Be ready for the next big job

When the dream job opens up, you better have your ducks in a row and be prepared. Following simple rules, such as always having your resume updated, is a start. But it will take more than just a good resume to get the perfect new job in this tight job market.

A resume is a good place to start, but you have to think about how to tailor it to the ideal job. This requires a longer list of accomplishments than you may actually use on the resume. If you have a long list of accomplishments for each role, you can pick and choose the ones that will speak to your next employer and get you the interview.

The cover letter, on the other hand is a document that can be pre-prepared, but must be highly customized to the exact role you want. Don’t over think this. The best cover letters come from the heart and speak directly to why you are right for the position as the hiring manager describes it.

The resume and cover letter just get you to the dance. Now you have to be prepared for the big show. I have many times suggested you can answer all interview questions with five answers. The key here is to understand what is important to the company. You may be applying for a manager position in IT, but if customer service is the number one initiative in the company, you have to be able to talk about how you will further the customer service focus.

The transparency of companies continues to improve due to the internet and social media. If you have some target companies you would like to work for, find their employees who are active on blogs, LinkedIn and other sites where you can learn what is important to the company.

If your dream job is a promotion within your own company, don’t assume you know what is important to everyone in the decision process. Take time to get to know everyone involved before the job is posted. It could be too late after the job is officially posted.

The ideal job could appear tomorrow. Take a few steps to prepare, and you can be a leading candidate.

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