From CV To Interview: The Ultimate Guide To Landing Your Dream Job

Businesswoman on roof

Finding and landing your dream job takes hard work and determination, but the payoff is huge. Having a job you are happy in leaves you feeling more fulfilled in life and offers more room for personal and professional growth. As we spend most of our time at work, job satisfaction is important. Below is the ultimate guide to landing your dream job, from CV to interview.

Discovering Your Dream Job

It can be difficult to know what your dream job is in a world with so much choice. As well as the skill set you have, there are other things to consider, such as salary, working hours, and other benefits of the job. For instance, if you love to be social and like getting out of the house, a work-from-home or remote role may not be right. When you narrow down your search, it will make it easier to choose the right jobs to apply for in a crowded job market.

Find something that you are passionate about and go from there. A job that makes you happy will be a job you want to get up for each morning and a job you will do well at. Create a list of the top skills you can bring to a role, previous jobs you loved, or roles you have always wanted. Ensure you check the salary for each of these, so you can make an informed choice based on your current outgoings. You might not mind taking a drop in salary to work at a job that leaves you feeling more fulfilled.

For more information on the UK average salary for your dream job, this average salary report from Check-a-Salary can help. You can search for the average wage in the UK by the industry you want to work in to ensure you’re getting a fair wage, especially if you decide to take a drastic career change in a new industry.

Finding The Right Company

Once you have narrowed down your dream job options, it is time to find the right company. Not every business will be a good fit for you, and this ultimately comes down to your values and theirs. When searching for jobs, take time to visit the company website and read reviews online. The last thing you want is to take a job only to find out the company has a bad reputation for underpaying employees and a high staff turnover rate.

Many job adverts will include a bit of information about the company, such as their culture. For those who love the social aspect of work, a job with monthly socials could be a great fit. Websites such as Glassdoor offer an inside look into a company, with employee reviews. If most of the feedback is negative, it may be worth avoiding the company. As they say, there is no smoke without fire.

Creating A Great CV

This is your chance to shine and sell yourself, so your CV needs to accurately represent you and what you can bring to a job role. An employer will make a decision about an employee pretty quickly depending on the state of their CV, so it needs to be immaculate to make the cut. Firstly, your CV should be tailored towards the job you are applying for, so this may mean keeping a standard copy and changing this as needed for the job role.

Including keywords or skills that you have gained from other jobs that correspond with your dream job will help your CV stand out. Look for phrases or words that are repeated throughout the job description and see what job roles match this. Use statistics or data if possible. For example, if you led a marketing campaign, simply stating this isn’t enough. Writing that you led a marketing campaign that increased the conversion rate on the company website by 20% is more professional and impressive. See the difference?

Make your CV as unique as possible, homing in on skills that you may have acquired that others haven’t. When an employer is looking through CV after CV, they are less likely to be impressed if you don’t stand out. Be creative in this, perhaps you solved a unique issue in your company or have worked with a top client in the industry.

Don’t Forget A Cover Letter

A cover letter will immediately make your application stand out from others, as you have taken extra time to sell yourself to a company. In a decision between you and another candidate, if you have a cover letter and they don’t, this could be the deciding factor. Unlike your CV, this can be a bit more personal. Make sure you do not repeat the same sentences from your CV, as this should be its own separate document.

“Writing a proper cover letter can feel outdated these days and many candidates skip this step. That can be an oversight. Yet over 65% of recruiters still find cover letters important for evaluating candidates”, notes Hertzel Betito, founder of Freesumes. “Your cover letter is a great way to share a quick elevator pitch and compel the reader to reach out. Also, it’s a great tool for addressing any issues in your career history such as career gaps, demotions, or short employment periods.”

Write the cover letter for the position you’re applying for, and make sure to use words and phrases from the job description. Include some information on why you want to work for the company, as this shows you have done your research. Any job is as much about the company as the job role itself. Even if a job description doesn’t ask for a cover letter, it is important to send one anyway.

Interview Tips

When it comes to your dream job, getting to the interview stage is both a daunting and exciting experience. You should first check online for interview tips, as companies like Indeed often have commonly asked questions during the interview to help you prepare. Practice in the mirror or do a mock interview with a family member or friend. This can help you to plan what you are going to say in your head.

Look at the values of the company and see how you can bring these up in a natural way that reflects well on you. For example, if the company allows a day off once a year for volunteering, talk about your charity work. As well as what you say, you should be aware of how your body language portrays you. Non-verbal communication is just as important, so make sure to appear friendly and confident. You can do this by sitting tall rather than hunching. Maintain eye contact, but make sure you don’t overdo it. A sturdy handshake is also a great way to leave the interview.

At the end of your interview, they will ask if you have any questions, so it is best to have some questions prepared rather than being caught off guard. You should always have a few choices, as the interviewer might already cover some answers. Great questions to ask include “how do you find working for the company” or “what opportunities have you got if I wanted to progress in the company.” These are both personable and show that you have an interest in the company and your development.

Once you have an idea about your dream job, start looking through applications to see if the company is the right fit for you. Create a great CV, and don’t forget a cover letter, regardless of whether the application has asked for one. Use the right body language during your interview and show off your skills- this is the time to sell yourself! Have some questions prepared, and you are ready for your dream job application. Good luck and happy job hunting!


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