You hear all the time how important a well-crafted resume and CV is to apply for your dream job. But not a lot of people know how to build their network and personal brand to land the right opportunities.
Over the years, I have interviewed over 200 candidates, given 50+ job interviews, moved countries, shifted career paths, and guided 100s of individuals through their career journeys. The job landscape is changing, but the fundamental principles remain the same — self-awareness, networking and delivering massive amounts of value.
Here are five practical tips to secure your dream job in this digital age.
1. Develop Self Awareness and Clarity
You cannot communicate with a recruiter or craft an exceptional CV unless you are aware of your interests and have clarity around your goals & ambitions. Quite often we have a rough idea of what we want, but we aren’t able to articulate it.
Writing down what’s on your minds brings clarity and helps improve self-awareness
Ask yourself these five questions and write them down in as much detail as possible:
- What aspects do I enjoy about my current role?
- What do I dislike about my current role and organisation? These are the things you do not want in your next role.
- What inspires me to look for a change or find a new job?
- What are my goals and aspirations for the next 2–5 years?
- Brand, money, work culture, job responsibilities — Rank these in the order of priority and state reasons.
As an interviewer, there is nothing more exciting than a conversation with someone who has self-awareness and clarity around what they want
2. Harness the Power of LinkedIn
I can’t emphasise this enough, but in today’s digital world every individual must leverage the power of social media. For job seekers, it means using LinkedIn to expand your network and build a personal brand.
Over years, Linkedin has transformed so much from being a job seekers platform to a content platform. Now people don’t just connect with recruiters and colleagues. They share status updates, articles, and interact with each other within a professional context. And the biggest advantage is that its organic reach is insanely high.
Building your personal brand on LinkedIn will turn the tables and allow recruiters to find you for a role you desire
So here is how you can harness the power of Linkedin:
A) Write Meaningful Comments on Top Performing Posts
Not a one-liner generic comment that most bots and spammers leave such as “Great work” or “Thanks for sharing”, but something meaningful that adds value and shows that you actually read the post.
You can simply search for a popular hashtag based on your industry and apply filters to find a post of interest.
Then write a meaningful comment to share your “2 cents” and add value to the discussion.
If you leave the best comment on a post that gets a lot of “Reach”, people will notice — especially if you stay consistent with it. Do this five times a day for 90 days and notice your network expand.
B) Post Status Updates and Share Relevant Articles
Share relevant and informative content on your LinkedIn feed. But don't just spam everyone with random stuff. Consume the entire content before posting and write down your point of view (POV) in a few sentences.
You can also post status updates talking about a project that you have been working on or sharing your thoughts/ expertise on topics from your field.
It demonstrates thought leadership, a trait valued across all industries
Do this consistently, 2–3 times per week, for at least 90 days. Soon enough, potential hiring managers and leaders will start noticing you. As your network expands, you will get exposed to more relevant opportunities.
Make sure you reply to every comment. The conversations will increase the reach of your posts and also help you connect with like-minded folks.
Pro tip: Do not aim for perfection, think of a relevant topic and write whatever comes to your mind. Remember you don’t need a perfectly polished post, but something that conveys your thoughts in a meaningful way and provides value to the readers.
Perfection can be paralysing, experiment with your content and learn from it. Evolve through the process.
C) Connect with Like-Minded People via DMs
As you engage with more people through comments and posts on LinkedIn, start having conversations with people via Direct Messages (DMs). Don’t spam with a generic message asking for help or favours. Message only if you have a genuine interest in connecting professionally with an individual.
Go through their profile before reaching out and message with an intent to get to know them
A great place to start is by messaging someone who has liked or left a comment on your post. You can also reach out to someone you look up to and honestly tell them why you admire them and have reached out. Refrain from leaving a message such as “Hey” or “Hi, How are you?”.
Nobody likes to engage in small talk with a stranger online. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform — introduce yourself briefly and come straight to the point
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account yet, I suggest you Sign Up right now.
D) Personalise Your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is your social identity. Once you deliver a good first impression through your posts and comments, people will likely check your profile. It must be captivating enough for people to be interested in you and connect with you further. At the least, you must update the Headline and About section.
3. Use Interviews as Practice Matches
Unless you are a C Level executive who is always in demand and short on time, never discard any potential opportunity. When in doubt, go for it! Every interview is an opportunity to hone your soft skills. Perhaps every job inherently requires you to have conversations with others. What better way to get better at communicating than actual practice.
Landing your dream job is like playing darts. You have to practice regularly until you get proficient enough to hit the bullseye when it matters
Throughout my career, I have given over 50 job interviews and each one has been a stepping stone towards getting my desired roles. So, take every interview opportunity seriously and give it your best. It will expose you to a wide variety of questions and boost your self-confidence.
4. Believe in Yourself
Most conversations that I have with people looking for a job are not about skillsets or strategies to land that dream role. It’s about having confidence and belief in your capabilities. You are good enough, you just have to believe in yourself.
Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right
— Henry Ford
Your self-belief and conviction will allow you to perform well throughout the recruitment process. It will also give you an upper hand during salary and role negotiations. I have seen brilliant candidates settling for much lower pay bands and salaries than they deserve only because they did not believe in themselves.
When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.
5. Give without Expectation
When I migrated to Australia, I often used to get messages from new immigrants looking for employment opportunities or guidance. I never refused anyone and even met a few of them in person. Sometimes, I reviewed their resumes and helped them prepare for their interviews. I did that without expecting anything in return and it always felt wonderful.
You may not benefit from all those interactions but there is immense joy in giving, something we often take for granted. Helping others will boost your confidence, self-esteem and helps expand your network.
Also, I am a firm believer in good karma. So, give back as much as you can without expecting anything in return.
Landing your dream job is more than just having the right skills and expertise for the role. It’s about developing self-awareness, networking and delivering massive amounts of value.
Start by writing down your challenges in the current role, goals and expectations from the new job. Have clarity around your future state so you can communicate well with the recruiters and have meaningful conversations during the interview.
Harness the power of LinkedIn to build your network and attract recruiters for your desired role. Build your personal brand and connect with like-minded individuals. Use interviews as practice matches to boost your confidence. Give as many interviews as you can so you are exposed to a wide variety of questions.
Lastly, believe in yourself, you are better than what you think you are. Have faith in your capabilities and give it your best. Help others without expectation. It will boost your confidence, self-esteem and helps expand your network.
Dream big and aim high. You got this. All the best!
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