Dream jobs are like four-leaf clovers: Yeah, they’re hard to find, but believe it or not, they really are out there. In a great Fortune story called “9 Tips to Land Your Dream Job,” writer Erika Fry offers some excellent advice that everyone who’s hunting for a job ought to read. As Fry writes, times have changed, and while certain old-school rules still apply, today’s professionals in search of perfection must embrace things like social media and be willing to adapt over time. Read on and get ready to land the position you’ve been waiting for.
1. Decide What You Want — This one is obvious, but oddly enough, a lot of people can’t clearly define what it is they’re looking for. And this is a problem, because when you’re looking for a job, you’ve got to be able to describe your end goal. Otherwise, how are people going to help you get there?
2. Show Some Flexibility — Now that you have a clear picture of what you’re looking for, be willing to deviate. Industries change, and today’s dream job might not exist five years from now. If you’re adaptable and OK with change, you’ll be infinitely more valuable to companies and attractive to recruiters.
3. Get Linked In — Know why everyone is on LinkedIn? Because it’s super important. Make sure you’ve got a professional photo and well-written bio. It also helps to have some endorsements from former colleagues. “Think of your profile as a place to “provide your career narrative rather than your career his-tory,” Caroline McClure, founder of the talent-strategy consulting firm ScoutRock, tells Fry.
4. Pay Attention to Intangible Skills — It used to be that a great resume and impressive collegiate background was enough. That’s not the case anymore. Companies want to see leadership skills and high EQ, and they might even look at personality tests. Make sure your good on these and other intangibles.
5. Keep Up With the Industry — Don’t allow yourself to become stagnant. Follow industry news, seek feedback from your higher-ups, and learn new skills.
6. Create a “Brand” on Social Media — A lot of people use Twitter and Facebook for self-promotion. Don’t do it. Instead, post about industry news and insert your own voice enough to show you’ve got personality. As Stacy Donovan Zapar, founder of the recruiting strategy firm Tenfold, tells Fry, you want to wear a “social media mullet” — business in the front and party in the back.
7. Differentiate Yourself — There are 300 million people on LinkedIn looking for jobs. Don’t be part of the herd. When you send a cover letter, show that you’ve done your research — maybe even send a handwritten note. You want to stand out from the pack, and that requires a little creativity.
8. Get a Personal “Board of Directors” — Major corporations have boards, so why shouldn’t you? As Fry describes it, this is a small group of trusted friends and advisors who can help steer you in the right direction, professionally speaking.
9. Don’t Seem Too Eager — Recruiters like people who are working out well at their companies and not looking super hard for new gigs. The last thing you want to do, Fry writes, is advertise that you’re unhappy or having performance issues at your job.