How to get your dream job; 16 tips for nailing the application process from the get go

Live more – Fear less. What job would you be doing if there was nothing standing in your way? As a self-professed Queen of applying for, and securing, my ‘’dream job’’ over and over again, in 5 countries to date; I thought it would be beneficial to share how I have always gone about making my career goals become reality … 💫

By hook or by crook, regardless of what has been going on in my personal life; I have NEVER given up on my career. I am proud to look back on my achievements to date knowing I have worked for multiple world-leading brands.

I am currently in Tropical North Queensland working as Sales & Marketing Manager for beloved global-leading adventure tourism brand; AJ Hackett. We make dreams come true on the daily! 🤙

I have a Master’s degree in English Literature and have specialised in Marketing since I was 21, winning multiple awards and trebling business revenues during the last 13 years.

Locations include; London, Sydney, Queenstown New Zealand, Thailand, Brazil and now Cairns, Queensland.

Sectors include; Publishing, Finance, Music & Events, Retail and now Travel & Tourism.

A few of my friends are in limbo looking for work at the moment and it got me thinking; time to share the formula I have always stuck to … 🙌

My top tips for applying for roles you would genuinely love to secure;

1. Don’t waste time going for jobs that are widely beyond your experience / capabilities.

You are only wasting both your own and the recruiter’s time; stick within what you know you can do. This doesn’t mean ‘’Don’t try new things’’, it means be realistic in your expectations of yourself … #buildsteppingstones.

2. Only apply for jobs that will bring you joy on (at least one!) level.

Is it a big moneyjob that would shape your life? Or is it about personal development working for an awesome brand? Make sure you have something within the role that really sets fire in your belly – or you might get it and soon regret it!.

3. Make sure your resume is 110% present and correct; keep it lean but meaty – only include things that your future employer may want to see.

Tweak it accordingly for each role you go for. Worked two similar jobs in the past? Only include the one where you achieved the best results.

4. Never EVER let your resume be more than 2 pages long.

5. Never repeat phrases, words, results in your resume; once is enough. Keep it succinct.

6. Keep your Cover Letter snappy from the opening line – be direct and portray your enthusiasm for the awesome opportunity.

7. Resume brimming with outstanding results? Be fully prepared to back up what you have listed (if/ when) you reach interview stage. Life loves a trier, not a liar– do not include things you cannot factually back up.

8. Make sure all of your contact details; phone number, email, LinkedIn, blog (if applicable) etc are included – you are going to be checked out, make it easy for yourself to be found.

9. Clean up your act; One recruiter (2 years or so ago) advised me to be ‘’be careful’’ with what I was sharing online. At the time I was going through some rough days mental-health wise and was blogging about therapy sessions etc … I took her advice and removed everything that may have put off a future boss.

It’s great to be honest but people don’t always need to know the depths of your soul – however, this is obvs your call; the older I get the more I think ‘’take me as I am or not at all’’ but if you have this mindset you need to be aware not everyone else does! You could be shooting yourself in the foot before you even get a look in at an interview. Unless you are Kim K, naughty selfies are a strict no-no! Make sure your social accounts are openly acceptable to someone who has never met you.

10. If you are looking for a job; REALLY LOOK. Don’t just use LinkedIn, there are so many more avenues to take. Use Seek, go direct to companies you are interested in, sign up to every recruiter that works in your field, ask around … the wider you cast your net the more likely you are of finding that special role.

11. Remember that to some degree you are ‘’just a number’’ to a recruiter; don’t be personally offended if one minute you feel like you are their next great placement to then barely hear from them – they can only place you into jobs that you fit. You might have to wait a few weeks at a time for the right roles to come across their desk.

12. Don’t lie about sh*t you cannot do for the sake of sounding like the ideal candidate. Fair enough if you KNOW you can learn things on the job but (if for example) it is a technical role (eg. as an SEO Specialist), there is no way you can pick this up on the hop overnight. Again; don’t bother wasting time. Focus on what you can give with confidence!

13. Make time to apply, apply, apply. When I was first looking for jobs in London, fresh out of Uni (age 21) a family member said to me ‘’You are alwaysapplying for jobs, it wasn’t like that in my day’’.

I was temping in an admin role in the city but I wanted to work at a NEWSPAPER or MAGAZINE. Those were my only two options for myself, for my dream. I was not prepared to give up looking until I found what I wanted.

Night after night I would come home and keep applying; my first paid-for Media role in London was at News Internationalworking on The Sun, The News of the World andThe Timesand I bloody loved every second of it. It was more than worth the waiting and the endless applications! That job started me on my route to an epic career in London’s fast-paced world of publishing.

14. Never lose heart or faithin your ability to do what you know and love. Remember why you are looking for a job and what you can bring to your next team. In my honest opinion; passion wins above all else in the workplace. If you have the right attitude you will always be a huge asset to your company and team.

15. Know that the application-to-interview process can take weeks, don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear anything right away.

16. Don’t be shy to follow up, by phone, to check your application arrived ok. VERY few people do this – be the minority that sticks out as really caring from Day 1.

Only twice in my life have I missed a job I would love; one was at MTV, one was at Jimmy Choo. Both would have been life-changing jobs.

MTV ended up becoming one of the reasons I left London to travel. It took them from the November until the February and countless rounds of interviews to then tell me I just missed out – it made me re-evaluate what I wanted to do at that time. London had given me 6 amazing years by that point; it was great timing to see the world!

The Jimmy Choo role was a Senior one that was too big for me back then but now I know I would nail it … things do not always work in your favour at the time but in the long run it’s the old ‘’everything happens for a reason’’ … Trust the process and keep knocking on those doors – the right one will open! 🙌

Know what you bring to the table before you start looking – be fully confident in yourself before you start your application process.

See it pan out before you start your search, see exactly what you want and weigh everything up. Your job is so important to every aspect of your life and happiness.

More career-focused posts coming soon!

Hope you enjoyed this one – please share with anyone who may benefit from reading.

@LaraLain

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