Are you one of the 26 million daily active users of Pokémon Go? To date, the app has been downloaded 30 million times, making it the biggest mobile game in U.S. history. If you’re not playing it, you certainly have seen people out and about, phones extended high, searching for rare and elusive Pokémon.
To a non-player the game can seem like a wild goose chase, and in some ways it is — that’s part of the fun. But other aspects of the game require skill and strategic know-how if you want to “catch ’em all” and become a PokéMaster. When you think about it, the game is actually incredibly similar to the journey through a job search.
For example, when you start looking for new employment you’ll see a lot of job postings to search through. You’ll encounter many Rattatas and Pidgeys, which is good, but after a while you’ll want to aim higher. Your goal is to score your dream job, so you shift your focus to Pikachu, or better yet, a Mewtwo.
Of course you can’t just wake up, step outside and get a Mewtwo — just like your dream job won’t just fall in your lap. You need to prepare and do as much as you can to shift the odds in your favor. For Pokémon Go players, this means visiting a PokéMart to get training supplies. For job hunters, however, this means researching companies of interest, conducting mock interviews and using a great job search engine like LinkUp.
When you find a job that really excites you, it’s time to ready your PokéBall. This is your resume. Remember, updating your resume isn’t enough. You need to tailor it to the job description to ensure you make it past any applicant tracking systems and capture the attention of the recruiter. Providing a compelling cover letter and updating your LinkedIn profile are other important steps that will help you catch your Mewtwo dream job.
Finally, there are PokéGyms. To become the best trainer, you need to claim your turf as a gym leader. Challengers work their way through the gym in order to seize control. It’s a challenge much like a job interview. You will “battle” other candidates for the same job, but there can be only one winner. Depending on your skills and interview performance, it could be you.
You select your Pokémon wisely based on their strengths and weaknesses. Similarly, during an interview you put your best foot forward, tailor your answers to questions based on what you believe will best impress the interviewer. You might provide a few examples of how you overcame adversity or helped boost the bottom line. These types of answers, when paired with enthusiasm, will help you edge out the competition.
Hopefully you get a call back and ultimately earn a job offer. But remember, just like there will always be more Pokémon to catch and more battles to fight, if you don’t get a job right away there will be more opportunities in the future. Who knows — maybe your dream job awaits at the company that makes Pokémon. (Hint: They’re hiring.)