Getting My Dream Job!
by Linn Mollberg
Getting a dream job can be a big challenge for anyone, especially if you lack professional experience or just recently graduated.
As a junior marketeer, I decided to leave Sydney where I completed my Bachelor of Business and worked for a healthcare company as a Marketing Associate for about one year. I wanted to go back to Europe and Sweden, to continue building a career closer to home.
Along the journey of getting my dream job, I met with the three founders of a startup called Novorésumé. They provide an excellent online tool for creating a resume using templates and various sleek designs. I also met with Zubair Quraishi who founded NemCV together with Franco Soldera. NemCV hosts workshops and seminars in Copenhagen, providing job seekers with the necessary tools for how to land a dream job. All share a passion in helping job seekers.
I thought I would jot down some of the key learnings from my personal experience and advice gleamed from attending meetings and seminars with Novorésumé and NemCV.
1. Know ‘what’ you are!
Many people, especially recent graduates with limited work experience have trouble knowing what they are, or more specifically which title they should use on their CV, LinkedIn profile and so forth. When I started looking for jobs, I used the title “Marketing and Business Development” because I wanted to work within marketing and help grow businesses. But these can be a bit vague and non-descriptive keywords.
I found out that I needed to decide what my title would be to optimize my chances of being found via search engines, using keywords and make it easier for recruiters to understand what I could do. I now call myself a “Junior Marketing Associate,” which is a clear indication of where I’m at in my career right now and what I can do immediately. You can only be one thing for one job, or recruiters will be confused and fail to place you in the right category to match you with the right job.
2. Tailor your resume!
The content you use for your resume may not fit all jobs you are applying for. It is important to match your resume with the requirements in the job advert to make sure you look like the best candidate for the job. Remember that getting the job you want is all about being better than the other applicants.
Tailor your resume to the job advert, and you will increase your chances of standing out. Using the same color scheme and font as the company you are applying for can help you to “subliminally” seem like you are a good match for the company.
Novorésumé provides an excellent online tool for creating a resume with various templates, by having the perfect balance between functionality and design. Their templates are developed in collaboration with HR experts, making sure all the necessary information will be present in your application. Visit Novorésumé and try it out.
3. When to contact the recruiter/employer
Contacting a recruiter is scary. As if writing a Cover Letter and adjusting your resume isn’t tedious enough! Paradoxically, when looking for a job you WANT to get rejected early! It is a competition to get a job and recruiters view you as an asset or liability, not as an actual person.
Getting rejected early means that you find out as quickly as possible if you qualify for the job, and spare yourself the hassle of writing Cover Letters and adjusting your resume. When you see a job that you are interested in applying for, call the recruiter and try to get rejected. For example:
“Hi, my name is Linn, and I’m calling regarding the job as a Marketing Associate for XYZ company, I saw in the requirement section that I need to have six months experience with CRM tools and be able to speak fluent Danish. I have attended a CRM course, and I am taking Danish classes two evenings a week. Do you think I should still apply?“
If the recruiter's answer is “fluency in Danish is a must have requirement” you know that your chances of getting the job are low and you can immediately move on to the next job you are interested in. Alternatively, the recruiter may say “most of our clients speak fluent English, and it’s therefore not necessary to speak fluent Danish. However, knowing basic Danish is required for the job for internal communication. I suggest you apply for the job”.
By calling the recruiter, you will know whether it is worth the time to apply. Additionally, the listed requirements in a job advert are usually vague and don't always make complete sense for the job. To call and to ask about “odd”requirements allows the recruiter to remember you, and he/she is more likely to review your application.
4. How to structure a Cover Letter by explicitly stating clear answers to requirements in the job advert
Writing a cover letter either takes time, or you start using the same format for all applications (with small changes). Based on my knowledge, many recruiters do not read cover letters as they are often long and full of meaningless information.
I was told by Richard Oberdieck - a guest speaker at one of NemCV’s events, to copy & paste the requirements in the job advert and answer each listed requirement with a short and clear supporting point. For example:
“No, I’m not fluent in Danish, but I’m currently taking Danish classes two evenings a week.“
Composing your personal letter succinctly shows that you are structured, and you provide the recruiter with a clear indication of whether you meet the requirements for the job.
5. Importance of social media and personal branding
Clean, Clean and Clean up your social media profiles! The recruiter will google you, and it would be a shame to lose the chance for an interview because of a picture posted of yourself completely smashed on a festival four years ago.
Keep your social media profiles tidy and consistent and allow the recruiter to get a clear sense of who you are. Make sure you have a LinkedIn profile and that it looks good. Copy the “format” of someone with an excellent profile, and you will improve the appeal to recruiters.
Choose a professional photo. If you are unsure of what a good professional photo should look like, I advise you to have a look at what type of photos other people use. For females, do not show too much skin or jewelry, as it does not appeal to female recruiters.
6. Build a website may increase your chances of getting noticed
Personal websites or professional portfolios are becoming increasingly used to enhance personal branding. A website will allow recruiters to get to know you better and communicate that you are an ambitious and driven individual.
However, make sure that your website is relevant, looks good and is free of any spelling mistakes. Whilst your website should be an asset make sure that it projects the right image, otherwise, you may fall flat on “trying too hard with bad quality.”
I recommend the following websites:
7. Write blogs
Being a good communicator is a valuable skillset. By writing a blog or an article about something you are passionate about or writing about the organization you want to work for, may increase the chances of you getting noticed. Using social media when reaching out to potential employers is a powerful tool. Below is an example of a direct message I could send to a manager at WIX, a company that I want to work for.
“Hi, I’m Linn, and I'm extremely passionate about personal branding and web development platforms! I have written a blog where I compare customer experience and value for Swedish development platforms versus international offerings. I have mentioned WIX in my blog. I think you may find the blog post interesting.”
Writing and sharing knowledge is valuable and people will appreciate you reaching out.
8. Timing matters, be first
Many applicants apply for the same jobs as you. A recruiter seldom looks at 300 resumes and Cover Letters, only the first ones in (unless they have a tracking system). To be first and get noticed, apply for the job as soon as they are listed. Do not apply for jobs that were listed 3+ weeks ago.
Alternatively, call the recruiter and ask if the position is still available. Subscribe to alerts using your keywords and location and keep track on daily job listings.
9. Do not get emotionally attached!
Companies and recruiters look at you as an asset or liability, not a person. Recruiters care about WHAT you are and WHAT you can do for the company. Not WHO you are (there simply is no time to get to know you before being selected for an interview).
Applying for jobs is almost mechanical/transactional, and you should not get emotionally attached to the job. Get rejected as early as possible so you can move on to the next job application, without wasting time applying for a job that you are clearly not qualified for.
We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
If you are interested in learning more about the Get your dream job workshops and seminars, please visit https://www.meetup.com/get-your-dream-job/. Richard Oberdieck and Tonia Michalopoulou are currently running the workshops in Copenhagen.