To Get the Job You Want, Listen to Yourself and Use the Right Tools – ATD

To Get the Job You Want, Listen to Yourself and Use the Right Tools – ATD

In the Inc. article, “3 Ways to Attract Top Talent Despite the Great Resignation,” Mike Stephenson writes, “As a leader, there’s one job application I’ll never forget: Instead of the typical cover letter, one programmer submitted a poem linking our company’s core values to his personal characteristics. Needless to say, he got the job.”

Poetry is one way to go about getting your coveted job today, and it’s definitely a creative one. In Lisa Spinelli’s “Take Charge of Your Career Path,” she says today’s jobs may be filled via inbound or outbound searches. The latter is the more traditional way, where job hunters look at roles that are open and then apply. The interested individual may get creative in their outreach to their would-be future employer, as in the example Stephenson recounted. On the other hand, the inbound method is one in which the employer reaches out to the individual to come join their team, perhaps because the individual is a proven thought leader in the field.

But before you search for or accept a job, you need an idea of what you want in a job and a career. Indeed, the pandemic has led many people to stop and ask themselves if what they are doing is truly making them happy.

Take Time to Listen to Yourself

“To find your ideal career, start with being honest with yourself,” recommends Spinelli. “Be authentic.”

Do you know your personality type, and does it fit your current career choice or environment? For example, if you’re an introvert in a role that is a better fit for an extrovert, you’ll likely be exhausted at the end of the day.

In L&D, we talk about being comfortable with change. With that in mind, consider your own career. Rather than a linear approach to professional life, be open to a new direction. Are you staying with a company because you feel you should, perhaps because you went to school for your career and still have debt? Spinelli’s advice? “Don’t stay put just because.”


If you’re unhappy with your current professional situation, think about what would make you content. What would your average day look like? What skills would you be using? Would you be working alone for a large portion or the day or as a team? Take time to map out your ideal job description, addressing those and other questions.

Tools You’ll Need: The Resume and Portfolio

In the past, a resume was the single tool that showcased your experience as you searched for a job. Resumes are still important—to be processed in an applicant tracking system or to serve as the document that hiring managers pass along to others—but they’re not the only collateral you need.

“A resume outlines your experience; your portfolio is a collection of your work that showcases your abilities,” writes Spinelli. Include work samples that support the skills and abilities that a good candidate for the position should have.


In addition to a resume and portfolio, consider your LinkedIn presence. Include a professional headshot, a strong tagline, and a succinct and captivating About section. Use LinkedIn to promote yourself as a thought leader by weighing in on other articles or posts or writing and publishing your own.

The Modern Interview

Interviews may be held in person, but they may be conducted via video. Know your resume, stay positive, and practice, advises Spinelli.

Remember, too, that you’re not the only one being interviewed. To get a position that will make you happy, the role and organization must be a good fit for you, too. Research the company and ask questions to ensure that its mission and vision align with what you need.

If you’re ready to pivot, determine what you want and gather the proper tools to land your ideal job. And read more tips for finding your next position in Lisa Spinelli’s “Take Charge of Your Career Path.”

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