By David Sturt & Todd Nordstrom – Forbes

Change is in the air. With it, comes optimism. You want something new. You believe now is the time. And, due to the current talent shortage, now is probably the best time to land your dream job.

“My job is okay,” Rick told us recently. “I’ve been working here for a while, but when I hear all these stories about companies hunting for new talent, I kind of feel like I should test the waters. Maybe now is the time to make a change.”

Rick is not the only person who has bent our ears about the current unemployment situation. We’ve actually heard the same sentiment from many curious people—highly skilled workers wondering if they should toss their resume out into the world just to see what happens. You might be thinking the same thing. And, why not? If the time is right, and companies are scrounging for great people, shouldn’t you toss your hat into the ring?

If you’re curious about the potential of improving your job situation, here are 10 things you’ll need to work on. One of them, if you master it, will land you just about any job.

    1. Polish your resume. This might be the most obvious step, but it’s worth repeating. Even if you’re not all that serious about getting a new job, be serious about the effort you put into your resume. Do it right. Get the offer.
    2. Be picky. While the market might be ripe to land a new job, it’s important to know you’re seeking something better than your current job. While a bigger paycheck is surely attractive, you have the luxury of only seeking out companies that align with your personal goals and purpose. Be picky.
    3. Talk to someone on the inside. Job postings can be alluring, and can make you view a potential new career with blind optimism. You’re not in a rush. Take time to reach out to people who work the company. Ask questions. Learn what it’s like to work at the company from someone who knows.
    4. Manage your social media. Maybe you’ve been at your current job for a while and never really thought about how an employer might view your social media. Realize potential employers will look at your social media, and they may judge you accordingly. Manage your online profile appropriately.
    5. Practice your interview technique. Years, maybe even decades, may have passed since your last job interview. And, it’s important to understand that a lot may have changed in that time, including you. Practice how you’ll answer typical interview questions.
    6. Learn about your future from your past. Polishing your resume and practicing interviews can teach you something powerful. When looking at your history, try to decipher your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Reviewing your job history in written or spoken form can lead you in a better direction in your future.
    7. Research their past. Hiring managers have often told us that while many candidates are qualified and prepared to answer questions about specific roles in the company, they don’t do enough research on the company itself. Know the company. Know why they exist, who they serve, and what they value.
    8. Know why. If you do land an interview, you’ll probably be asked why you’re leaving your current job, and why you want to work for a new company. And, while it’s important that you have an answer that sounds good, it’s more important that you truly understand those reasons for yourself.
    9. Ask about their culture. All of us have different needs and desires. While some people like a certain environment, others might despise it. Learn about the culture you’re trying to join and weigh the aspects most people say make a culture attractive. The biggest mistake you can make is to beg for a new job inside a culture that isn’t a good fit for you.
    10. Bring value. While all of the above are things all great candidates understand, this last one is the most important—because when you truly understand it, every opportunity in the world opens up to you. No matter how polished your resume, how well you answer interview questions, how much research you conduct on a company, or how well you fit into a culture, employers are looking for candidates who increase the value of the team and organization. Learn how to create value. Learn how to share it. Learn how to communicate it. Learn how to bring it.


The job market is wide open for quality candidates. Master this list, and your odds of finding your dream job will be closer than you can imagine. But, understand this as well. If you truly understand how to ‘Bring value’ to an organization, you might want to try creating that value in your current company before you start reaching out to others. Your dream job, dream title, and dream pay check might be right in front of your nose.

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