How do you rise above the average job applicant to become the 'chosen one' for that job that you just know you're going to love? It's just like dating really. Confidence is the key but you also need to know exactly what you want, or more importantly, what you don't want. There's no point putting in all that effort to woo the business shirt off your job interviewer if the job is not the right match.
So how do you find a job that you'll love? Scrolling through a job search website can be likened to going to a singles bar on Saturday night. Every job is dressed in a fancy description that screams 'pick me, I'm beautiful'. Which of these alluring strangers will suit you best?
Whether you're a job-seeking virgin or a seasoned player, working out which job is right for you is no easy task. Like dating, there's plenty of choice but no guarantees. The most attractive looking job might be a dud and the one you're not sure about might turn out to be 'the one'. And any work you do can only bring you closer to that job that suits you. Playing the field can help you to see past the fat wallet full of cash or the heavy layers of make-up that mask the true nature of many jobs.
Once you have negotiated the singles bar scenario, you need to make the first approach to the one that you think is right for you. Putting your application together is like filling out your profile on a dating site. To have successful results, you need to be honest and to be clear about what you want. Highlight what makes you unique and what you can bring to the table. Keep it truthful so you don't get mismatched with a job that isn't right for you.
Think of your application as though you are responding to someone else's profile. Make sure the resume is tailored to the job and responds to each point in the job description. In your cover letter, the simplest method to show you are the right person is to use the same words they do. It sounds basic but this can make you look like a star applicant worthy of an interview – the first date!
The first date – it's thrilling and a bit nerve-wracking at the same time. But don't let those butterflies get in the way of a good thing. Remember that the person interviewing you is also unsure whether you're the right person. If the job sounds great, you need to persuade this person that you are the one, or at least worthy of a second date. How do you do this? Find common interests with the interviewer and point out how the company's 'personality' is similar to yours. Create your own comfort zone. Arrive early. Dress up rather than down. Make an effort. If you look good, you feel good and confident and that's got to be appealing to the interviewer.
Mission successful? Waiting for the call is often the most stressful part of job-hunting because it feels like there is nothing more you can do. Rather than twiddling your thumbs nervously, you could make the next move to show that you're interested – email or telephone to thank the interviewer for taking the time to see you.
Don't give up if you don't get the job you applied for. Like dating, chances are that you won't find that perfect match straight away Learn from the experience and think about what you can do better next time. As long as you know what you want, keep looking and you will find it. You'll know when it's right. Above all, don't lose heart.