Are you ready to change careers and find your dream job? Ditch the old, boring advice and follow these five steps to start doing what you really love.
So you’ve finally made the important decision to change careers. You have a killer resume and an impressive set of skills to boot. But if you want to land your next dream job, you are going to have to find it first.
Chances are most of the competition you’re going up against have access to the same search engines and LinkedIn tools you have, so to connect with recruiters, you’ll need to use some lesser known job search tactics.
To help stand out in your search, here are five ways to find your next dream job you may not have thought to try before: (Click here to tweet this list.)
1. Turn a rejection into an offer
Sounds like a head scratcher, doesn’t it? If a company went through the trouble of interviewing you through multiple rounds just to reject you, how could you turn this setback into a success?
The answer is by implementing a tactic of career guerilla warfare known as “Recruit the Recruiter.”
If a company has invested time, money and energy digging into your background and interviewing you multiple times, then you must have impressed them. Just because they found a “better fit” candidate, don’t let rejection cause you to think you were not an equally qualified candidate.
Instead, thank the recruiter for their time and ask what other positions are open at the company. This is especially effective when a company uses a contracted recruiter as they typically manage numerous clients at once and will know about other positions that haven’t been announced yet. You can use that as a chance to build a relationship with someone that can push your professional brand to companies on your behalf.
2. Check out career paths of previous employees
Sometimes it’s hard finding your dream job if you haven’t yet had the dream. If you are short on ideas of companies that are hiring for your skillset, leverage LinkedIn. Rather than simply searching through its database for “marketing jobs” or “accounting,” look up specific people who landed roles at your ideal employer.
For example, if you are looking for work as a government consultant, use LinkedIn’s “People who used to work at” feature to find people who used to work in your target role at top consultant firms like Booz-Allen Hamilton or EY, and then see what roles they moved to throughout their career. This not only gives you new leads on employers, but it also provides insight as to what types of candidate profiles impress your ideal employers.
For an added edge, try reaching out to those past employees for insight into the company culture, advice on landing an interview or even a warm introduction to their previous employer.
3. Attend industry events
Career Fairs can be rough! Candidates line up in front of booths to pitch themselves, recruiters herd around them like cattle… and there you are, hoping to at least making a memorable impression.
While career fairs are critical to attend for candidates open to a wide range of companies, employers love candidates who are passionate about their jobs. Show your ideal company you are serious about working for them by attending other industry events other than the standard recruitment events.
Is your desired company holding a public event to launch a new product? Are they sponsoring a local organizational event? Attending industry events beyond your typical career fair will not only cut down your competition, but you’ll also glean more insight into your desired company’s values, brand and culture… things you will need to nail in an in-person interview to make sure they see you as a “good fit.”
4. Join an association
Associations are a great way to leverage a team of outside resources for your job search. Associations typically have great tools like job boards, tradeshows, business articles, advanced training and other good resources to provide access to potential careers that you have never come across otherwise.
The best part is there is an association for virtually every industry you can imagine. Find the one for you and you will be able to stay abreast of the trending news, best practices, cutting edge tech and other developments going on in your industry. If you’re an industry expert, sign up to speak at a panel or seminars. This can be an impressive resume booster to a recruiter.
Perhaps the greatest advantage that associations offer, though, is a new network of professionals in your target industry. You will meet and grow relationships with leagues of talented individuals and help support each other with your career goals. (Of course, as with any great relationship, the more you give, the more you get back. Be sure to be a value in return!)
Remember, it’s not only who you know, but who knows you… and these types of connections are more likely than anyone else to send you an email one day announcing: “Hey, I came across the perfect position for you.”
5. Do what you love
If you find you’ve exhausted your job search routes and can’t think of other companies or open roles, consider products and services that you use and love. You know your favorite app on your phone or that commercial that has you cracking up each time? They both have amazing people that work to build them.
Companies love hiring people passionate about their brand and products, so having an authentic and intimate love for what these companies create can shine through in an interview. Think about some of the brands and products that you use religiously, and you may find that you chose them because you fit in with their company culture — and theirs with yours.
Employ these alternative strategies to your career search and you will almost certainly open up a plethora of new opportunities to lead to your dream job.
Brandon McCollough is the Founder of Generation-Next, a Leadership and Career Development organization dedicated to financial empowerment for millennials. He leads their Career Pro Team in providing clients with job placement and career development services.