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Land Your Dream Job: Research Reveals the Top 4 Tips Proven to Get Results

Plus, the easy shortcut that makes your résumé stand out.

Hoping to get your dream job one of these days? Here’s good news: The job market is heating up! Indeed, a whopping 57% of US companies have new positions to fill and 39% are looking to fill existing roles. Now, research reveals easy tactics to landing one of these jobs for yourself faster. Keep reading for the 4 science-backed tricks that can help you.

MUST-READ: The Best Jobs for Women Over 50 + How to Find the Right One for You

1. Reach out to these people

When looking for a new job, it’s smart to ask people around you if they know about an opening in your field. Now, a recent study by a team from Harvard, Stanford, MIT and LinkedIn has uncovered exactly which people to ask to boost your luck in getting hired. And, surprise, it’s not close ties, such as family, friends and current coworkers. Instead, you’ll be more successful when asking casual acquaintances, such as folks you’re connected with on social media or who belong to the same professional organization as you.

Why? Acquaintances tend to know more people and companies that you’re not already associated with than folks who are close to you. As a result, they have access to more information about open positions that could be a great fit.

MUST-READ: Jobs Working With Animals: How to Turn Your Love for Cats and Dogs Into Extra Cash

Group of professional women talking together
izusek/Getty Images

2. Travel back to the past to help get your dream job

Want a new job that also comes with a bump in pay? Apply to a company you worked for and left. A new study from the human resources research firm Visier shows that former employees currently make up about 1 in 4 new hires (called “boomerangs”). Plus, they earn 25% more on average when returning! Why?

“First, the biggest worry during hiring is whether the applicant will be a good employee at your company,” says Brian W. Swider, PhD, employment researcher and Associate Professor at the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida. “Boomerang employees offer the advantage of knowing what someone is like as an employee.”

MUST-READ: 5 Weekend Work From Home Jobs — No Experience Needed!

On top of that, your past experience with the company means you can hit the ground running faster than someone who’s new, Swider notes. Another bonus: “Boomerang employees have been shown to be more committed and satisfied when they return,” he says. “They went out and realized the grass is not always greener at other companies.”

Tip: To get your foot back in the door, share ways that you’ve grown professionally while you were away in your cover letter and interview. “Describe what you have learned, additional training received and development opportunities you experienced,” Swider says. Then explain how this can benefit the company so they value you even more!

3. ‘Cheat’ on your résumé

Sure, you’ve heard it’s important to carefully read through your résumé and cover letter to make sure they’re free of errors such as misspelled words and wrong punctuation. Well, it’s even more important to avoid these mistakes nowadays since there are lots of free tools available that check your writing, such as text editors and artificial intelligence (AI) programs.

This may feel a bit like cheating; however, not only do companies want you to use these tools, new research from MIT also shows that using them increases your chances of being offered a job and even receiving higher pay.

The reason: When there aren’t distracting mistakes, hiring managers are able to focus on your skills and experience. To check for errors on your résumé and cover letter, use the “Editor” function in Microsoft Word or upload your documents to a free editing website, such as Grammarly. Or use a free AI program, such as Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT. Just type in a specific request, for example, “Please review the following cover letter for spelling and grammatical errors,” then copy and paste the text you want reviewed. You’ll instantly get feedback that includes suggested corrections.

MUST-READ: 6 Ways to Make Money with Amazon Work-From-Home Jobs

A woman sitting in a chair in an office, get your dream job
Tom Werner/Getty Images

4. Strike a pose to help get your dream job

Been invited to interview for a position? A study in the journal Personnel Psychology reveals a surprising way to make a better impression: Before your interview, spend a minute standing up straight with your shoulders back and your hands on your hips (like Wonder Woman). Believe it or not, striking a “power pose” like this improves your body language and other nonverbal cues during your interview.

“Evaluators consistently rated individuals who practiced power posing as more confident and enthusiastic,” says study co-author Min-Hsuan Tu, PhD, Assistant Professor of Organization and Human Resources for University at Buffalo School of Management.

That’s because you adopt a more expansive and open body posture, for example, keeping your arms at your sides rather than crossed in front of you. This is key since “an expansive and open physical posture conveys power, confidence and competence,” asserts Tu. “All of these characteristics are necessary for a successful employee regardless of the professions and industries!”

2 bonus job-hunting tips

  1. Do volunteer work? Add it to your résumé! New research from Belgium shows it sends the message that you have top-notch people skills.
  2. Not a college grad? You may qualify for more jobs now! A new survey by shows that nearly 50% of companies are removing degree requirements.

For more job-hunting help, check out these posts:

5 Easy Ways to Make Money With Work From Home Teaching Jobs

Make $1,000s a Month With These Work-From-Home Jobs — No Phone Needed!

10 Side Hustles For Women Over 50 — Rack Up Extra Cash Doing Something You Like

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