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Tips for finding your dream job

Can you imagine a job where you look forward to coming to work every day, instead of dreading it? Life is too short to work in a job you don’t like, be around people you don’t respect and not be able to support and be dedicated to the company where you are employed.

If you can’t do those three things it may be time to look for another job. It can be within your current company or you may need to seek employment elsewhere.

Following are some tips to finding that dream job.

1. Identify your skill sets and recognize your skill gaps. Set up a plan to enhance skills. Focus on improving those areas you have weaknesses in and tout those areas in which you have greater talents.

2. Utilize all resources for additional training. Many opportunities are available online and at traditional schools and universities. Many employers have robust training programs and encourage learning outside your current job responsibilities. Expand your horizons.

3. Write a resume that will showcase your talents, skills and abilities. Customize your resume to match the position you are applying for. Ensure it is grammatically correct. Keep it to one page or two at the most.

4. Narrow down your search to those jobs for which you are qualified. Research online websites for job postings. Some are Indeed, Monster, Zip Recruiter, Career Builder, Dice, Glassdoor, Google for Jobs, Idealist, LinkedIn, Craig’s List and LinkUp. Also there are other social media sites including Facebook that can be effective. Don’t overlook classified ads in newspapers, on radio and tv, State Employment agencies.  Many companies post their open jobs on their own job boards/website and provide advanced search options including job descriptions for those positions which will help you determine the best matches. Networking and personal contacts are often very valuable in a job search.

5. Save the job listings in which you have the most interest for future references and searches. Sometimes what may at first appear to be the ideal job doesn’t work out. Saving job descriptions from postings will be valuable to you as a reference.

6. Write a short, focused cover letter for each resume. Ensure you complete the job application fully even though you may have included the same information in your resume.

7. Develop good interviewing skills. Prepare in advance and determine how you will present yourself. Don’t over-talk but be very concise in your responses to questions. Don’t ramble. Practice with an experienced interviewer. Accept constructive criticism. Become knowledgeable about the company you are interviewing for a job with by researching on their website. Prepare questions to ask the interviewer.

8. Send a thank you note to the interviewer. It shows you appreciate the hiring manager for taking time to interview you.  It can be sent by email but actually the handwritten note is more effective. It will make you stand out from other applicants who may not send an acknowledgment.

9. If an offer is made, consider it carefully to ensure it is the right fit for you and to assess the total package including compensation, benefits and other details of the offer. You may not be prepared to accept on the spot and that is ok. Inquire how much time you will be given to consider the offer and when you need to give them an answer.

Be very aware of the qualities an employer is seeking in a new employee. Many of those qualities are consistent with any position or type of business. Some are:

• Strong work ethic

• Honesty

• Dependability

• Positive attitude

• Self motivation

• Team oriented

• Effective communication skills

• Flexibility and adaptability

• Determination and perseverance

You can experience satisfaction and joy in your work. You spend more waking hours on the job, with your co-workers than you do with your family and friends. Take a good introspective look at yourself and be open to making changes that may be needed. You are not alone in seeking happiness at work. It is a common goal that is achievable and worth the effort.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.