Written by
Ankur Jaiswal
Ankur Jaiswal
Resume Design

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How to get your dream job without getting lucky?

A dream job is only a dream until you get in. Here's a lightweight framework to navigate into your dream job.

A poor man is not the one without a cent. A poor man is the one without a dream. — Henry Ford

A framework to get your dream job

A dream is essential since it creates an aspirational goal in our minds and propels us forward. Every revolution, business idea, project, or product (including the device you are reading this on) that possibly impacted millions of lives was dreamt up by someone. But, realizing these dreams took skill, creativity, grit, meticulous planning, and most of all –– persistence.

Getting your dream job is no different. Like most things in life, it starts with why. 

  1. Why 
  2. Who
  3. What
  4. Where
  5. How

  1. Why: Why are you looking for a new job or a change? Introspect to find out your intrinsic and extrinsic reasons. Make sure it's more than just "more money." Will it be ok to trade less time with your family for the extra cash? Are you open to moving to a new city? Are you alright working more (or less) from home?  
  2. Who: Who do you want to work for? This "Who" could be a company, a mission, or even a person (the hiring manager) you would like to work for, and knowing this is a crucial first step. Now segment these by attributes that matter to you -- industry, company size, location, culture type, etc.
  3. What: What role do you want to work in? Say you work as a Business Analyst today and want to move up to a Product Manager. Which skills do you need to up-skill yourself on? Research similar LinkedIn profiles for inspiration (do not emulate). 
  4. Where: Where does the targeted audience (hiring managers) usually hang out? LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook groups are prominent channels. Most of these hiring managers add "I am hiring." on their LinkedIn profiles; these are a great starting point. Chances are you will find them frequently posting on Twitter or LinkedIn. Follow their activity over LinkedIn or Twitter and their hashtags, engage with them on posts and message them to build a relationship. Follow the groups they follow on LinkedIn. Articulate succinctly –– Why do you want to join them? What value proposition can you bring to the company, team, and this role? Your goal should be to get a referral to their company, but not at the cost of a long-term relationship. 
  5. How: How will you reach your targeted job? Now that you know why & who you want to work for, and where you can find them.
  • Acquiring Skills: Self-realization and honesty are crucial here; you need to know which skill you are missing, for example, as a Business Analyst to become a Product Manager. Now make a list of skills that you need to work on. Start reading, listening to podcasts or attending webinars for these skills. Start following influencers in this space.
  • Showcase & Stand out: Acquiring skills is not enough; you must communicate these skills to the companies you want to work for. I've found the best way to showcase skills is to build or design something (that aligns with your targeted industry and role) and put it out there for others to critique and provide feedback. Doing this is very powerful as it will force you to be creative and scrappy. Another option is to join someone's project by volunteering for projects. In the internet age, reachability and scale are not the problems; standing out is. Ergo, prove your value proposition by designing, building, and launching something of actual value to others. Reduce hiring risk for the hiring manager.
  • Resume: Treat your resume like a product. Make sure your value-proposition and positioning are clear in your resume. Design, draft, share and learn. One way to know your resume is effective is by using our resume-tracking tools like getMolecule.io. We track reader activity on your resume –– When was it opened? How long was read for? How many times was it opened? These insights tell you how effective your resume is. 

Time spent reading a resume by a hiring manager is a strong indicator of interest in your resume. Should you start preparing for an interview? And so on. Focus less time on job applications and more time on follow-ups with the recruiters.