A fulfilling career means finding the job that is right for you.
Throughout your career, you'll likely hold a number of positions. Some may be great stepping stones, fruitful learning experiences, or even just the source of an impressive paycheck. However, while there are many good jobs — even great jobs — finding the perfect fit is what every professional is truly after.
A “perfect fit” job is the one that allows you to reach your goals and discover new ones. It helps you grow as both a professional and a person and allows you to interact with others who inspire you. Above all, a perfect fit job lets you walk away from the workday feeling fulfilled and accomplished.
Sound too good to be true? Finding this kind of job is not an impossibility — it just takes some extra work. Before you start searching, though, it's important to understand what you're searching for. We break down what a perfect fit job really entails so you can begin to find yours.
The company's values align with your own
One of the most important factors of a perfect fit job is that you believe in the work you do. The company's mission plays a role in this. Ask yourself: What does this company set out to do? Does it provide a service you think is useful? Create programs you feel are valuable? It's unlikely that you'll enjoy the work you do if you dislike why you're doing it, so finding an organization whose purpose you agree with is essential.
The company's values are not just in what it does, but also how it behaves. This can be anything from the way it treats its customers to philanthropic work it does (or does not do). Make sure that you like how it feels to be a representative of the company.
The company culture fits your wants and needs
We're all different, and we all will thrive in different environments. In child psychology, goodness of fit describes the concept of compatibility between ourselves and our social environment, and this follows us into adulthood. Therefore, being compatible with a company's culture is important for whether or not a job is a perfect fit.
Some workers crave the structure of a formal work environment, while others would feel constrained by it. While you maybe shouldn't try looking exclusively for a company that provides pods for napping, dress code, office layout, and even the way employees communicate with one another can all contribute to a company's culture and affect whether or not you belong there.
You must feel a sense of belonging in your workplace; you should benefit from being there, and the company (and people in it) should benefit from your presence as well.
It provides the opportunity to grow
If your role remains stagnant over the years or there is little opportunity to move up the ladder, you'll get bored fast. Even worse, you'll likely find yourself feeling stifled and frustrated.
A perfect fit job means having the opportunity — and support — to grow. That can mean being encouraged to speak up or get involved in projects outside of your usual tasks. Some companies even promote professional development by covering the cost of your further education, knowing it will make you a better, more valuable employee.
Whether the measures are big or small, a company giving you the chance to progress in your career is an important component of a perfect fit job.
How to land a perfect fit job
Knowing the elements of a perfect fit job is only half the battle. Here's what to do in your job search to ensure you seek out the right roles.
Research is paramount in the search for a job that is your perfect fit; conducting a thorough study is your best way to find out if a potential employer has the qualities you're looking for.
Start with the company's website. On it, you'll likely find their mission statement, which can give you insight into the company's goals and help you decide whether or not they match yours. If a company has social media sites, look at those as well. Images, videos, or other posts from within the organization can hint at the type of culture you expect. Even simple things like the attire employees are wearing in the photos can help you learn what their workplace is like.
Additionally, look at sites that house employee reviews of an employer, such as Glassdoor. While a company's own site and social media will likely be curated to show the organization at its best, the candid words from current and former employees will likely offer another side. The experiences they share may give you an idea of what it's like to work at the company.
Use caution, however. The employees most likely to leave reviews are typically those who have had overwhelmingly positive or negative experiences, so the reviews may not be representative of the company's norm.
Conduct informational interviews
Even with employee reviews online, some of the information you'll need to determine whether a job is a perfect fit will not be public. Instead, you need insider knowledge that can provide you with answers to the more detailed questions.
You can get these details by conducting informational interviews with current or past employees. If you already know someone at the company, they are a great place to start. If not, turn to LinkedIn to search for employees at the organization in a role similar to the one you're looking for. Don't be shy of sending a cold LinkedIn message. Simply introduce yourself and ask if they would be willing to answer a few of your questions.
Be specific when you ask questions in these informal meetings, focusing on the elements listed above. What is the culture really like? What has this person's experience been like while trying to grow as a professional?
These are valuable bits of information that would be hard to find elsewhere.
Make sure your resume reflects your goals
Let's say you've taken these steps and have found a role that could very well be your perfect fit. That's one challenge completed. Now, you just have to land that job — which we all know is easier said than done. Your best chance at success is to make sure the hiring manager knows that while this job is a perfect fit for you, you're also the perfect fit for them.
This all starts with how you craft your resume. In the midst of focusing on keywords, “achiever” language, and proper formatting, use your resume to emphasize your goals and how they align with the role at hand. Your professional summary is an optimal place to do this because it gives you the opportunity to tell the employer exactly what you want them to know about you.
Writing a resume is a daunting task already. If you've found your perfect fit job and the stakes are high, consider working with a resume-writing professional to ensure your document is the best it can be for this important opening.
Finding your “perfect fit” job
As you go about your career, don't settle for a job that's simply good enough. The world is full of opportunities, and your perfect fit is out there. Put the work into your job search and you'll be rewarded with a role that's truly fulfilling.
Don't miss the opportunity for your perfect fit because of a subpar resume. Learn more about working with a professional resume writer.