From knowing what your dream job is to ultimately landing the much anticipated interview for your dream job is a long but necessary process that every employee must go through. Here’s a comprehensive list of best practices that will help a job seeker make the best of this process.

Visualisation

“Everything you can imagine is real.” said Pablo Picasso. Some of the greatest artists, sportspersons, entrepreneurs, generals and achievers in almost all walks of life are or were great at visualization. The trick to good visualization is in the details. Visualize not only what would be your ideal workplace but what that workplace would hold: the culture, the type of work, the location…etc.

Know your strengths

You may take an online quiz, do a personality test, list down your likes and dislikes or even jot down your hobbies and interests. There are various ways to find out what your strengths are but the important thing is to put them down on paper. Once this is done try to find out how you can apply them in the workplace.

Create something new

Sometimes the conventional methods of thinking and planning may prove to be overwhelming. So just dive into action. Do something spontaneously like writing a blog, a YouTube channel, pen down a poem, create a piece of art, rearrange your room….something new in your life, even the most banal activities.

Prepare to Network

Networking begins with your closest circle: your family and friends, teachers and colleagues. Each of them can connect you with their connections and also share their perspective on what kind of career befits you. Create profiles on networking sites and connect with professionals, join groups, share your blogs, and opinions on your chosen industry. Lastly, do not forget that there are many jobs that are unlisted. Therefore, attending industry events, seminars and lectures related to career, conferences and training events can be helpful in building a robust network.

Think about who you admire

There must be someone who you know personally or a public figure whom you admire. Learn a bit more about them and their achievements. Think about whether they inspire you to take up a similar career or their stories of grit and perseverance help you in your career.

Create a List of Companies You’d Love to Work For

Research a number of companies that best fit your skillset. Find out from google search or professionals who’ve worked in those companies about their culture, the salary packages, career development programs and the human experience. Once you have shortlisted your dream employers, send in your application and also sign up to receive an email notification if and when there’s a job opening.

Get an Internship to Gain Experience

Employers prefer to hire candidates with experience and candidates cannot gain experience without landing a job. It’s a catch 22 situation. The best way to resolve this is to find an internship opportunity in a company you’d love to work for. Internships and volunteering opportunities are great ways to get an insight into the real world of work. Chances are that your employer might convert your internship into a full time work opportunity if all goes really well.

Be the Solution to a Problem

If we break down what exactly a job means, we will realize that a job is nothing but a problem solving opportunity. When a company hires you for a role, it wants you to resolve a particular issue. So try to become a problem solver in your area of interest and make yourself really good at it.

Build Your Professional Brand

These days, given the digital world there’s not much difference between personal and professional brands. Employers scan your resumes and applications and also view your online profiles. Be careful to not display every aspect of your personal life in your social platforms, maintain professional content, and showcase your talent. At the end of the day, remember that your personal or professional brand must reflect who you are as a person.

Use Job Search Apps and Tools

The old days of sitting in front of your laptop or desktop for hours is over. You probably don’t have the luxury of time, so download the various apps, widgets, gadgets and tools that connect job seekers with available positions in your mobile so that you can job hunt on the go.

Take the Time to Target Your Resume and Cover Letter

Hiring managers are leafing through hundreds of applications and you need to construct a resume that highlights your qualifications that best fit the job criteria. And the cover letter must reiterate why you are best qualified for the job role. Do not write a generic, predictable resume and cover letter.

Prepare to Ace the Interview

Displaying confidence in your interview makes a great impression on your potential employer. But confidence only comes from adequate preparation. Research the company before you go for the interview, anticipate the typical questions and unassumingly showcase your skills, expertise and experience.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up

Create a positive impression during and after your interview. Thank everyone you came across during the process. Who doesn’t love kind words? Write a follow up email after a week appreciating the interviewer for his/her time and reiterate your interest in the job role reminding them why you are the best fit.

Accept (or Decline) a Job Offer

Accepting or rejecting a job is a big decision and commitment. It’s important at that moment to step back and evaluate the offer and make a final educated decision. Remember that replying to a job offer isn’t always in the binary of “yes” or “no”. There’s a scope for negotiations. You may propose an offer or bargain some extra perks at this opportune moment.

Be adaptable

Chances are that from the moment you’ve begun your job hunt process to the end of it you would’ve learned a lot, experienced a whole lot and become a more knowledgeable person. Your perception of a dream may have undergone some revision, your goals and aims in life may have taken a different turn. So be open for change at every stage of your career.