We spend so much of our lives working, it’s really important to enjoy your job. From a young age we’re told to think about what career path we want to follow, and what our end goal is, but as we get older, it gets a little more confusing.

Working out how to get your dream job, or even what your dream job is, can be difficult. So here are our secrets to finding, and getting that dream job, as told by the Career Girl Daily experts!

Step 1: What are your goals?

What are the factors that make up your dream job? Is it location, salary, industry, flexibility, colleagues? It’s most likely to be a combination of these, but it’s important to decide what’s most important to you, what makes a job your dream career?

Step 2: How can you make it happen?

Your dream job might be to run a fashion empire or become a surgeon, but if you’re still a medical student, or working in retail, it might not be instantly realistic. These are fantastic goals, but you need to consider not only your end-game dream

These are fantastic goals, but you need to consider not only your end-game dream job but your now dream job. What will make you happiest now, and what will lead you to your end-game dream job? Be realistic about what you need to do to get to your dream job, and how long it will take to get there.

Step 3: Do your research!

Once you’ve found your dream job and it comes to applying, make sure you do your research! It might sound obvious, but knowing the name of the hiring manager, and writing why you’d like to work for that particular company can make all the difference in the world.

Step 4: How will your application be different?

An employer often receives hundreds of applications for a role, and it can be easy to skip past any that instantly look unprofessional or too long. Making yourself stand out is an excellent way to get your application read, even if you don’t end up getting the job.

Always write a personalized cover letter, which shouldn’t be more than half a page long, and if possible hand-deliver your application. You never know, you might even be able to meet the hiring manager when you deliver it, which means you’ve already made a good impression, and will be much more memorable than a good email.

Step 5: Do some networking!

Is there one company that you’ve always dreamt of working for? Why not write to them, expressing your interest in their company, and even if nothing is available at the time, a role may come up in the future, and you’ll already have a head start!

Linkedin in a wonderful resource, as are industry groups, and even Facebook pages, for meeting people in the industry you want to work in. Making connections at the companies you’d like to work for is invaluable as they can become a character witness when a job arises.

Step 6: Keep an open mind!

Even if you’ve found that one job that you’ve always wanted, there’s no point sitting around waiting for a response. Use your time applying for other roles, so that if you don’t get your dream job this time, you’ll be in a better position next time around.

Step 7: If you’re not successful, figure out why!

A beautifully written cover letter and CV might get you so far, but when it comes to it, skills are what really matters to employers. Make sure you’re applying to roles you’re qualified for, and if you aren’t getting anywhere, you can’t go wrong by asking for feedback. You might not always get it, but some people are happy to help you eventually get your dream job.