10 Must Knows For Landing Your Dream Job

We all have aspirations of landing that dream job. Whether it’s about a big paycheck; working for the “hottest” tech firm; or landing a job that millions of other people wanted and you got, the truth is, the more detailed you are, the better your shot is.


Here are ten things to bear in mind when trying to land somewhere fabulous:

1. Check (and triple check) your resume for typos. You get ONE shot to make a first impression … so make sure it’s a good one.  Some things to pay attention to:

  • Past experience should be in past tense
  • Unless you have 20+ years’ experience, your resume should be one page
  • Contact information is current and correct
  • All companies are spelled correctly, as well as any titles
  • Dates of employment are accurate and verifiable

2. Dress professionally. Showing up for an interview in any or with any of the following is unacceptable:

  • Clothes that are too tight/don’t fit
  • Sweats
  • Chipped nail polish
  • Dirty clothes
  • Ripped, folded or wrinkled resumes
  • Friends/Relatives/Significant Others/Pets

3. Be engaged. Firm handshakes, a friendly smile and great eye contact go a long way.

4. Have a sense of urgency. If you are working with a recruiter and they call/email/text you about an interview, respond AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Companies want people that are interested and excited about the opportunities they have to offer. They don’t want to wait DAYS to confirm interviews. If a recruiter tells you about an opportunity on the spot, know that they are working at warp speed to get that hiring manager to see you.

5. Follow up. While I always think a handwritten thank you note stands out in an ocean of emails, I know that sending your appreciation electronically is not only expeditious, but sometimes necessary if time is of the essence. Still doesn’t mean you can’t write a FORMAL thank you note and throw it into the mail. Even if you don’t get THIS job, you never know when the recipient might have something else come across their desk.

6. Be transparent. If you’ve done your due diligence and know what you want in your next role, be upfront about it. Ultimately, no one wants their time wasted. So if everyone is transparent about their needs, wants and expectations, crossing the finish line is going to happen a lot quicker.

7. Listen. I always tell candidates not to go into an interview with preconceived questions. This can cause the candidate to focus too much on their set questions and ask something that was already addressed. Interviews should generally be conversational and questions should arise naturally.

8. Close the deal. Don’t be afraid to express your interest. You want to express to your interviewer that you are extremely interested in the position and want to land the job. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You say you want the job; you get the job; and then you decide it’s not the right fit? No big deal.

9. Be thorough throughout the process. You cannot do enough research on the company, proofread your resume too many times, or prepare for that interview enough. Talk to yourself in the mirror. Practice by doing a mock interview with a friend or family member. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be.

10. Have realistic expectations. For example, stating that you currently earn $15/hr and then say you won’t leave for less than $55,000/year might sound like you’re putting your foot down, but all it’s going to get you is a firm handshake and a “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Know your stuff: go on Glassdoor or ask people in similar industries with similar experience what an accurate salary might look like for you. It is important to be realistic, humble and flexible.

Finding a new job is a full time job, but if you pay attention to the little details, it will make the process that much easier.

Jennifer Lenkowsky

Jennifer is the Director of Administrative Services with Russell Tobin. During her 15-year tenure in the recruiting space, Jennifer has successfully launched and managed two recruiting firms and brings this expertise to Russell Tobin with a focus on placing top tier administrative staff in a variety of industries.

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