Career Advice

Matching the Best Places to Work Lists To Your Dream Job

It’s that time of year when the “best of lists” start coming out.  This week the ten best books of 2009 came out from the New York Times.  The Grammy Nominations are out.  The Golden Globes just came out and the Oscar nominations are coming soon.  It’s also the time for the best places to work lists to be released.  There is the Fortune list along with others and it’s also the second year for the Employees’ Choice Awards.  Just like when the media lists come out, we try to see, read, and/or listen before the awards show, the resumes start pouring into the companies who make the “best” lists only making it harder to get a job at one of these corporations. So, how do you get your dream job at a company now inundated with resumes given that they have likely attracted a lot more talent with their name on the best place to work list?

  • Don’t give up just because it got more competitive. If you wanted to work at this company before, then you really want to work for them now, so the last thing you should do is give up.  Now is the time to double down your efforts and push in even harder. One way to do this is to resend all of your information to the company now congratulating and recognizing the company for their achievement.  There is nothing wrong with providing the company with these accolades.  They earned it and the fact that you have recognized this only says to them that you care and are staying current with the company.

  • Dig into the details and then reposition your story. All of the best lists will highlight some of the areas where the company is strong.  These are areas where you will want to focus your story and ensure that the hiring manager or recruiter walks away thinking, “this candidate is just like us”.  You want to reinforce and ensure that the strengths you have match up with the strength areas of the company and their culture.

  • Get a recommendation from a company that is also on the list and maybe even higher rated. Everyone likes to hear from another great company that a candidate they are assessing is good. If you know someone who can recommend you, send an email or make a call or to a contact who works for a company also on the same best list. Ask the recommender to make sure that she/he mentions the best list and that “we are both on the list”, etc., this certainly can’t hurt you.

  • Be very explicit about your dream job and dream companies. Many people think it is silly, but in this market, I think it is a good idea to be very explicit in your resumes, cover letter/email information, etc. to call out that the position you are applying for is one of your dream jobs in a one of your dream companies.  A way to do this is to change your resume to be tailored directly for the company.  There is nothing wrong with this and in fact, if you tailor the words on your resume to match a job posting any type of matching technology it will help connect you to a resume screener and hopefully a person who has authority to hire.

When your dream job and dream company becomes the dream company of others, it gets harder to get in, but it’s not impossible.  It just means that you have to get more aggressive, stay targeted and no matter what, don’t give up.