How to Land Your Dream Job by the End of the Year
If you’ve been job hunting, I’m willing to bet you’re considering tuning out your job search for the holidays and starting again in the new year. Job searches take a long time, and why start now before everyone’s on vacation for two weeks, right?
Not really. With an eye on the prize and smart strategies (gathered from our best job search tips of all time), you can land a job by Christmas. Here’s how.
Step 1: Figure Out What You Actually Want
Before you start applying, the most important thing for you to do is to think about what you actually want out of your new job, from what you’ll be doing day to day to the overall company culture. Blindly applying to online postings won’t get you very far, and taking just any job may have you searching again before spring break.
Instead, knowing what you’re after will be your guide to creating a tailored job search plan. Read on for a few pointers on how to get started.
- The Most Fun Way to Discover Your Passion Today
- The Real Reason Your Job Isn't the Right Fit
- 6 Fresh Ways to Find Your Passion
- Startup or Corporate: Which is Better for Your Career?
- Want a Job You Love? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the Interview
Step 2: Know Your Story
Once you figure out what you want, it’s time to string that together with your skills and past experience in a way that makes sense for your next position. Knowing your story well enough to tell it forward and backward won’t just help you in the interview, it’ll help you with your application materials and networking efforts.
Here are some articles to get your wheels turning:
- The Absolute Best Way to Figure Our Your Personal Brand
- How to Explain What You’re Doing Next—When You Don’t Really Know
- Have a Winding Career Path? How to Explain it With Ease
- Who Do You Want to Be? A New Way to Think About Professional Development
- 3 Ways to Shine When Asked “Tell Me About Yourself”
Step 3: Reach Out to Your Connections
I’m a big believer that people are generally happy to help others out, if they’re just told how. So, as you’re job searching, cast a wide net and see who’s open to chatting. Reach out to old and new connections alike and let them know what your goals are. It’ll help them help you.
And, I know: Networking makes everyone feel weird. To get your head in the game, check out these five articles:
- 3 Ways to Build Networking Into Your Daily Routine
- How to Ask to Pick Someone’s Brain—Without Being Annoying
- 3 Steps to a Perfect Informational Interview
- “Help Me Find a Job!” Emails to Send to Your Network
- How to Find an “In” at Your Dream Company—Fast
Step 4: Get Ready to Apply
Prep work is important, but a job (probably) won’t just fall into your lap without you eventually getting a resume and cover letter together.
There’s lots of job search advice out there and it can definitely get overwhelming. So, to make things simple, here are five articles that cover all of your bases:
- Your “OMG I Just Found My Dream Job” Action Plan
- 43 Resume Tips That Will Help Get You Hired
- 275 Free Resume Templates You Can Use Right Now
- How to Write a Cover Letter: 31 Tips You Need to Know
- 35 Ways to Stand Out During Your Job Search
Step 5: Stay Up to Date on All the Tricks
Finally, don’t miss out on all the latest and greatest time-saving tips and job search tricks. It’s easy to get bogged down during the job search (and even easier to get distracted with the holidays coming up), so stay focused and efficient with a little help from Muse career experts.
Here’s a quick roundup of some of my favorites tips:
- 10 Job Search Tricks That Will Change Everything You've Been Doing
- A Neuroscientist-Approved Brain Trick That Can Help You Make Better Career Decisions
- A Simple Trick to Always Keep Your Resume Updated
- The Mind Trick That Will Change the Way You Write Cover Letters Forever
- The Best Way to Organize Your Job Search
Photo of December 31 courtesy of Shutterstock.
Lily Zhang serves as a Career Development Specialist at MIT where she works with a range of students from undergraduates to PhDs on how to reach their career aspirations. When she's not indulging in a new book or video game, she's thinking about, talking about, or writing about careers. Follow her musings on Twitter @lzhng.More from this Author