Top Tips to Secure The Dream Job

Top Tips to Secure the Dream Job

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Your Expert Guide to Securing & Keeping Your Dream Job

We all want to land our dream job but sometimes this can feel frustratingly out of reach. This guide is intended to help make your dream career move a reality by applying simple principles. Applying the rules in this guide will also help you keep your dream job when you are in it and build a successful career from it!

To secure your dream job you need to believe that you deserve it, for many people attaining this self-belief is the hardest part. This is key because when you believe you deserve something you will do what you need to do to get it.

On the path to your dream job there will often be obstacles to overcome. To move past an obstacle we often need to learn and adapt our thinking. When we stop learning we stop growing, and when we stop growing we start to die. It’s vital to adopt a growth mind-set and be open to change, more on this point later on in this guide.

The great news is that you can get to where you want to be. With a few simple tweaks you can hugely increase your chances of success and make your career so much more fulfilling in the process.

You can get there!
You can get there!

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I hope you find some benefit from the information within this guide! If you did you might also be interested in my guide – How to Achieve Anything where I provide my principles for achieving success in life whatever your goal may be!

Here are my expert tips to secure and keep your dream job.


Be Passionate

Passion is fundamental to success. When you are passionate about a job or a goal you will go above and beyond to succeed and achieve the best outcome that you can.

“Without passion you don’t have energy, without energy you have nothing.” Donald Trump

Passion for a role is very attractive to a hiring manager as it denotes that someone will fight to make a success of an opportunity. Passion is also hugely attractive because it’s infectious and inspires an emotional reaction in other people. We are all emotion creatures so to get the best out of a person, a team or even yourself we need to tap into this with our passion!


When it comes to harnessing your passion to get the most out of yourself and others, I would highly recommend Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People. This book has been hugely helpful to me, not just in my career but in my life. In Dale’s classic book he talks about how our mind-set influences our body language and how this then affects how people perceive us.

Dale teaches that to change how others think about us we don’t need to focus on them, or even our body language. Dale teaches that to reach our potential we need to change our mind-set, the rest is consequential. You can view Dale Carnegie’s classic on Amazon here.

Past Performance

The saying goes with investments that “past performance is not a guide to future returns”. Whilst past performance may not determine the future performance of an investment it is certainly one of the best guides I have seen and is even more true when applied to people.

When I hire I look for people who have a history of strong performance in their current and previous roles. I am always surprised that so many people look to progress to a bigger job when they are only just holding down their current role.

Nobody has a right to keep progressing without demonstrating hard work, dedication and commitment. The reality is that all jobs have their challenges and frustrations. If a candidate has never delivered in the past why would any hiring manager believe this is going to change with a bigger job?

The message here is you have to perform in your current role to earn the right to progress. Even if you don’t enjoy what you do, you owe it to yourself to do the best job you can because this will massively increase your opportunity to progress. Developing a mind-set where you can bring you’re a-game even where you don’t feel like it will set you up for life.


Adopt A Growth Mind-set

A growth mind-set is about seeing challenges as opportunities to learn and grow believing that you can develop and change to become stronger and better. The opposite of a growth mind-set is a fixed mind-set.

Most of us will be able to recall people we know who have strong attributes of these mind-sets. If we were building a team or a business we would almost certainly want to work with people who believe in growth and learning. So change your perspective!

Adopt a Growth Mind-Set
Adopt a Growth Mind-Set

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash.


Attitude Is Key

Hiring managers are looking for candidates who have a positive attitude. The deciding factor for a candidate is often attitude. After all you can develop new skills if you want to learn but it’s difficult to work with someone who has a bad attitude.


“What separates people is not the presence or absence of difficulty, but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life.”Jim Collins

Few things are more off-putting in a person than a negative attitude. In a recruitment situation a negative attitude can be catastrophic for progression. In Jim Collins book Good to Great he talks about how our attitude in life largely colours our perception of events. By changing our mind-set our perception of the world changes as well.

Adopt a positive mind-set and your life will change. You will soon find yourself seeing opportunities rather than challenges. If you are interested in learning more about Jim’s book you can view this on Amazon here.

Ask Questions

The best way to understand what the hiring team are looking for is to ask them. Wow I know eye opening stuff but ironically this is one of the common sense things that almost nobody does.

You can’t tailor your approach and application to what the hiring manager is looking for if you don’t know what this is. So ask them what they are looking for and as well as enabling you to really target your application this will also show the hiring team you are on their agenda.


Be On The Radar

Okay so sometimes your first opportunity to engage a hiring manager might be on seeing the job advertised. If it is an internal vacancy however or if the hiring manager is a stakeholder of yours then turning up when a vacancy goes live is probably too late.

I am always surprised when people who have worked around one of my teams suddenly express an interest in a job when it’s advertised. The thought pattern being if you were genuinely interested why haven’t you approached us or shown any interest until now?

Nothing inspires confidence, trust and understanding more than someone who shows a genuine interest in a team before there is a vacancy. Who would you favour the candidate with a genuine desire to understand your business or the candidate who turned up when they want a job?

The hiring preference is usually always towards the person who has the existing relationship and who understands the business so if you have an opportunity to build a relationship beforehand take it!

Even if you don’t have the opportunity to do this in advance of the vacancy going live, put yourself on the hiring manager’s radar with an email or call. Reach out to them before you apply to understand what their businesses priorities are. This enables you to target these areas in your application and puts you a step ahead of most other applicants.


In Stephen Coveys classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people the first rule is to be proactive! Stephen argues that by adopting a proactive approach we can grow our circle of influence and thus have a much greater control of both our lives and our success.

“I am not the product of my circumstances, I am the product of my decisions” Stephen Covey

Stephen states that we can expand our circle of influence by working out from the centre and building bridges. This is kind of what being on the radar is all about, turning up when there is a job is reactive rather than proactive. Be proactive and if you are interested in learning more about Stephen’s book you can view this on Amazon here.

Tailor Your Approach

Probably best not to go in talking about how you have been the top salesman for three years running if you are applying for a job that is service rather than sales focused, the opposite is equally true.

So many candidates set themselves up to fail by not understanding the role they are applying for and the culture of the employer. Every employer has its own distinct set of values and your approach needs to take account of these.

The point here is to understand what the hiring manager is looking for and the employers culture and tailor your approach. If you don’t know this already that’s okay, just ask. Asking alone puts you ahead of most people.



We all get nervous in job interviews, this is almost universally the case and it’s kind of a good thing that we do. If you’re nervous it tells the hiring manager two things for sure, you care and you have some humility.

It’s okay to be nervous but do try and smile and relax as the interview progresses. Believe it or not interviewing someone who is completely terrified and doesn’t smile once is uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Relax & Smile!
Relax & Smile!

Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash.

One trick is to have a reminder to smile in your notes as a discrete prompt. Smiling might seem like a little thing but try it. Smiling makes a huge difference to how you feel and how other people feel about you.


Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses in any role but especially at the start of a journey in a new job. To get a job you don’t need to convince the hiring team that you know everything, but only that you know enough and understand where you need to know more.

It’s important to put across a strong proposition in an interview but also to balance this with self-awareness and reality. If you have skill gaps going into a new role its best to call this out in a balanced way but counteract this with how you will overcome this. This self-awareness shows that you are level headed and want to make a success of the role.

Suggesting that you know everything if you don’t is very likely to come across as delusional. You could also be setting an expectation that you may be unable to deliver on.

Focus on your strengths and present gaps in a positive way with the action you will take to address these. If you discuss weaknesses these should always be in relation to the role and with the action you will take to address these and never personal weaknesses. Example below to demonstrate the point –

Skill Gap“One area I will be keen to work on in this role is my HR knowledge. In my previous roles I have not been quite as heavily involved in this. I have however given lots of thought to how I will develop my knowledge around this including shadowing….”

Personal Weakness“I have a tendency to say yes too much and have sometimes taken on too much work in the past at the expense of my core role. I am getting better at saying no…”

If asked about weaknesses you can see that skill gaps are much better to discuss than personal weaknesses. Never focus on personal weaknesses. Think of it this way a skills gap can be addressed with development, whereas character flaws are much more difficult to resolve.


Believe In Yourself

Finally you need to believe in yourself and go for it! Good luck, now go get your dream job!

I hope you find some benefit from the information within this guide! If you did you might also be interested in my guide – How to Achieve Anything where I provide my principles for  achieving success in life whatever your goal may be!

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