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How to land your dream job

BusinessInside Airtame
6 min read
How to land your dream job
Alexandra Protsenko
May 20th, 2018

Everybody wants to land their dream job, but how do you do it? Airtame’s expert technical recruiter has a few ideas

We spend about 92K of hours at our place of work over a lifetime. It’s a significant investment, isn’t it? Sometimes, people feel forced to go to the office and work on unpleasant things. They are trapped in a daily routine, and they are not ready to take a risk and try something new. So, it’s no wonder we are all on the hunt for a “dream job”.

Now, admittedly, the idea of a dream job might sound a little farfetched and entitled, but that doesn’t make it impossible, or something worth striving for. I would like to share some thoughts on ways of searching for a dream job as well as some tips and tricks about the job search process here in Denmark, the birthplace of a bright idea called Airtame?

What matters when you search for your dream job?

Ask your parents what they were looking for when they searched for their first job? Most likely, they will say “great terms and interesting tasks”. Our generation is a bit different, and we are not only looking for challenging tasks, but also looking for career growth, a team of competent professionals, and a lot of other things that will make our journey more exciting.

My first tip is to make a checklist of things that you value the most. I’d recommend making a list of things that are significant and nice to have at the new place. If you appear in the fortunate position to get several job offers, it will be easier to make a right choice. Here is an example of my list:

  • Company’s culture
  • Opportunities for professional and personal growth
  • Opportunity to contribute to company’s development

You also can get back to the checklist during your employment to check if you are missing something after being with the company for a while.

You have your list done, it’s time to work on a funnel. The employment market is huge and there are a thousand billions of opportunities nowadays. You need to specify what areas & roles are more appealing to you, what would be the perfect size for the team, where the team is based, etc. Once more, here is my example from a previous job search:

  • Size: early-middle stage startups with 10-300 employees
  • Location: Denmark
  • Role: human resources, project management.

Based on my previous experience, the job search was like a fully-fledged project. I had a list of companies with details about the organization, contacts, ranks, etc. By the way, this list included companies that didn’t have openings at all. Actually, it’s the most valuable advice, you need to be proactive and reach out to companies that look like dream teams. We live in the age when there is a tremendous demand for brilliant talents, and there is a huge possibility that your team is waiting for an unsolicited application from you!

Take the bull by horns!

You just found a dream team or a perfect role? Go for it!

And here are some practical tips for you:

  • Make sure you write a personalized cover letter. Yes, companies read cover letters! Even if you are not 100% match for specified requirements, you still may get the job if you explain why it’s so important to join the team.
  • Emphasize the relevant experience and skills in your resume. I’d recommend having different versions of the resume that will indicate the most relevant skills and experience for the particular positions.
  • Lifehack of the day: use the company’s wording. If you apply for a specific role, you can take some sentences from the job description, rephrase them a little and add to your resume. I guess I haven’t to tell that it should be proved experience. That does not mean you should just copy-paste requirements?
  • Compose an ideal resume. The resume should include primary information about your background, experience, and key accomplishments. Don’t go into details too deeply, but don’t be stingy and share a bit more details about projects that you have been involved in.
  • Get ready for the interview. Whether it’s a technical interview or the initial chat with a recruiter, it is better to do some homework. Read about the company and the product, dig into the company’s social media presence, check out their Glassdoor reviews, learn about the team, research into the people that will be interviewing you.
  • Prepare questions. Companies are happy to get your questions, it helps them to understand what’s important to you, what details they should share and it says that you mean business.

To reiterate: make sure you stand out in the written application! That extra hour in front of your laptop perfecting your tone of voice and re-prioritizing your experience outline will be an hour well spent.

Feel like you are on a bad streak with the job search?

The job search could be really challenging and there is no guarantee you find the perfect job right away. Yes, it takes time and resources, but the old adage works: where there’s a will there’s a way.

The dream job is worth striving for, and that means starting from the ground up. Whether you are fresh out of college or are more senior and changing career path, you’ll need to be comfortable taking junior-level positions and perhaps even internships. This should not be discouraging – it should feel like an opportunity to put your interests and passions to the test in a high-performing environment.

Building a network is also a beneficial way of setting you on the right career path. This might be challenging for younger candidates or those who have just moved to a new location, but it’s a vital way of getting an overview of the opportunities in any given city, meeting new colleagues, or friendly peers.

You’ve been on several interviews but it wasn’t crowned with success. Don’t worry – that’s perfectly normal! Try to learn from your interview experience, and don’t hesitate to ask for the feedback. Some companies are keen to share it.

If it didn’t work with the dream team, stay in touch with them for future opportunities, and continue to expand your professional network.

Practical tips about the Danish job market

I’ve saved the list of websites that I used for the job search, and I’ll be happy to share them with you. Since I was looking for a job in startup industry, all these resources are catered towards the Danish startup market. Here are the most relevant websites:

  • The Hub – it’s a job board that is quite popular among Danish startups, with equivalent sites for the other Nordic countries.
  • Angel List – it’s one of the best platforms to look for startups by location, number of employees, etc. You also can find job ads here.
  • CPHFTW – it’s a local startup community that arranges interesting events, and they also share job ads on their website.
  • Copenhagen Tech Startups facebook community.
  • My team is also happy to get more brilliant people on board. Check out our career page.
What is your approach to search for a dream job? Share tips and tricks with us?
Alexandra Protsenko
My destiny is to find the best talents in the world and bring them to the most wonderful team. A fun fact: I spend about 67% of my day on conversations with people.