sitting glued in front of the mailbox waiting for a response from any HR or recruiting agent.

But what this means is almost always you’d land yourself in a totally different, unexpected job profile for a company you wouldn’t have settled for if you had otherwise made proper plans to prepare yourself to get hired into your actual job of passion & choice.

And like many others who get bundled like sheep into the back of a truck by accepting these Mass Recruitment job offers, they become complete misfits in their new corporate lives.

 

 

Not everyone, after 4 years of crawling through a bachelor’s degree, can fit into a completely different job profile and work environment nor be able to change career paths so drastically.

Being obtuse, as in doing a 180 degree turn to change career paths, isn’t that easy nor is is recommended; pardon the pun. This lack of accountability & proper strategy won’t get us anywhere. And all-in strategy is something that we should, if at all necessary, reserve it as the extreme final option.

There are so many ways to view job openings and so many different approaches to the same vacancy. It is all about how you can work out your options, how you prepare yourself to present your skills & showcase your work that’ll make or break in today’s world.

A Wise Man’s Fear

And a wise man keeps daily tabs on the market, on the country’s economic situation, apart from hovering endlessly over job-boards & advertisements.

This is because more desperate the employer, more will it result in individuals getting herded up like the aforementioned cattle/sheep, take your pick of red meat. They would then be subjected to ridiculous office hours, or would be made to do boring testing & ticket submission jobs. They end up working in growth-stagnating projects.

Such situations lead to disharmony, dissatisfaction and results in an impromptu hiring & firing scheme. These spell disaster for both the firm’s future and those unlucky, clueless, individuals & their careers.

Staying Ahead of the Competition

Richard does a beautiful job (sorry for the intermittent puns, honestly!), in putting things this way –

“Employers have changed, job-hunters didn’t. Regardless of whether the times have been good or bad, our job hunt always depends on resumes (digital/printed), agencies (private or federal/state) & ads (online or offline).”

“Employers hunt in different ways, they adapt to the times. When times are good, the economy is thriving & flourishing, that is when employers typically cater to the job hunter’s preferences.”

Because in such situations they have difficulty in easily filling their vacancies.

“We love our resumes, so they will therefore solicit our resumes, read them (thoroughly or as per the requisite keywords for the vacancy). And with our soft spot for job postings they’ll begin posting vacancies on their own sites or on job-boards”

When the economy toughens for the job hunter, employers find it easy to fill their vacancies because of the unparalleled number of unemployed individuals. And more often than not, post the Global Financial Crisis of 07-08, the economy seems to favour the employers.

 

 

It’s high time we realise this, to stay ahead of the competition, to please the next recruiter who’s office we might walk into any day soon, and to land a job of our choosing.

All Jobs are being Reimagined

And with the talk of all this adaptability comes the fact that there are so many professions that are coming up nowadays. They may seem insignificant in plain sight, but the broader view of how jobs are being reimagined is worth noticing.

It is actually, to some extent, futile to give importance to the fact that certain jobs are vanishing or degrading, whilst others are flourishing. It is more important to understand that with the age of AI coming into the forefront, and with people devising leaner methods of getting their work done, all jobs would undergo some sort of makeover or renovation.

 

 

“The hyperconnected technological world is not something that might be reimagined as going to be implemented but rather it is something that is being implemented right now. And no one is waiting for our consent as the world reimagines itself away.”

So instead of our daily whining, our endless complaining and the random issues we try to bring out as excuses, we could and should work on ourselves. Our skills, our knowledge, our preparedness, our readiness to adapt to the changing world needs to be worked upon, and only then we’d finally achieve our goals. All it takes is 5 seconds, literally.

Duration of Jobs

A few headings before you got here you may have questioned yourself as to why you need to focus so much on this job hunting process?

Well, honestly jobs in today’s world aren’t as everlasting as they used to. Our parents probably have/had those kind of jobs where they started & where they’d end their careers in that single company.

“Most of us will have at least three careers during our lifetime, and eight or more jobs. Jobs don’t last as long as they used to. And job hunting is no longer an optional exercise, it is a survival skill”

The Employer’s World

“Assume the employer’s wold is like a foreign country; you must learn their language, and their customs, before you visit.”

 

 

The job-hunting system as a whole wasn’t made for us, it was designed specifically by the employers to benefit themselves. That is why we need to start thinking like an employer, learn how they’d go about choosing a preferable candidate, and how we as job hunters should change & temper our strategies regularly so as to conform to theirs.

So start today.

Adapt to the employer’s preferences or work really hard to become your own boss.

 

“Regardless of profession or title, at some level we are all hired to do the same job. We are all problem solvers, paid to anticipate, identify, prevent, and solve problems within our areas of expertise. This applies to any job, at any level, in any organisation, anywhere in the world, and being aware of this is absolutely vital to job search and career success in any field.”

– Martin Yate

 

In the following article I’ll share a few handy tips on how you’d go about securing a job when either of 6 aforementioned situations crop up. Till then stay classy & look lively.

 

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