Hunting for Your Dream Job
Whether you’re looking for your first job or a new job, I bet you’ve got a shortlist of your choice companies to work for. These are the companies who are known for being “top employers”, “industry leaders”, or “best managed”. The best companies to work for might have official awards or they might just have an outstanding reputation.
As a minority, you’re probably looking for employers who are well-known for their approach to diversity and inclusiveness. You’re not looking for a company who just meets diversity requirements, you’re looking for one that promotes diversity through its company values, has diverse professionals in top leadership positions, and employs a diversity officer or director. There’s a few simple steps you can follow to help you get a foot in the door with your employer of choice:
Step 1: Be Vigilant
Since you have a shortlist of your top companies to work for, the first step is to keep a close eye on their job postings. When your dream job pops up, you want to know right away so that you have plenty of time to submit your application. Even if a job ad has a posted expiry date, there’s no guarantee of how long it will stay open. Positions with top employers are highly competitive and you want to make sure that you don’t miss out.
Step 2: Stand Out
The first step to realizing your dream job is to get noticed. Recruiters sometimes receive hundreds of resumes for one job. You want to make sure your application stands out, and this starts with a great resume and cover letter. You may want to submit the same generic resume and cover letter to save you time, but if it’s your dream job, make sure you take the time to customize them for the position. You should review the job ad, understand the main skills and qualifications the company is looking for, and then highlight those in your resume and cover letter. You want to show the recruiter that you’re the perfect match for the job.
Another great way to set yourself apart from the competition is to tell the company why you’re passionate about working for them. Everyone likes to feel special, so don’t hold back in telling them why they’re your first choice. Do they work on cool projects, have an admirable commitment to sustainability, or support charitable causes? Find something that they do that genuinely resonates with you and mention this in your cover letter.
Step 3: Follow-up
You’ve submitted your application and two weeks have gone by. If you haven’t heard anything from the recruiter, it’s okay to follow-up. Recruiters are really busy and it’s perfectly fine to reach out and ask them what the status is of the position. Use your follow-up conversation to reiterate your passion for the position and ask them when it might be okay to check back in. Always be persistent, professional, and polite.
If the position gets filled, and you were not chosen for an interview, ask the recruiter why you were not selected. Whether the recruiter will give you any feedback may depend on the company’s policy, but if you don’t ask, it’s a missed opportunity. If the recruiter tells you that they went with a stronger candidate, ask what made them stronger. This is your opportunity to find out whether you just didn’t have enough experience for the job, or maybe you need to take some additional training to make your resume more competitive. By asking the recruiter for feedback you have the opportunity to be a stronger candidate the next time you apply.
Step 4: Leave a Lasting Impression
Just because you didn’t get this job, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never have the opportunity to work for your dream company. If the recruiter has returned your emails and phone calls and taken the time to provide you with some feedback, be sure to thank them for their time. You want to make sure you end your communications with them on a high note. You’ll likely apply to the company again in the future and having a relationship with the recruiter could be valuable.
To land your dream job, you first need to get an interview, but that might not happen the first time you apply. You’re not the only one who is looking for their dream job at a top diversity employer. The job market is highly competitive, so if you aren’t selected for an interview, keep on trying. While you’re waiting for your next dream job to pop up on the job boards, take the time to assess your resume and cover letter. Are there ways that they can be improved? You can also consider additional training or education if that would help strengthen your application. It might not be easy, and it might not happen quickly, but landing your dream job is worth working for.