Getting Your “Dream” Job, Some Tips

I wanted to share some tips for getting, what the presenters called your “dream” job. I do have a problem with the idea of “dream jobs” as they sound so romantic and out of reach. It’s not that I think it’s wrong to be ambitious, but a dream is ethereal and not real so I don’t think it’s a good term for our career aspirations. Yet, it’s catchy and probably why the session was approved.

The session was given by a successful Executive Director at a library and the executive recruiter who discovered her.

I’ll share the tip, explain it and then give my 2¢.

  1. When you see your dream job, set your cap for it.
    In a nutshell, if you see an ad for a job you love, don’t for a minute allow any doubts.
    Hmm. I have a more balanced outlook and believe this thinking is akin to looking for your soulmate. It might work out or it could lead to emotional devastation. In addition, it might mean you lose out on equally good opportunities that you hadn’t considered. I would say that if you have doubts, you can overcome them and perhaps you should listen to them. Develop your powers of discernment. If you’re job hunting with the rose-colored glasses of “dream jobs,” then my hunch is you might be setting yourself up for disappointment.
  2. When asked what you’re most proud of in your life, always tell them something about your career.
    Okay, I guess that’s what gets you the job, though it’s short-sighted.
    If I were hiring, I wouldn’t discount someone who shared something from their personal life to answer this. Actually, I doubt I’d ask this question. I have interviewed lots of people for the JET Programme and it’s just not a question that helps us determine who’d make a good assistant language teacher.
  3. Find typical interview questions online and practice your answers repeatedly.
    Seems sensible.
  4. Make sure you dress for the job that’s one level above what you’re applying for and make sure your shoes look good.
    People will scrutinize you so don’t overlook anything. At another job hunting program, I heard that you shouldn’t overdress. I suppose going more formal is better than dressing too casually.
  5. Always write a thank you note. 
    Most advisors suggest this. On Wednesday they also said not to contact them otherwise. Don’t be a pest. Well, if they keep you waiting for months, it’s hard to be so passive.
  6. Your cover letter should have flair.
    Here I’ve lately been straightforward and an attempt to prove how transferable my skills are. One speaker gave an example sentence when trying to move out of Youth Services to Adult Services in public libraries. She attributes her phrase that “Youth Services Librarians are mental gymnasts” to her getting an interview. So I do agree that being more clever can help. I do think too many gimmicks could backfire by making you sound odd. In ESL/EFL I don’t think such language is necessary, but if you know the field and its conventions use that knowledge when composing your letter.

I’ll share more soon.

I was surprised when someone asked about job posts that don’t specify the salary range. The executive recruiter said that it’s fine to call and ask. They may not say and you shouldn’t talk about money till later in the interview process. One reason jobs may not publish the salary range is that they may end up paying someone $70,000 for a job that’s range is actually $55,000. Then someone might sue if they found out saying, “I’d have applied if you said the range was up to $70,000.” I’m surprised that someone could sue based on that. I’m astonished that an employer would pay $15,000 or more above what the range is supposed to be.

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