Everyone has a dream job, but many of the most popular choices are in highly competitive fields. Competitive jobs often have the biggest benefits, including generous paychecks. While choosing a competitive career path can be rewarding, but it often has its difficulties as well.
Even if you are confident in your abilities, you can still be overlooked among the sea of other applicants.
If you are on the fence about applying for a competitive job, it is important to reflect on where your true passion lies. Many employees end up trapped in jobs they hate because their true passion is in a competitive career. Though you cannot guarantee success when you apply for a competitive job, there are plenty of tips to follow that can help increase your odds of success.
Passion is Key
If you want to stand out in a competitive field, passion is important. One of the most common mistakes applicants make is overestimating the role luck plays in landing a competitive position. While there is a small element of luck, one of the biggest factors separating successful applicants from rejected ones is passion.
If you want to succeed in a competitive field, you cannot hold back. Passionate applicants often apply for every job available in their chosen career, and put their all into their applications. As a passionate applicant, you want to create personalized resumes and cover letters for each job you apply for. If you put passion into your application, companies are bound to notice.
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Having a clear and direct purpose is also a good way to stand out. Recruiters want candidates who show professional purpose and a desire for growth. As such, you want to make it clear how hard you are willing to work, and the talents you could bring to the company.
Moreover, you do not want to rely on your resume and cover letter alone. It is also beneficial to build a strong social media presence reflecting your interest and experience. This can help you to further stand out from your fellow applicants. You can also take the time to research yourself to see what information comes up online. Do not be afraid to scrub your social media presence if it reflects poorly on whatever career path you are interested in.
Prepare to Network
To succeed in a competitive field, networking is key. Getting started in a competitive field is typically the most difficult part, because you likely have a limited network. As a new applicant, you may only have a few references at your disposal. To fix this, seek out industry professionals in person and online to help you in your competitive field. If you do not already have a social media account dedicated to your career, consider building one.
When you are building a network, remember to think about more than yourself. If one of your contacts feels like the relationship only benefits you, there is little reason for them to help with you. If you are unemployed, demonstrate how your contacts would benefit from hiring you. You can do this by joining in on public conversations.
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Once you build a small audience, do not be afraid to start your own conversations. If you demonstrate the ways in which you understand the industry you are trying to break into, you have a much greater chance of being approached by a recruiter.
Social media is a good place to build a network, but it is not the only one. You do not want to dismiss the importance of building a network from your everyday social interactions. You never know when someone you meet through mutual friends may have connections with someone in the industry you are trying to break into.
Not Everyone is Competition
Another common mistake made when diving into a competitive field is not asking for help. When you are in a competitive field, it is easy to start thinking of everyone as your competition. New applicants are often afraid to ask for help because they believe it shows weakness. However, breaking into a competitive field on your own is difficult. By not asking for help, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.
Succeeding in a competitive job often means working with other people. Most professionals in your desired field likely started out in the same position you are currently in, and worked their way up with someone’s support. Knowing when to ask for help is actually an important quality in many industries, as it shows your desire to grow and improve. Finding a professional mentor can also help you establish a stronger network.
Do the Research
Getting started in a competitive field also relies on your ability to do research. It is normal to research a company before your interview or while you are writing a cover letter, but in a competitive field, you need to go above and beyond. Before you research specific companies, look into the career you want to apply for.
Even if you think you already know everything about your desired company or field, there is always something new to learn. Find out where you need to start to get your dream position. If you want to impress potential employers, show how much you understand your career path.
“Where do you see yourself in five years?” is often a common interview question. This gives you a perfect opportunity to demonstrate your industry knowledge, as well as your passion. Companies benefit just as much as you do from having an employee climb the corporate ladder.
Furthermore, employers are often more willing to invest in employees who have a sense of direction in their careers. In particular, hiring applicants who plan to stay with a company and grow for many years is mutually beneficial.
Therefore, developing your career plan is another way to show your passion for the job. It reveals how serious you are about making this job a career and are not using it as a resume booster or for a quick paycheck.
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