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3 things to stop doing today to get the job of your dreams

2 May 2018 |

“Thank you very much for your application. We regret to inform you that on this occasion you have been unsuccessful…”. Impersonal, vague and unspecific. It’s easy to see how multiple rejections when applying for jobs can damage your motivation and your confidence. And often the more applications we submit, the more rejections we receive.

As a career coach, I work with people that want more from their career, and successfully landing their dream job is often one of their most important goals. As an ex-recruiter, I know what companies look for in their hires, and therefore how you can maximise your chances of success.

Here are 3 things you should stop doing today to secure your next career move:

1. Stop submitting high volumes of ‘quick click’ applications

In today’s digital era, applying for jobs has never been easier. With LinkedIn, we can apply for jobs with a simple click. While this might make it easier for you, it also makes it easer for the hundreds of other job seekers out there. Quick click applies encourage a huge volume of untailored applications, often from people who haven’t taken the time to consider if it’s the right move for them. Wading through such a high volume of applications makes it harder for recruiters to select the best candidates, and your profile will often need to be exceptional (or have a personal connection) to stand out.

2. Stop neglecting to make the most of your network

In business we’re often told “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. I would challenge this and say it’s not just who you already know, it’s who you meet and how you leverage these relationships. Very few people are gifted with a large, active network. Your network has to be worked on and nurtured, consistently and proactively. Narrow down your ideal employers and get to know people that work at those companies. Ask friends, previous colleagues, and friends of friends for informal introductions, and ask considered and curious questions that will enhance your commercial awareness and build a rapport with employees.

3. Stop taking rejections personally

In life and business, everyone gets rejected. J K Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before launching the legendary Harry Potter series. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for a lack of imagination and no good ideas. We know rejections happen, but when it happens to us, it’s easy to take it as confirmation we’re not good enough or we’re aiming too high.

Rejections Are huge learning opportunities, so when you aren’t successful in your job search, reflect and seek feedback, but don’t let it deter you from your ultimate end goal. You’re only looking for one role, and statistically you will need to build up some rejections before you succeed. If you received a job offer from every company you applied to, you probably wouldn’t be setting your standards high enough.

And finally… keep going.

Persistence and proactivity are at least as (if more) important than ability in navigating the vast and complex job market. Apply a structured focus on your next move, with a clear idea of your preferences and priorities.