Introduction : Now Is the Time to Land Your Dream Job
You’re using the wrong strategy to land your dream job.
Even worse, you likely realized you used the wrong strategy after it was too late. You’ve already been rejected from the hiring process. And now you’re asking for help to get hired.
Your parents, teachers, career counselors, and even some employment centers have tried to teach you how to apply for a job the right way. They know best, right?
They’ve told you the very first step to landing your dream job is to create a cover letter and résumé that describe you, your qualifications, and your skills. Include every last bit of experience—every qualification, every volunteer hour, every award you’ve ever received, just to make sure whoever reads your application knows how qualified you are!
Next, they told you to submit your application to every available job opening in town. In fact, they advised, send your application to any openings in the big city, too, because it’s only an hour away, and there’s so much potential there.
Then, they promised you that someone would get back to you and invite you for an interview. You went to school for all these years to be qualified for this position. You’ve performed so many duties that you’re capable of doing pretty much anything. You’re a “team player.”
Why wouldn’t you be the best candidate for the job?
And finally, after you were invited to the interview, you went in with more questions than answers, wishing you knew someone that just knew what the heck actually happened once you got there. Because every person who gave you job-search advice hasn’t been in an interview themselves for years.
The strategy you’ve been taught is wrong. Unfortunately, you’ve learned rejection-worthy job-search strategies. In summary, the traditional job-search strategy plays out like this:
1. Create a cover letter and résumé (your application) that describe you and your skills.
2. Send your application to every available job opening in your city (and maybe another city, too).
3. Patiently wait to be invited to an interview (any day now, right?).
4. Go to the interview blind, with little preparation (what’s it going to be like, anyway?).
You will not get hired using this strategy because, as the saying goes, you’ve put the cart before the horse. You’ve created your application before identifying the criteria the hiring manager will use to make a hiring decision. Criteria that will allow your application to stand out from the sea of other applications, criteria that will allow you to communicate your value in a way the hiring manager understands.
From Rejected to Hired
But now, there is an easy-to-read book with tried-and-true strategies that will lead you from rejected to hired. This book is for you, who is tired of waiting to get hired and who wants to be proactive and take control of your next job search.
Land Your Dream Job has been designed to walk you through every step of the job-search process, from reading and understanding the job description, to creating an effective application, to properly preparing for your interview.
This book is designed to provide both context and strategies so you know why you’re implementing the suggestions I teach you.
Before you create an application for your dream job, you need to understand what the employer is truly looking for in an ideal candidate. Once you know the highest leverage experiences or skills the employer needs to see in your application, you can begin to create a targeted, results-oriented application.
The Winning Application Process
My dream job-worthy job-search process works like this:
1. Read and understand the job description or job scorecard to learn what’s most important to the employer (Chapters 1–3).
2. Create an engaging cover letter, highlighting three to five specific skills from the job description or job scorecard (Chapters 4–8).
3. Create a professional résumé that focuses on results, using Achievement Statements (Chapters 9–13).
4. Properly prepare for your interview with practice questions and response techniques (Chapters 14–20).
Using this system, you’ll create a strategic plan to apply for your dream job. You’ll have clear objectives to work toward, and your entire application will be aligned to the employer’s needs.
But who am I to teach you how to take control of your employment destiny?
I began helping job seekers land their dream job as a career assistant in 2009 at Brock University. In that role, I assisted students, alumni, and faculty to write cover letters and résumés for the jobs they were applying for. Each candidate’s application was unique and required care to ensure the application matched the employer’s requirements.
In that position alone, I reviewed and improved hundreds upon hundreds of résumés and cover letters in industries ranging from healthcare to education, from the applied sciences to law, from short-order cooks to bartenders and servers.
I helped them align their skills, experience, and degree with the job description to communicate the most critical information employers need to make a hiring decision.
At Brock, I was also professionally trained in interview strategies. I was taught how to prepare for an interview, how to respond to difficult questions, how to anticipate what questions would be asked, and what the interviewer really wanted to hear in my response.
I then used what I’d learned to interview job candidates who would take over my role as career assistant after I graduated. I’ve since used these skills interviewing job candidates in two other vastly different industries.
Waterville TG, Inc. is an automotive manufacturing company that specializes in weather stripping, or, to the average Joe, producing the plastic that goes around your windows and doors to keep water and wind noise outside of your car. I started at the company as a manual laborer and, in two years, I was promoted three times (I’ll teach you the strategy I used to gain these promotions later in the book). I ended my tenure there two years ago as the Quality Control Lab Supervisor.
As the Lab Supervisor, I managed two lab technicians on day, afternoon, and night shifts. Our purpose was to perform tests like compression load deflection and coating thickness checks to ensure we met our customers’ strict quality requirements and to reject product that didn’t meet standards.
To ensure customer quality standards were maintained, I interviewed dozens of candidates who sought to work in the lab. Using the job description and understanding the purpose of the technician’s role allowed me to interview and recruit (with the help of the HR department) the best-fit candidates for the position.
In my role as Student Success Representative at Self-Publishing School, I screened more than 550 job applications for a student success coach position. I then performed 30 screening interviews (high-level interviews to determine whether candidates are a possible fit for the role). By the time I finished, I provided a list of 10 A-level candidates to my manager. The leadership team hired two of the candidates from the list of 10 I provided my manager. The hiring campaign was a success.
This is all to say that not only have I been trained in industry-leading job-search techniques, but I’ve also used these techniques on both sides of the hiring table throughout my career. My experience extends beyond the scope of the “top-down” view of a hiring manager; it’s also from the bottom up, meaning I’ve seen the hiring process through the eyes of both the hiring manager and through yours, the job candidate.
I promise you this: After being involved at this many interview tables, I know what will help you land your dream job (and why you’re getting rejected).
If you’re struggling to land a job, if you’re aimlessly creating job applications that are not getting you invitations to interview, if you’re transferring jobs within your company but have no idea where to start with your application, or even if you’re exploring your employment options, you need to read this book!
It’s time to stop cherry-picking advice from the Internet, from friends and family, and start creating a coordinated job application that will get you results.
Strategies and Tools
In this book, I give you a step-by-step walk-through of the entire application process, start to finish:
● Exactly what you need to get hired in the exact sequence you need to apply it
● Visual aids to help you create your application as you read this book
● The Achievement Statement formula to create impactful sentences for your résumé
● The Seven Ps philosophy to help you prepare for your interview
● A real sample of my own cover letter and résumé to prove this strategy really works
● Links to free resources including the 1-Hour Job Application Challenge and the real-life samples used in this book
Every one of the strategies presented will help you communicate your value as a candidate in a way the employer will understand. After using these strategies in her application, my cousin was invited to an interview in less than 24 hours. My sister has used these strategies to help land a job as a teacher, applying for and getting an interview in less than a week. Coworkers, ex-coworkers, LinkedIn® contacts, friends, friends of friends, classmates from university, random acquaintances, and community members—you name it—these strategies have helped people land jobs.
Whether you’re wondering how to structure or what to include in your cover letter, or how to write effective sentences in your résumé, how to make your résumé professional, or what to include or not to include, this book is for you. In this book, you’ll get answers to questions you don’t even know you have yet.
“Moving up the corporate ladder” starts with getting your foot on that first rung at your new job—and I’ve helped countless job seekers achieve just that. I’ve supported everyone from candidates applying to their first part-time job, to students transitioning from university to full-time career, to seasoned employees making major career transitions. One thing is for sure: an effective application is the starting point to moving up the ladder.
After supporting so many job seekers over the past ten years, I decided to look into some job-search statistics and came across this quote from Robert Meier, President of Job Market Experts:
“98% of job seekers are eliminated at the initial résumé screening and only the top 2% of candidates make it to the interview.”
In other words, you have a 98% chance of getting rejected in the hiring process. Only 2% make it past résumé screening. That’s an alarming number of rejected applications!
So, what are the 2% of job candidates doing right?
To put it simply, they’re giving employers what they need to make a hiring decision. They’re positioning their cover letter and résumé to hit the bull’s-eye of the employer’s needs. They’re communicating results, data, facts, and achievements throughout their application.
The thing is, I don’t blame you for not knowing how to put together a rock-solid job application.
You haven’t been taught how to use results and achievements to support your application. The people teaching you job-search strategies haven’t applied for a job in years. They’re providing outdated information that won’t get you hired.
Whatever the problem is, no job means no paycheck, no career development, and no financial freedom.
I’ve seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst of applications. In this book, I’ll guide you past the mistakes most candidates make in the job-search process and directly toward strategies that will get you hired.
You’ll gain confidence with your application knowing you are providing employers what they need to hire you, not just a list of things you’ve done in the past (this is a hugely important strategy).
Everything you need to create a dream job-worthy application today is covered in this book. Plus, you’ll have the chance to be a hero for someone in your life by passing on the free resources I’m about to share with you. (Who doesn’t like to help the people they know?)
Open Doors of Opportunity
This book is a key that will open many doors of opportunity. You’ll be empowered with the skills and ability to build a strategic application like never before. But doors of employment continually close, and employers want to fill job openings as quickly as possible.
Every day you wait to use this key is a day of opportunity you’ve given to another candidate—another candidate who is applying for your dream job today.
Don’t lose out on another job opportunity due to inaction.
It’s time for you to land your dream job and join the 2% who make it past résumé screening.
PS. Download the 1-Hour Job Application Challenge by going to bit.ly/lydjresources. There are so many golden nuggets in the book and I encourage you to read until the end, but if you’re in a hurry, download the 1-Hour Job Application Challenge.
PPS. Share this book with a friend or family member. From my experience, job candidates don’t ask for help when it comes to creating a job application. Creating a winning application is one of those things where everyone thinks they know how to do it, but no one really knows. They wait until it’s too late, until after they’ve been rejected.
I know it, you know it, everyone knows it—they need help.
Send them to bit.ly/lydjresources to download free Land Your Dream Job content, including the 1-Hour Job Application Challenge.