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5 Ways to Land Your Dream Job: Advice from Recruiters

As we enter a new year, it’s the perfect time for a fresh start and to finally figure out how to land that dream job that we know you’ve been thinking about.

The recruitment industry has really taken off these past ten years and these days, recruitment consultants are full to the brim of knowledge, tips and tricks on how to nail your interview, make a lasting impression and to improve the likelihood of being hired.

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1) Make a good first impression with top notch interview skills

Job interviews go way back to the 1920's when Thomas Edison created a written test to evaluate the knowledge of candidates. Fast forward to over 100 years later, and interviews have come a long way, evolving even further since the beginning of the pandemic, leaving some of us unsure how to approach them.

However, Gartner Recruitment consultant, Alycia, says that “proper preparation prevents poor performance” and that when it comes to interviews, company research is vital. This knowledge will support your understanding of the business, further educate you on its vision, purpose and goals, and –  most importantly – provide you with the confidence to speak about the organisation and what they do.  

Alycia also recommends that you take the time to speak about yourself and your strengths and how they relate to the job. This is, after all, your time to shine so don’t hold back on your relevant accomplishments if you want to make that good first impression. Hype yourself up a bit (within reason, of course)!

Gartner Recruitment Consultant, Rebecca, also recommends that prior to any interview, you should make sure you think about the why. Whether that be why you’re best suited to the role or why you want to work for said company. Make sure that your whys are backed up with previous examples as well. This is necessary as it helps you to provide further context for your application in the interview.  

If you still feel stuck about how to prepare, keep in mind that there are a number of techniques and formats you can follow that will help you prepare for any interviews. The STAR method, for example, is recommended by many recruiters, and by Reed, the first recruitment website offered by a recruitment agency in the UK.

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2) Keep your CV up to date

Recruitment Expert Jeff Hyman, CEO of Recruit Rockstars firmly believes that you need to be ready for any opportunity at any given time, and the perfect way to do this is to make sure you have an updated CV ready to go!

When a recruiter comes calling or a dream job arises, the last thing you want to be doing there and then is frantically editing and updating your CV.

Full of emotions, excitement and perhaps some nerves mean the risk of typos, leaving out crucial information or forgetting to update your references entirely – all of which you want to avoid.

To keep things simple, Jeff recommends that your CV should be updated every quarter or 3 to 4 months – perhaps after every big performance review with your manager, for instance, so that it’s a true reflection of where you are currently.

Two helpful questions that Jeff recommends you ask yourself when updating your CV are:

  • What accomplishments am I most proud of this quarter?
  • Has my role changed? If so, how?

The answers to these questions can and will vary but most importantly they will help you think about your professional successes, the objectives you have performed against, projects completed and key metrics. If you’ve also taken on any other responsibilities or impacted anyone else’s role, this is the time to talk about it!

Hyman then recommends cross-checking your CV to make sure that your accomplishments and responsibilities fall in line with the descriptions of roles that particularly interest you or the ones that you are directly applying for. By doing this, you’ll show that you’re clearly well-versed in this area and that you would be a strong and accomplished hire.

Some other key things would be to ensure your references are up to date and that you’re honest with yourself about the areas of your work that may need slight improvement. By identifying these things you can work to close the gaps through further training and development.

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3) Create cover letters that provide an impact

Although they can seem like a tedious task on top of submitting your CV, cover letters are important when it comes to standing out and making a lasting impression on potential employers.

Cover letters are there for you to provide the WHY in a comprehensive way that adds value, enabling you to showcase how your skills and abilities fall in line with those on the job description.

Recruitment specialist, Michael Page, states that employers tend to favour CV’s that are accompanied with cover letters and often they are mandatory when applying for roles.

With 40+ years of experience in the recruitment space, Page also states that cover letters are a great way to showcase that you are an unique candidate who is experienced, literate, enthusiastic and valuable in any role.

Case and point: this isn’t something that you want to overlook or exclude from an application.

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4) Build your network and use it wisely

It’s said that 80% of jobs are found through networking and 87% of recruitment consultants and hiring managers use LinkedIn for their hiring needs.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and is well-known for its recruitment and hiring opportunities as well as professional networking. When looking to land your dream job, recruiters advise that LinkedIn is your best friend and it’s crucial that your profile is both utilised and optimised.

A few of the best tips from recruiters and experts about the platform include:

Now, utilising LinkedIn for your job search is one thing, however, the next step is optimising it to network, grow your personal brand, and find new potential opportunities. 

Make use of your current contacts that are in your desired field or even a related one. This might include friends, family or ex-colleagues – no one is off limits. While it’s important to be qualified and have the relevant experience for many roles, these days the best way to get your foot in the door to your dream job is all about who you know.

So, get yourself out there, shake a few hands, ask for advice, and learn from like-minded individuals. After all, many recruiters, and companies value referrals from those people they know and trust, making it worth your while to be intentional about starting conversations. 

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5) Upskill and gain some experience

Upskilling is a great way to show an employer that you’re committed to bettering your knowledge, skills and self, and that you’re willing to put in the work to reach your career goals.

How often you should upskill depends on your role and it’s demands, but we recommend upskilling in some form every six to twelve months to stay at the top of your game in the professional workplace.

Whether it be an industry specific professional qualification or a bite sized online class, there’s so much to choose from when it comes to effectively upskilling depending on the area or profession that you want to work in.

With us at ICS Learn, for example, you can study a variety of courses that focus on professional development in an array of areas, including HR, L&D, IT and project management – all of which are guaranteed to take your career to the next level and give you the credibility you need to stand out and get that dream job!


Enrol on a 100% online professional qualification with us and land the job you’ve always wanted.