So you applied for a job for which you are not quite qualified - but you want it really - really - badly... To climb the corporate ladder you need to skip a few rungs. Do not fret over holes in your resume. Employers will skip over qualified applicants for one that is really hungry for the job and shares a sense of enthusiasm. But how can you make sure you land the job?
1) Research - You need to research the job and the company thoroughly and be prepared with specific business plans to show you will be ready on day one to learn and get things done. Find people inside the company you may have gone to school with or worked with - LinkedIn is your friend to do this. They can tell you about the company, its current issues, and maybe even your potential boss. Getting help from your network is key in this step. I also think it is important to read press releases or any public filings about a company. Understanding a company and its specific challenges can help make up for lack of specific skills.
2) Connect - Find others that do the job you want to do. Interview them. Ask them about how and where they learned the skills to do the job (this may lead to some good trade journals to check out). Also ask them about the biggest challenges they face and then think about how your current experience could help you tackle those kinds of challenges. I think many jobs have similar challenges like managing changing priorities, meeting tight deadlines or working with unpleasant co-workers. Be prepared with specific examples of how you have tackled similar challenges as may be faced in this role. This will make you seem like you can spot the important issues and think ahead to solve problems. If you do not have a big professional network, I highly recommend reaching out to your university to see if they can point you to alumni in the field. Alumni relations or career development offices are usually very happy to connect fellow alumni and usually keep a list with these kinds of details.
3) Show Enthusiasm - Still not getting the job? Find the company you want to work for and write a letter to the person you want to work for with your resume. Let them know you are eager even if they have no openings or you failed to get the job the first time through. Eagerness is hard to ignore so there is a good chance you will be the first call when something opens up.
4) Dress for the Part - This is a recurring theme on this blog it is so important to dress for the job you want. If you are applying for a manger position go in looking like a #bossbabe. It is ok to dress one step above what the official company dress code is. For example, if it is business casual, I still think a smart business look with a jacket is a good way to go. I give an example in these pictures featured in this post with my favorite suit (available in 4 colors) in the perfect year round weight. I also added some of my favorite work staples. Click on the pictures below to be taken directly to each item.
What are you favorite tips to landing your dream job? I know our readers would love for you to share in the comments!
Thank you for these wonderful insights. I want to confirm the importance of researching the company. I interview many people who know nothing about my company. I question their ability to meet the needs of a job if they have no idea what the company does. It is clearly obvious to the person interviewing the applicant and results in an immediate negative impression. For a suggestion that will receive an immediate positive reaction; send a handwritten thank you note after the interview.
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M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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