Evaluate Your Expectations
Before you narrow your focus to only one job and target all your efforts toward obtaining a specific position, think critically about what you want to accomplish through the course of your business life. Make sure the career you want is directly aligned with these goals. Once you've decided what you'd like to be doing, delve deeper into what that job entails to ensure a sense of satisfaction once you obtain the position.
Get the Education
Regardless of how ideally suited you feel you may be for the career you've chosen, if you don’t have the education to recommend you for the position, you'll likely struggle to even get a foot in the door. Research the job you want to determine what education is required. Pick up additional certification, or consider working toward a master's degree. By doing this before you start actively seeking employment in the field, you can improve the chances of your application ending up on a hiring manager’s desk–not getting filed away in the trashcan.
Sometimes job prospects have a lot to do with who you know, particularly if you seek employment in a hard-to-crack industry. As you work at networking, make a point of traveling to conferences and business gatherings where industry bigwigs will be in attendance. Dress the part when you go to these conferences to ensure your appearance as a consummate professional worthy of hiring. Follow up on these connections you build, using them to your advantage to improve career prospects.
Work Your Way Up
Particularly if the position you've set your sights on is an exceptionally prestigious one, walking into it off the street may be an entirely unrealistic expectation. Instead of setting yourself up for failure by turning down smaller jobs within the same industry and holding out for a higher-caliber one, be willing to start small and advance. By doing so, you can allow yourself to actively work toward the position you seek instead of cooling your heels and waiting for an opportunity that may well never come.
Obtaining your career goals won't be easy. To improve your chances, you'll need to do much more than simply fill out applications and hope for the best. Play a proactive role in your job search by actively pursuing appropriate tactics for career advancement.
Zach Buckley is a freelance writer based in the Midwest. He enjoys exploring developing trends in education, technology and culture. When he isn’t reading or writing blogs, he enjoys sampling good music and good food. Follow him on Twitter! @Zach_buckley