You see this dream job and you know that you’re the one for the job. You know that you’re the perfect fit. There’s only one problem.
You don’t have any related work history to show for it … or you’ve done a somehow similar job in the past, but it’s too long ago … or you don’t have the educational background they are requiring for.
If this sounds like your situation, let me help you redirect your thoughts and give you some hope.
It's all in the presentation.
If you truly believe that you can do this job, and you want it more than any other job, then you have what it takes to get it.
What you need is some good planning and strategy.
Ask yourself this question: Why do you want this job so bad? Write down all the answers you can think of. Don’t just write, “It’s my dream job”. Answer the question, “What do I want about this job?”
Don’t focus on material rewards such as “it pays better”, or “the benefits are awesome”. These are very shallow reasons. Dig deeper and tap into your passion.
A follow-up question would be: “Why will an employer hire me over other equally or more qualified candidates?”
What do you have that others don’t have when it comes to what you can offer to this employer? Don’t give a general answer. Be as detailed as you can. Instead of saying, “I’m a hardworker”, you can say, “I am single and can stay up late or work during holidays”.
This is the most difficult question that my clients find when I give them a list of information I need from them for their Résumé and Cover Letter. Most of them tell me the same thing: “I feel like I’m so condescending when I talk about myself.”
I get it! It’s not easy talking about our “self”. However, if you can’t sell yourself to yourself, you can’t sell “you” to anyone else.
The way to overcome this feeling of being condescending is to focus on “how you can help an employer”. It’s not about you but how you can help.
After doing a close examination of yourself, it’s time to do an investigation on the company you desire to work for. How well do you know them?
Research on the corporate vision-mission, their values, what they believe in, and every other information you can get about the company’s culture. Check the people behind the company, who its officers are, and what customers say about them.
If after doing your research you are more convinced that you belong to this company, the next step would be for you to tie up your personal values with the corporate values. Establish an alignment between you and them.
When you do this seriously, you will be able to internalize the corporate culture, and be more confident in how you will present yourself.
Part of your research should include reviewing the job post carefully. Normally, it would have the corporate values incorporated in there, the skills set they require for the job, the character traits they are looking for in a candidate, and the basic qualifications.
Learn to read between the lines.
Example of Essential Duties:
"Assures that action items are properly processed, managed, and resolved; prepares information necessary for administrative decisions and implementation; interprets, communicates, and applies rules, procedures, and policies."
Just from this one duty, you will already see several skills set and character traits needed for this job:
and communication skills.
These, and all other crucial factors you’ll see on the job post should be incorporated into your presentation, which includes your Résumé, Cover Letter, and Interview.
As far as educational background is concerned, check if it is a “basic” requirement. If it is, check if there is an “equivalent”. If there’s no “equivalent”, and a Bachelor’s degree, for instance, is a basic requirement, I suggest that you look for another similar job. This is not to discourage you but to save you from wasting your time. Most companies do have an “equivalent” to an Educational background. Incidentally, if a Bachelor’s is a requirement, and you are willing to finish your degree and you’re only a few credits away from it, then you can include that and have a greater chance.
The first thing you need to be sure of, before you plan for anything, is the deadline for the job application. Anything rushed will not produce the same quality as a well “thought-of” product.
When prospects come to me and their deadline is in two days, I have no choice but to decline. As a Résumé writer, I need at least four business days to work on a project. Of course, that’s because I have other projects. And even if I have only one project, I would still need 2-3 days to put everything together and come up with a high quality product.
Honestly, those who come to me who need a Résumé “asap” shows me that they have not even thought about this job at all.
Planning also requires an honest assessment of whether you can write a good Résumé-Cover Letter on your own, or if you would need the services of a professional like me.
Time is valuable. If you don’t have the time to put your Résumé and Cover Letter together, but you are very serious about this dream job, then it is worth all the money to hire a professional writer.
You may be asking, “Do I really need a Cover Letter?” My answer is YES, more so if you don’t have sufficient work history to show for.
I always tell my clients that the Cover Letter is the soul. This is where you talk more about your passion and why you believe you are qualified for the job.
Now, if you believe you can write your own Résumé, check my blog on Winning Résumés for more tips.
Other than a good content for your Résumé, you need a clean, professional layout and design. You can find various samples off Google. Just type: “Résumé samples” or “Résumé design”.
Since most jobs now only accept online applications, make sure that you have a PDF version to download.
Planning also requires preparing for the Interview, and having that kind of attitude that "you will get interviewed and be hired for the job." Of course, you need a good Résumé and Cover Letter first to get your foot in the door.
If you need help preparing for the Interview, I offer this service as part of my Platinum Package.
I also recommend having a planner for your Career path.
Every success starts in the mind. Begin from there. Don’t let any limitations stop you. It will help if you can spend some time alone each day to simply quiet your mind down. Use this time alone to be grateful for what you have; to pray; to listen to that still, small voice inside your head. And whatever good and positive thoughts come up in your mind during these “time alone”, write them down. I suggest having a journal where you can write down these thoughts.
I told my client one time when I was coaching her for Interview that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. And, what goes on in your mind, goes down to your heart.