The right job application strategy to land your dream job

Job application strategy as the basis for success
© GettyImages Stadtratte

Almost every job applicant would like to see the next step in their career land them their dream job. Many job seekers are highly motivated at the start, already have ideas and expectations, and tend to adopt a disorganised approach to submitting applications. Does this get them what they want, or does it pay to take strategic steps to land one’s dream job?

“A goal without a plan is just a wish,” wrote Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the French writer and pilot. This is also true of a job application. A strategy is the cornerstone for your success. It helps you use your own resources, namely time and energy, efficiently. At the same time, your focus is clearly on achieving your professional goal. This helps you reach your goal faster. Now which aspects of a job application strategy should you take into consideration?

Compile a list of the ideal job profiles

The core of a targeted application strategy is a list of three or four, or a maximum of five job profiles. Your dream job should be at the top of your list. The job about which you are not particularly passionate but which would, in all probability, also “work” for you, should be at the bottom. This gives you an alternative that you can fall back on should your preferred job be unattainable. In other words, a job application strategy is successful if it is variable and realistic.

Find out what the potential employer considers important

One of the key components of a strategic approach is to think about the potential employers for whom you would really like to work. After completing your own brainstorming session, you should have a list with the names of companies and ideally also of contact persons you have researched. Write down the three most important criteria for each potential employer. These could be a certain corporate culture, a particular place of work, or overall opportunities for professional development. To maintain your focus, it is important that you describe the criteria clearly and precisely. 

Set clear time frames and identify job search channels

You should set a clear time frame for the job hunt and should identify the key channels for your own search. The new job could be advertised in one of the many online portals, posted on a company website or appear in a trade magazine. It could also emerge via a personal contact in a professional network or be waiting for the applicant at a trade or career fair. The most important resource when looking for a job is personal contacts. Tapping into your personal network allows you to gain access to information that is not available to outsiders or the general public.

If necessary, get help from experts

Has it been several years since you last applied for a job? Then it may be advisable to consult a career counsellor in order to bring yourself up to date with current job search standards and channels. The counsellor will help you draw up an applicant profile on the basis of a and define a job application strategy. You can then stay focused on your application goals and achieve them faster, and ideally land your dream job.

Guest author: Heike Anne Dietzel, Career advisor and trainer with a degree-level qualification in cultural and business studies – 

Contributions by external authors do not necessarily represent the editorial opinion.

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