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Life Hacks

What you need to know about preparing for your dream job

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If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve just graduated from school and are probably looking for a job to help kickstart your adulthood journey, so congratulations! Perhaps you’ve slogged your heart out to complete your final year project, hoping to add it to your portfolio. Or you took on summer internships, year after year so that you’d be a more competitive candidate when applying for your dream job. Maybe you didn’t even do an internship, but have discovered your passions through a part-time job or an encounter with someone.

Whatever it is, landing your dream job isn’t an impossible task. While the numbers (i.e. employment rates and vacancies) don’t lie, they aren’t as daunting as they seem! To help you out, here are 4 quick tips on what you can do to increase your chances of nailing that job!

Update your resume

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While we’ve previously shared some tips on how to make your resume stand out when applying for internships, you might have to make some tweaks to it when applying for a full-time job after graduation. As you gain more experience through internships and part-time jobs, you should provide more details about your professional achievements, and focus less on what you’ve done in school (unless you feel it will boost your resume!)

As you’re working on beefing up your new resume, don’t forget to do a quick check on how you phrase your sentences. Make sure you front your job experiences with action words instead of simply describing your job as you would to a friend. Remember that the stakes tend to be higher especially when it comes to hiring for a full-time position. With hundreds of resumes for hiring managers to sieve through, it’s important that they are able to pick out the key phrases almost immediately. Use this chance to show off the skills you’ve learnt at your previous internship or job, and use these learnings to your advantage.

Do research on the industry, not just the company

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While you might think that landing the role is most important, it doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t have expectations for your starting salary. The last thing you’d want is to undercut yourself. Do your due diligence by doing research online, and cross-check these numbers by speaking with seniors or friends who might be comfortable in sharing their starting pay, so that you can confidently negotiate your pay.

If you find that you’re not familiar with anyone within the industry circle, you could look out for mentorship programmes that allow you to network with others within the same field. You might also be able to meet experienced minds who could offer some great advice as you slowly make your way up the ladder!

Give your wardrobe an update

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Ah, the hunt for new clothes. Let’s be real, it’s probably everyone’s favourite part of the job hunt. But before you go all-out on the shopping, remember to make sure that they’re workplace appropriate. If you’ve done your internship in a similar industry previously, you might be able to get a better sensing of the look you should be going for. Ask around if you’re traversing an entirely new terrain, or do your research online to find ways you can incorporate style with modesty.  Even if you’re entering an industry that’ll allow you to dress casually, invest in 1 or 2 slightly more dressed-up pieces so that you don’t have to scramble for an outfit when you need to attend an important meeting, give a presentation, or head out to meet clients.

Nail the online interview

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As our society and the rest of the world begins to embrace a new normal, this means that online interviews might become the norm for some time.

To make your interview prep easier, go for the excel sheet method. Do research on the industry and company you’re interviewing with, and list out all the potential questions a hiring manager might ask down a column. You’d want to populate 1-2 variations of an answer along the rest of the columns so that you get your grounds covered. If you’re interviewing across industries and organisations, then you might want to separate these questions into different tabs for greater clarity — future you will thank you for it.

Even though you’re interviewing from the comfort of home, an interview is still an interview! You might’ve heard about how it’s business on the top, and lounge wear on the bottom these days, but with all the horror stories going around, it pays to err on the side of caution and dress up as you would for an actual physical interview.

Remember the same interview etiquette applies even online — arriving to your Zoom or Skype meeting early instead of on time, or looking at the camera instead of at the person on-screen when answering interview questions. Remember, it’s all in the small details!

Keep in mind that landing your dream job is not just about how desirable you sound on paper. It also involves showcasing a hunger for success and the right attitude in order to seal the deal — you’re playing in the big leagues now!

This article is brought to you by Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited. All information provided is for informational purposes only.

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