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To go from dreaming about your professional future to actually making it happen, you can’t just spring into action – you need a plan. Just like with any large goal, if you know what you want to achieve, it’s necessary to slow down and think through all of the smaller steps that will move it forward. Land your dream job by internalizing the details and process required to turn it into a reality.

  1. Decide What You Really Want

A broad idea of what constitutes your dream job isn’t enough to help you figure out how to make it happen. Brainstorm the details of what you’re looking for in a job, such as: the work environment, schedule, benefits, type of work, industry, management style and company culture.

Once you know what you’re looking for in a dream job, start researching to figure out what employers are most likely to meet your desired criteria before you actually start applying. Check out company websites and social media for employers in your desired field to get a sense of their products/services and their overall mission.

  1. Research to Determine Your Fit

A prestigious organization that does work you’re passionate about might not be your dream job if your personal traits and values don’t align with the company culture. Consider what’s most necessary in a culture for your job satisfaction and ask questions from people who have worked there or during the interview.  Aim to learn about the environment and how employees are treated, such as professional development opportunities, work-life balance, and supportive (as opposed to cutthroat) relationships between colleagues, and ensure it fits with your preferences.

  1. Evaluate Your Strengths

After you have clearly defined what jobs you should be focusing your search efforts on, you have to tackle the most challenging aspect: marketing yourself as a top prospective candidate. Internalizing what you’re looking for in a job can help point you in the right direction, but pursuing a job is all about making it crystal clear to the hiring manager how they would benefit from selecting you.

Take a look at job openings for your desired employers and honestly assess how your skills and qualifications fit into what they need. Do you have what it takes to make a compelling case for being hired, or could you benefit from gaining additional skills or experience first? Even if you’re not quite qualified yet, you’ll be empowered by knowing the next steps to take.

  1. Tap Into Your Network

Improve your chances of landing your dream job by making yourself less anonymous if possible. Ask around your network of friends, family and colleagues to see if anyone knows the hiring manager and could provide a recommendation. That could give you an “in” that you need.

A referral isn’t a magical solution that can bypass a lack of qualifications, but if you have the expertise and work background needed, it could help your resume get a more thoughtful glance if an influential person can vouch for you. Don’t disregard your network if it seems like there’s no likely connection to your companies of interest – you never know when someone can put you in touch with someone else in their network who could help.

Take the first step to landing your dream job by turning to Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions. Since 1969, we have been helping candidates find available temporary and permanent positions from Hudson Valley area employers throughout a range of industries. Register online to start working with Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions.