Think about this: you’ve got 168 hours in each week. If you do the right thing and sleep for eight hours each night (go you!), this becomes 112 ‘awake’ hours. Now, consider this in relation to your 40-hour per week job. That’s right, you spend more than 35 per cent of your time working. That’s a massive chunk of your life. It would be crazy to spend all that time in a job that simply pays the bills.
Easier said than done, right? Wrong. We’ve got the inside word on how to take your career up a notch to nab that senior position you’ve been lusting about. To point you in the right direction, we asked the experts at The University of Auckland’s Business School for their tips on landing that dream gig.
To set you on your way, here are six ways to land your dream job.
Let’s start at the drawing board—what’s YOUR dream job? It’s time to ask yourself some questions—get a pen and paper out while you’re at it. What are you good at? What are you passionate about? What do you value? What does success look like to you? Do you want your boss’s job? Take the time to evaluate your answers and write some goals. You need to be proactive to push your career to the next level.
So you’ve been there, done that (or you’ve not been there yet). Education doesn’t and shouldn’t end there. If you’re serious about that dream job, you need to be better than those you’re up against. A postgraduate qualification will help boost your expertise to stand out from the rest. If you’re in a middle management position, it’s the perfect foundation to move up the rung to a senior role. Thanks to some life experience and maturity, we promise university is better (and thoroughly fulfilling) second time around.
Let’s be honest, most of the really great jobs out there are filled before companies even consider posting them online. The age-old saying “it’s all about who you know” rings true as people turn to their personal networks to fill a position. Be friendly with people in your industry and the companies you’re interested in. Join and engage with groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Ask your network to invite or recommend you to their favourite groups and communities—there’s a heap to choose from. Postgrad study is an incredible opportunity to rub shoulders with the who’s who and extend your network—just watch those new doors open for you!
Following on from this, get in touch with the person currently in your dream job. Chances are, you’ll be surprised at how willing they are to talk to you. Find out how they got to where they are and ask them for their pearls of wisdom. Our advice? Go to them with an open mind and lots of interesting questions.
While it might be job hunting 101, there’s always (always) room for improvement when it comes to your CV. In New Zealand’s competitive job market, it’s critical that you capture the reader’s attention in 30 seconds or less (it’s the only way to guarantee a place on the interview pile). Experts recommend integrating keywords within the copy, as nearly every company and recruiter uses them to identify qualified candidates. They also recommend swapping out dated lingo for your industry’s 'buzz words' of the moment. Think: Digital Content Producer, over Journalist. Or Talent Aquisition Specialist, over HR Manager. Keep the formatting simple and ensure it’s 'skimmable'. Eliminate filler words and phrases, and add context to your achievements to help employers understand the size of your accomplishments. Instead of writing “Increased website traffic by 42%,” say: “Increased website traffic by 42%, triple the company average for YOY growth." To really take your CV from zero to hero, consider getting a postgrad qualification on there—that dream job will be yours before you know it!
In this day and age, your online presence matters more than ever. Update your LinkedIn profile and utilise it to its full potential—write weekly opinion pieces on relevant industry topics, share interesting articles with your network, and join groups with likeminded people. Consider your social media footprint and how you’re representing yourself on the likes of Instagram and Snapchat. Facebook stalk yourself to see what dirt you uncover. To put your best foot forward, it might be time for an online spring clean.
Editor’s note: This article is proudly sponsored by The University of Auckland and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Gabby Stjervist