Defining Where Your Search Is Headed

16.01.2018 |

Episode #1 of the course Conducting an effective job search by Denise C. Allen


Hello and welcome to this course, “Conducting an Effective Job Search.”

My name is Denise, and I’ll use my experience from working in human resources, conducting research, and searching for jobs to provide information to support an active, effective job search. The course material applies to most people in business, service, medical, government, and education jobs. The topics will cover job-hunting steps from the planning stage up to the time you accept an offer and beyond. Let’s get started on setting goals!


What’s Your Type?

Do you have a clear understanding of what type of job you are seeking? Do you want only one type of job? Either way, it’s difficult to search for a job without taking a serious inventory of your skills and interests. The internet has an array of assessments that you can take: Some are free, while others have fees—for example, the free Big Five assessment for personality traits and the $90 MAPP test career-matching tool. For a simpler approach, you may simply ask yourself:

What am I good at doing?

You have skills and abilities that help determine what your future performance in certain roles would be. Examine both your hard skills, such as the ability to edit documents or develop a software program, and soft skills, including your ability to communicate or handle conflicts, for a complete picture of yourself.

What am I qualified to do?

Qualifications generally refer to your educational degrees or certifications, along with past experience. Related paid experience helps the most, but you can consider volunteer experiences as well.

What do I enjoy doing?

Even though you may have the skills and qualifications for a particular type of position, if you don’t enjoy the work, you may not be motivated to succeed. In the long term, look for a match between what you want to do and what you can do.

Does this job match my skills and interests?

Take a hard look at the jobs that pique your interest. Are you a disorganized person who prefers to work independently and are applying to become an administrative assistant? Your skills might not match the job. Have you been an excellent organization treasurer with accurate and appropriate skills in handling money? If you answer “yes,” that bank teller job might be calling your name.


Where in the World Is Your Job?

Next in the search come some issues of practicality. One critical factor in a job hunt is the geographical location of your search. People sometimes relocate for work due to professional or personal reasons. More often, job seekers are looking for positions in or near their current residences or within a reasonable driving distance from home. Two critical questions that get to the heart of the matter:

• Do you have a specific city or region for your job search?

• Are the job types you’ve targeted available in that area?

Let’s say you want to teach at a university in your chosen field. If you live in a town that holds no universities, you’ll need to be flexible about commuting or relocating. Be realistic about your job search location options.


What Are You Worth?

When you are job hunting, determine a range of income that you expect to make. A new high school graduate who wants to work part time may accept a minimum-wage position. People who are raising families with many financial needs require much more income. Offered pay ranges will vary depending on the job type and level of position, as well as where it’s geographically located. Consider your requirements before beginning to apply.

When you have considered your skills, qualifications, interests, geographical location, and salary needs, write a goal that describes each of these areas. An example might be:

“I’m seeking a position as a human resources representative in the Dallas, Texas, area with an expected annual income of $45,000-60,000.”

This goal defines your search. Review it and revise it as needed. Your goal will help you accomplish the next step in your job search, preparation, which will be covered in Lesson 2.


Recommended reading

10 Awesome Free Career Self-Assessment Tools on the Internet


Recommended book

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2018: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles


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