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10 Tips For Getting That Dream Job In 2018

New year, new career? Here are 10 things to keep in mind when you're applying for that role you've always wanted.

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1. Know thyself.

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Before you start putting yourself out there, take the time to think about who you are and what you have to offer. Where do your strengths lie? What do you do better than the average person? Why should an employer be keen to hire you?

You should also have a think about what you really want from your career. Monster.com recommend carrying out "a self-assessment of your values, how you like to work and what you'd be compelled to do even if you never got paid". Pinning this stuff down now will help you to avoid getting stuck in a role that isn't right for you.

2. Clean up your social media accounts.

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Employers very often google prospective employees before deciding whether or not to hire them. Ask yourself: what would they think if they found your Facebook profile? Your Twitter page? That blog post you wrote when you were a teenager?

Before applying for a job, it's a good idea to check what other people see when they type your name into Facebook, Google, etc. In their article Prepping Your Social Media Profiles For a Job Hunt, Onward Search note that the following things are especially likely to turn off a potential employer:

* Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information

* Evidence of you drinking or using drugs

* Discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion

* Bad-mouthing your previous company or a fellow employee

3. Keep your CV on target.

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Every part of your CV / resumé should be geared towards selling you as the right person for the job in question. This includes the part where you list your hobbies and interests: as Hyper Recruitment Solutions put it, "you don't want to come across as a work-obsessed robot, but ideally, your hobbies and interests will complement the professional self-portrait you've been painting elsewhere in the document".

Think about the type of job you're hoping to get, then frame your interests and extra-curricular activities accordingly. For instance, if you're applying for jobs that would require you to work as part of a team, you could mention that you love team sports or co-operative board games. For a tech job, you could point out that you're a paid-up subscriber of Wired magazine. You get the idea.

4. Remember: all experience counts.

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It's easy to feel like you've no chance of getting the job you want because you haven't got any relevant experience. But 'relevant experience' doesn't have to mean 'I already did this job for someone else' - think outside the box a little bit!

As an example, let’s imagine you want to work in a record shop. You’ve never worked in a record shop before – or any kind of shop, for that matter – but may well have found yourself in other situations that required similar skills. Have you ever dealt with an aggressive or pushy person? Then you know how to deal with difficult customers. Have you ever been required to meet a deadline? Great – you know how to work under pressure. Try to pinpoint experiences that taught you something relevant or forced you to use skills that could be applied to the job in question.

5. No vacancies? Ask anyway!

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So there’s this one company that you desperately want to work for, but bad news: they’re not advertising any vacancies right now. You can’t see them on any of the big job websites, and the ‘Join Our Team!’ page on their website is completely bereft of openings.

But so what? That doesn’t mean you can’t drop them an email (or pay them a visit) and ask if they have any use for someone with your skillset. You never know what might come of it!

6. Look for little things that will give you an edge.

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Even once you’ve started applying for jobs, you should continue to look for ways to build your CV. There are lots of different ways to give yourself a competitive advantage: take an evening class that’s relevant to your chosen field, or consider doing some volunteer work that will add an extra dimension to your resumé.

7. Dress for success.

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There’s no getting around it: first impressions are crucial in a job interview, and nothing affects a first impression more than your appearance. But what exactly should you wear to that all-important interview?

Hyper Recruitment Solutions point out that “you’re not there to show off your fashion sense. By all means wear nice, modern-looking clothes...but unless you’re interviewing for a post at some glossy magazine, your clothes shouldn’t be trying to persuade the interviewer of your mashing fashion sense. Make a good impression by looking tidy and together, not by dressing for the catwalk.”

8. Prepare for the interview.

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Obviously, it’s impossible to know exactly what you’re going to be asked in any given job interview, but there’s still plenty you can do to prepare (in addition to picking out the right outfit). Look up a list of common interview questions and think about how you would answer them. Decide ahead of time what elements of your personality you want to emphasise. Read up on the history of the company you’re hoping to work for, and think of one or two questions to ask the interviewer while you’re there.

Here’s some more advice from Business News Daily: “Role play with someone who has experience interviewing and see how you do. You might be surprised by what you thought you knew but didn’t. And, if you really did your homework, it will show.”

9. Say thank you.

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After a job interview, it’s good form to send a thank-you note (or, more likely, a thank-you email) to the interviewer. This helps to leave a positive impression, and in some cases, it may even make the difference between getting the job and missing out.

When drafting your thank-you message, try not to waffle – you should have said everything you wanted to say in the interview, and this shouldn’t be a last-minute addition to your sales pitch. Keep it polite and respectful, and thank them for taking the time to consider you for the role.

10. Stay positive!

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Don’t worry if you don’t get the first job you apply for. The important thing is to stick with it, stay positive, and remember that any employer would be lucky to have you on the team. A positive attitude will ensure that your applications and your performance interviews stay strong.

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