Researching, applying for, and interviewing for a job can be extremely stressful. Just like entering the dating world and searching for your perfect partner, the process of finding your dream job can be daunting, and you might be afraid of rejection. In fact, a 2003 survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College shows that 92% of U.S. adults have job interview anxiety. Even more troubling, a 2017 Gallup poll reveals that only 30% of U.S. workers are engaged at work and feel emotionally connected to their jobs. In the face of these statistics, it’s critical to pursue job compatibility without letting your anxiety stand in the way.
Below are six tips to landing your dream job.
Test for compatibility
Sometimes, the “right job” might be any job that’s hiring and can pay the bills. But when you have the luxury of pursuing your dream job, slow down and test for compatibility.
Tip #1: Check for minimum requirements.
Determine the salary or hourly rate, benefits, job title, flexibility, and other factors you need to consider a job. Filter out any job listings that don’t meet those requirements. Then, evaluate whether you meet the job’s minimum requirements. These might be flexible, and it’s okay to lack “desired” skills or qualifications. Just make sure you have the correct baseline of knowledge and experience before investing your time and emotions into an application.
Tip #2: Do your research.
Review all remaining job listings with a critical eye. Then, get to know the companies you like by reviewing their websites and otherwise investigating. This will help you narrow down your options and write specific, focused cover letters. Plus, being familiar with a company and its mission will reflect very well in a job interview.
Tip #3: Remember that the interview is mutual.
In many ways, youshould be interviewingthe job. Consider your immediate needs and long-term goals. Do they align with the company and the job role? Will you be challenged appropriately without being overworked? Does the office culture align with your preferences? Will you be fairly compensated? Take in your surroundings, consider the types of questions you’re asked, and ask the right questions in return. In fact, asking questions is perhaps the best way to demonstrate confidence and thoughtfulness while helping you determine if the job is right for you.
Portray yourself honestly but positively
Anxiety can lead us to overrepresent our abilities to help secure the job or to undersell our abilities to avoid seeming overconfident. It’s important to avoid these impulses and portray yourself honestly—but from an assured, optimistic perspective.
Tip #4: Be honest.
Your resume, cover letter, and interview responses shouldn’t exaggerate your abilities or create false expectations. Your dream job should be a long-term commitment; you might set yourself up for failure if you paint an unrealistic picture of your abilities and are expected to have skills or qualifications you lack. Remember: if you have to be dishonest to get the job, it’s not the right job for you, anyway.
Tip #5: Don’t sell yourself short.
If the job is truly right for you, then you are right for the job. Draft an organized, thoughtful resume that highlights your skills and accomplishments. Write a compelling cover letter that demonstrates your interest and motivation. If the job listing includes skills or qualifications you lack but would like to achieve over time, describe these aspirations in your cover letter or interview. Be sure to mention any relevant experience that could still prepare you in those areas. Most companies will be willing to invest in a dedicated worker with a drive to excel.
Tip #6: Set yourself up for success.
Dressing professionally for an interview is a simple way of presenting yourself in a good light. Bring extra copies of your resumé. Write down the kinds of questions you might be asked and either type out your responses or have someone practice interviewing you. Frame your answers with confidence, enthusiasm, and transparency; that way, you’ll cast a positive light on your responses, even if they don’t completely meet the mark.