How to land a perfect job with an imperfect resume

Posted November 24, 2020 by

By Caroline Forrest, Director of Community Outreach and Content Management at JobGet

The job hunt, no matter where you are in the world, can be challenging. Searching for the right opportunities and competing against other qualified candidates can take time and energy. And sometimes, even when you do everything right, you still might not get the job you want.

It gets even more challenging if you do not have the ‘perfect’ resume. That is, one with the required experience, the right skills, and references. Luckily there are many ways to give yourself an extra advantage and get yourself closer to your perfect job.

Take the time to know yourself

The first step is to do a little introspection to understand yourself truly. What are your dreams and values? What problems do you want to solve in the world, and what excites you? These are some of the questions that should be on your list. Add to that your strengths and weaknesses, and you will be closer to truly knowing yourself.

Once you have done this, you will have a clearer understanding of what jobs you should go after. You will also know the skills you will need to excel at these jobs. For instance, someone interested in books might need to get knowledge in publishing. An internship with a publisher would be the next logical step for them to take.

Sometimes, we are not very good at knowing ourselves, have a candid conversation with a trusted friend about your strengths, and more. They might be able to reveal something you have overlooked.


There is a reason that the book ‘Your Network is Your Net Worth’ by Porter Gale is so popular.  Networking helps you to connect to people who have skills and knowledge you can benefit from. It allows you to keep up with the trends in your desired market and help you connect to mentors or peers in similar fields.

These links you form can be the missing piece to getting your next perfect job. The book mentions that networking around your passion and beliefs can help create lasting relationships that can be a foundation for your success.

For networking to be effective, it needs to be mutually beneficial. Don’t be afraid that you have nothing to offer. Sometimes your unique perspective and a listening ear are all you need to impress your next boss.

Online job platforms

When you start your career, you might feel that there are limited job options available to you. This is not the case. Job platforms have listings of numerous jobs for people at all levels of the career journey. They give you the chance to search for the companies and jobs you are interested in, all in one place.

Besides having a list of jobs, they often have resources you can use even after you have submitted a job application. Some of these include tips on how to prepare for an interview.

Be open to learning and mention that in your resume

Your attitude as you search for a job is essential. Keeping positive and open to learning new things will keep you from turning away jobs you feel unqualified for. Employers for many first time jobs will likely have an on-job training as part of the package. This means that employers value a growth mindset

It also means that you shouldn’t feel pressured to know everything from the get-go. You will be able to learn new skills as you work. Make sure you land that interview by stating in your resume that you are excited to learn.

Don’t shy away from low paying jobs or unpaid internships

The perfect job might be one that doesn’t pay a lot, or at all. Don’t be afraid to take on the challenge. If it fits with your passion, the experience you get from the job can be even more fulfilling than a big paycheck.

It is also important to remember that building a career is not a sprint if you are building a career. It is instead a series of calculated steps. That internship might just be one of the first steps on your fantastic career journey.

Use your social media

Beyond chatting with friends and sharing hilarious memes, your social media can help you find the perfect job. Engage in discussions about your job area of interest and share your opinion. If you turn up for volunteer opportunities or career fairs organized by a company you are interested in, tag them in your pictures. You should also follow their business accounts.

Showing an interest will give you a lot more knowledge about the company, and you will be the first to know when they put out a job advert. If you do make it through to the interview round, all the knowledge you know about the company will also make you look great.

Because social media makes it even easier to connect, take the initiative and reach out to offer your service or share your resume. According to research into what employers want, taking the initiative is highly valued.

Check with your former school mates

The bonds formed during your school days do not need to end after graduation. This network of people can help you land the perfect job even with an imperfect resume. Having spent years with you, they are likely familiar with your skills and might be able to recommend or even hire you themselves.

Expand the network even further to include the alumni association. There are numerous benefits to reaching out to people who have gone to your school, were in the same clubs, or played the same sports. Members tend to be loyal to their alma maters and take the success of former students seriously.  In particularly strong associations, the people don’t even have to be known to you personally to be willing to lend a hand.

The fact that your resume isn’t perfect yet shouldn’t stop you from going out and searching for a job. Learn who you are, work on your confidence, and reach out to contacts, and you will be on your way to landing your perfect job.

— Caroline Forrest is the Director of Community Outreach and Content Management at JobGet, where she has been working for a year and a half. She works to deliver handcrafted educational and inspiring content to those who are job searching, looking for career advice, and more! Caroline is dedicated to providing high-quality services to those in need. To connect with Caroline, reach out to her on LinkedIn, or send her an email!

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