For years, one of the highlights of my birthday was my cake. Actually, it was a banana cream pie my grandma would lovingly and expertly bake for me. It was beyond delicious. I’d look forward to it every year because hers was so good that I wouldn’t eat a slice from anyone else. I’d work on the leftovers for several days, sharing it, in retrospect, rather stingily with loved ones. That was one of few annual traditions in my custom-semi-casual family.
My birthday just came around again on Christmas Eve, and though my grandmother left us many years ago, my fond pie memories are fresh. And they remind me that in baking, you can have the best ingredients, but if you don’t mix them properly or if you bake them at the wrong temperature or for the wrong duration, they won’t produce the desired results. And the reverse is true too. If the bananas in your banana cream pie aren’t ripe enough or you add too much sugar, no step by step directions can save it (clearly problems my grandma never had).
In this final installment of Your Essential Dream-Job Recipe, we look at this third must-have component, the how-to. This is the ingredient way too many job seekers rush into while unwisely ignoring the first two ingredients, partly because compared to the preparation and introspection required for the first two, ingredient #3 is a breeze. But like with the other two ingredients, it has its unique challenges.
In Part 1 of this series, the first ingredient we explored is Your Mindset, which needs to be mindful and oriented to growth and success. Unfortunately, when it comes to the steps involved in landing a dream job, this ingredient gets overlooked about 80% of the time. The chief problem facing ingredient number two, Your Magic, is that most often there’s not enough of what makes you uniquely gifted infused into the career transformation approach.
The challenge with ingredient #3, Your Mechanics, is entirely different. Because mechanics produce tangible goods — the job search tools we’re all familiar with — many job seekers rush right into developing them while skipping or skimping on the first two ingredients.
Even worse, once job seekers are in the midst of developing these important tools, they often encounter a whole lot of conflicting, outdated and downright bad advice on how to develop them effectively. Misinformation abounds about how to craft a resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, portfolio and more that will lead to interviews and ultimately to offers for dream job opportunities.
Here are a few highlights of the mechanics necessary to produce the most common job search tools: your resume, LinkedIn profile and cover letter.
When it comes to writing your resume, you may have the best credentials and personal branding, but if you don’t know how to communicate them properly in this all-important job search tool, the results will be highly disappointing.
I’ve just written a digital flip book on how to develop a powerful 2023 resume, so the full scope of dos and don’ts exceed the boundaries of this blog post, but here are five essentials:
Customize your resume to every position you apply for.
Ensure that every word adds value to this specific position and you as a candidate.
Include only the information that showcases the best you.
Make your outcomes measurable so the reader can quickly assess the results you’ve achieved.
Be clear, concise and consistent with spacing, punctuation, style and fonts.
In terms of your LinkedIn profile, four keys:
Feature a profile photo and background banner that are professional, on-brand and dynamic.
Craft a clear and powerful headline.
Tell your story and highlight your unique value and strengths in your About section.
Add information to each relevant job entry so you are not merely duplicating what you’ve included on your resume.
In terms of an effective cover letter, short, sweet and compelling are what you’re after. Succinctly explain what position you are applying for, why and what it is about your unique blend of skills, experience and work style that make you the best candidate.
YOU DESERVE TO LAND YOUR DREAM JOB!
In each of these tools and the others I haven’t covered here — such as your portfolio, blog, personal website, business cards, voicemail message, email signature and work samples — make sure you incorporate enough of your Magic and the right Mindset when you craft them. And naturally, ensure the Mechanics you employ are on point for 2023.
With these three ingredients in place, you will be well poised to apply for and land your dream job. Spending the time and energy in getting your materials ready for a 2023 job search will be rewarding beyond measure. You deserve nothing less than your dream job, and you deserve it now because life is fast and fleeting and you, your friends and family, your employer and your community benefit when you are doing work that is an excellent fit. Landing it will feel (almost) as good as my grandma's banana cream pie tasted! 🤍
Trie Angeleva LOVES helping people Reimagine Monday! She is a mindful career and life coach, teacher and writer. A former COO, she is founder of The Love Monday Method, and she developed and taught Career Success Preparation for The Media School at Indiana University. She has two Master's degrees, five coaching certifications and a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University. Follow her on instagram at @reimaginemonday for tips and strategies on how to love what you do and lead a mindful life.