How to Get Your Dream Job (Even if You Are Not Qualified or Well Connected)

How to Get Your Dream Job (Even if You Are Not Qualified or Well Connected)

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and in action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” – Michelangelo

These wise words from the legendary artist of the Italian Renaissance are the perfect analogy on the path you are taking to land your dream job. The masterpieces of Michelangelo weren’t created overnight; it took him months or even years. His most breathtaking masterpiece to date, David, took over two years to complete, similarly to getting your dream job – it takes time.

Landing a job is already difficult for many fresh graduates, more so if you are underqualified or lack networking. However, do keep this in mind that your qualifications would be the least of your worries. Take the late Steve Jobs as an example. The Apple Empire was built by a man without a university degree.

Embarking on this journey is no easy task and it is not for those who embrace “Laziness with a capital L”. The expression ‘blood, sweat and tears’ is not compulsory, but with your hard work and willingness, you will eventually get there. Here’s a step by step guide on how to get your dream job (even if you are not qualified or well connected).

Step 1: Identify your dream job
To actually get your dream job, you have to prioritize what you want from your dream job. That’s a no-brainer there for you. The core to identifying your dream job is to establish a dream job mindset. It is a simple method of extracting what you WANT the most from your dream job while subtracting what you DO NOT WANT the most from your dream job. To put it another way, it is similar to taking notes of your likes and dislikes.

Be creative with it as possible and be open to new ideas as there are no fixed methods to success. A method we would suggest is to create a list of likes and dislikes pertaining to your dream job. Go ahead and paste the list in your bedroom. Make sure to glance at it every day while making amendments along the way, until you are absolutely content with the list.

Step 2: Overcome barriers
Now that you have passed the easy peasy portion of figuring what you prioritize most from your dream job, it is time to put your foot down to overcome and put them into perspective. This is because action speaks louder than words and you wouldn’t want to be classified as part of the NATO (No action, talk only) force.

At times you will be washed over by uncertainties and doubts which can be overwhelming but refrain yourself from falling too deeply into these thoughts. Tell yourself that this is part and parcel of the process which makes everything more worthwhile. A common barrier of what many of us face is the fear of change. We are constantly preoccupied with the notions of success, but success will never suddenly come knocking at your door if you choose to stay in your comfort zone. So be a mental warrior to gain clarity about what you want from life and through this you are able to learn to adapt from a place of SHOULDS and acting on your WANTS.

Step 3: Uncover and hone your skills
Learn as much as you can about your dream job to identify the related skills. Know your key strengths and work from there. The Internet will always have your back, so be on the lookout for seminars, or online courses that can fast track your learning and the best part of it is that most of these are FREE! A good place to start is Eventbrite where you can discover tons of seminars around your area.

Still feeling ‘meh’ about your skills? Try utilizing websites or apps to find out about hidden strengths that you never knew of. A useful site we would recommend is Good & Co. where they refer to themselves as a “self-discovery engine”. The company aims to help users obtain insights that can improve their career outlook and path through the use of quizzes. These quizzes are fun, science-backed quizzes that highlight an individual’s skills and strengths. Who knew discovering your hidden strengths can be so much fun!

If all else fails, find a mentor who has seen success in your dream role. Your mentor could be a close friend, a lecturer that you got along well during your college days or someone you met through work. Don’t be anxious to create relationships with people who have your best interests and knowledge in mind, because if you never try, you’ll never know.

Step 4: Fake it till you make it
Learn to act as if you are already guaranteed to land that dream job of yours. Take every opportunity you have to live, think and feel that you own the job. Make yourself believe that if you act like you already have the life you are looking to develop; it might attract your goals more quickly. Such a method of living can be an indirect way of increasing your positivity on a daily basis.

These reactions might seem unnatural in the beginning, but with a little bit of practice, this “learning to act” will be habitual and work well not only through achieving your dream job but other aspects of your life as well.

To wrap things up, chasing your dream job can be a daunting process, especially when you don’t see yourself as the strongest candidate. Your dream job is not likely to happen overnight; it is indeed tedious and can test one’s patience. However, make sure to be positive throughout this whole ordeal as a little bit of positivity can take you places. Above all, continue to work hard until you see the light at the end of the tunnel because hard work will always prevail. There are so many who give up on their dreams before actually giving it a go. So, the single biggest favor you can do for yourself is to simply go for it and never give up! From the wise words of Shia Labeouf “Don’t Let Your Dreams be Dreams, Just Do It”!

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This post was written by Jillian Cheong from iPrice Group.

Here’s How the Big Guys Hire Talent

Here’s How the Big Guys Hire Talent

Nowadays, start-up companies are all the rage as it is comparatively easier to venture into the business world with just a plan in hand. However, it is still prevalent that many new business owners lack the experience in terms of hiring the right employees.

Ever wondered what goes on in the hiring process of big names such as Google, Amazon or Apple? Let us take a look at some of the hiring practices of these renowned companies.

Tips to Pinpoint When Hiring

With the ever competitive market, it is not uncommon for someone to be a graduate with a degree.  However, we are often reminded that big companies put the importance of quality over quantity. The following are some of the positive attributes that big names look for when they hire.

  1. Integrity

You most likely have come across the phrase “Success Will Come and Go, but Integrity is Forever”. Integrity begins with knowing your worth. This means that a person is completely honest with themselves and their relationships with other people. People of integrity are not afraid of admitting where they stand, in terms of their strengths and weaknesses as well as admitting to their past mistakes. One strategy that Google uses to test the integrity of a potential candidate is to carry out structured behavioral interviews that help them to assess the quality of responses. The interviews are usually behavioral or situational.

  1. Leadership

Leadership is a very desirable quality because it shows how a person takes charge when faced with a challenge. Not only that, leadership is also the willingness to take on the responsibilities of other tasks while being committed to achieving the goals of an organization.

For example, Google gives a chance for their candidates to discuss situations where they are able to take the lead and know when to step back when someone else steps in. As for Amazon, they have a list of leadership principles that they follow by which includes, customer obsession, insist on the highest standards, learn and be curious, think big, frugality, etc.

  1. Likeability

At times, the likeability of a candidate overweighs their skills and knowledge. The fact is that skills can always be learned, but a person’s personality is hard to change which also tells a lot about a person. Most employers are on the lookout for people who are warm, pleasant, easy-going and most importantly cooperative with others. The key to a successful business is teamwork. Typically, people with good personalities are more popular and more effective at whatever they do.

People who hire at Apple’s retail stores put their focus on people with positive attitudes that can be gauged by their personality and enthusiasm and not how much they know about the products.

Make Your Hiring Process Stand Out

  1. Google uses: Gamification

The rules are simple with Gamification. The main concept is to utilize game mechanics and design in a non-gaming type of context. At the same time, it implements important values and goals of Gamification which raises the bar in an organization’s recruiting process with a more inventive approach. It is also a method for the company to showcase the fun side of an organization while achieving recruitment targets and hiring potential candidates. Essentially, this process may be utilized in many sectors which involve engagement. Not only does it benefit the organization but the candidates as well as it gives them a view into the tasks and skills of the job itself.  It’s a win-win situation.

An example of how Google utilizes Gamification is through their software writing competition, Google Code Jam. Since the start of the competition, Google has been running it for 14 years and has attracted diverse applicants from all over the world. Named as one of the most challenging programming competitions in the world, Google uses the competition as a platform to hire new talent with the right set of skills.

  1. Amazon uses: Bar Raisers

Getting the most out of your employees is a simple way of putting the term “bar raisers”. The methodology to this hiring process of online shopping giant Amazon is to allocate people who are already part of the company to act as bar raisers. Vice President of Web Services Amazon, Anurag Gupta emphasizes that the key element to getting the right candidate is to hire “bar raisers” who have high standards and have an eye for talent. As soon as the role of a “bar raiser” is given to an employee, they will be included in every hiring conversation and interview loop.

The difference between the hiring team and a “bar raiser” is that they are not pressured be on par with the hiring manager. However, “bar raisers” being the benchmark for the company, still need to work hand in hand and believe that the candidate has enough skill set to do the job which exceeds 50% of what the other individuals are doing. As long as they understand their role, all that is left is for the “bar raiser” is to go with the flow of the whole hiring process.

  1. Smobble and Mindvalley uses: Video Cover Letters

Video cover letters are a great tool as it is a chance for hiring managers to get to know the different sides of a candidate. Through the use of video cover letter, it becomes a unique way of communication between hiring managers and the potential candidates.  Moreover, it also showcases how a candidate is able to think outside of the box. Smobble and Mindvalley are companies –- both nestled in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are attracting the younger crowd. They receive thousands of applications and it can be very competitive. Thus, the ones that really stand out are the ones that sent in a video application.

After getting to know the insights of the various hiring practices of these big names, it is always advisable to choose the method that fits well with your organization’s values and goals. Learn to be flexible with your hiring practices. It is also beneficial to switch up your company’s hiring methods time after time. This is so that, you are able to have a better understanding of which of these methods work the best for your company.

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This post was written by Jillian Cheong from iPrice Group.

How to Write an Irresistible Resume

How to Write an Irresistible Resume

A few thoughts on resume writing: KEEP IT SHORT. Unless you have been working for years, ONE PAGE IS ENOUGH.

When your resume hits the desk of a hiring manager with a stack of your competition, you get just 20 seconds’ tops before they move on to the next candidate.

With this mind, what would you do differently?

Would you continue your scramble like everyone else?
Asking yourself questions like:
“What font should I use?”
“What size should it be?”
“Which word should I bold and which should be in italics?”
“WHAT ABOUT SPACING?”

Like you, I went through the web trying to figure the “magic format” that will have the hiring manager “hooked onto my every word” & immediately call me up for an interview. But… it doesn’t exist.

Don’t get me wrong. Formatting is important, it forms the first overall impression when they look at your resume.
BUT… what is even more important are the choice of WORDS to put on your resume.

The right choice of words in the right order will give the reader the right message you are trying to send out and ultimately make them shortlist you and send you an e-mail inviting you for an interview.

One of the most common mistakes people do is writing every single word as clinical as can be (e.g. Performed tasks under deadlines & co-operated with teammates) — which will make your resume so common and boring.

So, how do you write an irresistible resume that attracts interviews like a magnet?

The 3 Tips To Keep in Mind:

Tip #1 – Sell the Truth & Make it Fascinating.

YOUR RESUME IS A MARKETING PIECE.

There are a million ways to list your academics.

You could tell the truth & say:
“University of ANON; Bachelor of Arts; GPA 3.50; Second Upper Class Honours”

Or you could say:
“University of ANON; Bachelor of Arts; Second Upper Class Honours, Distinction in Arts, History, Psychology & Social Studies.”

There are no rules saying that you have to list your achievements in a particular way. Your resume is your canvas.

But I get asked a lot what to do if your grades are mediocre?

The answer? Simple. Just highlight your strengths and downplay your weaknesses.

For example, you can say:
“University of ANON; Bachelor of Arts;
Subjects include__(strong & relevant subject title 1, 2, 3) __.”

Psychology research shows that simply including a certain name or label sparks a relative association with that name.

For example,
Example A: “I have worked as a driver, call operator & retail assistant.”
Example B: “I have worked for Uber, Apple & ZARA.”

Which sentence jumped out at you? Why?

Because the 3 companies have spent millions and billions of dollars on marketing to establish their brand presence & personality.

By putting names like that on your resume, be it a minor role, the reader will subconsciously think of the words associated with that brand.

Words like “innovative, tech, design, professional, international” will come to mind as they read your resume.

Sell the truth (don’t lie) & make it fascinating.

The point is to show them what you have achieved that is relevant and of interest to them. Not everything and anything you have achieved.

Imagine that you are on your first date and your date asked you what you did over the weekend? What would you say?

You would say what makes you desirable. DUH.

You wouldn’t say that you cried yourself to sleep or you picked your nose on the way there.

The same goes to writing your resume. It’s your first date with the company and it’s your opportunity to make yourself shine.

Position yourself in the best light possible.

 

Tip #2 – Wearing Your Boss’s Shoes.

Your RESUME is the first (and sometimes, the only) thing the company sees of you. Wouldn’t you want to make an impression?

Mind you, the people who work in Human Resource spend literally 8 hours a day, 8am to 5pm, 5 days a week, looking through HUNDREDS and THOUSANDS of people, and you, yes you, just taking the time to understand how they would feel and perceive you when it’s your turn – will make all the difference.

When was the last time you came across a video you shared on Facebook? Do you think the creator of that video just woke up, record it, edit it and posted it online without a thought?
NOPE.

In reality, a lot of effort and time was spent to edit that video second-by-second and the title for that post was rewritten at least 10 times before they actually click the “Publish” button.

From the employer’s perspective, they want someone who is not just smart & reliable, but they also want a team player, somebody who is fun to work with.

You seen it before.

Someone with poorer grades than you got hired for a great job.
How does this happen?

Because that person knew very well how to socialize besides just having the “skills” for the job.

RULE OF THUMB: Emphasize on RESULTS (remember a lot of people can tell you what they did, but rarely what they achieved). Use numbers where possible.

Picture this, you went against all your friend’s & families wishes for a secure future, and decided to build your own business. It didn’t make money for the first year. You did what you could to pay the bills. Once the business was ready, you jumped in full-time. You can only do so much. You decide to hire someone to manage your operations while you go out and make more deals.

Two people sent their resumes to you:
Person A: “Performed daily operations & kept store clean.”
Person B: “Streamlined operations resulting in 30% more sales per week.”

Which one would you bet your hard-earned company’s money on?

Another example is:
Pitch A: I can help you be more attractive.
Pitch B: I can help you get your first date under 5 days.

Pitch B got your attention huh?

Tip #3 – Be a storyteller.

Your resume tells a story to the employer.

Your resume should have a narrative that gives the reader an impression of what you are about in less than 5 seconds.

If you just throw in ALL your achievements from your spelling bee, to your taekwondo, to your interest in pottery, it gives very mixed signals to the reader.

They would go, “This person does everything, therefore they are not good at anything!”

Like the saying “if you love everyone, it means that you love no one in particular.”

In essence, what are the 1 or 2 main words that you want to be associated with?

After the hours of reviewing other applicants, what do you want to be remembered as?

If your resume included pottery, spelling bee, taekwondo, they can’t have a clear memory of what you stand for.

But if your resume included just attending business conferences, did marketing and sales, they will recall you as the business & marketing guy, whichever is more memorable in their heads.

Make your message as memorable as possible.

What are your 2 words?

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It is worth noting that your resume is your first impression. And first impressions last.

Considering a man in a navy suit with leather black shoes compared to the same man in an orange suit with cowboy boots, the former will be considered more professional simply because he is perceived as such. His past achievements are the same, it was just the way he appeared that made the difference.

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