Developing Your Job Search Objectives
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Assessment of Interests, Skills and Abilities
Before the job search begins, take time to assess your interests, skills and abilities. Some questions to ask:
- What are my work-related interests, skills and abilities?
- What have I learned from my academic, volunteer and/or job experiences?
- Do I want to live locally, nationally or internationally?
- How do I envision my lifestyle for the next five to ten years?
Although the self-exploration process can take quite a bit of time, you will find it useful in determining your occupational and career goals. As a result, the likelihood of your satisfaction with your career choices will be higher and your career objectives will become more focused.
- Research industries of interest. Learn who they are and how they hire so you can focus your search effectively.
- Look past the job title—examine the key responsibilities of the position.
- Consider expanding geographic preferences and/or career interest areas.
- If you are unsure of your interests and how these relate to the world of work, you might consider career assessment options through the Career Services Office.
- Schedule job search related tasks weekly.
- Create a log to track your progress: record applications, interviews and follow-up dates.
- Set goals to remain motivated.
- Research employers. Know what the employers are seeking in candidates.
- Ensure your cover letter and résumé highlight relevant skills and experiences.
- Use multiple search resources. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- Some resources include:
- Job postings through IUSBCareers
- Web sites of potential employers
- Online classifieds
- Internship/volunteer opportunities
- Staffing agencies
- Network with professionals in your field(s) of interest. This is an effective tool in any job search and key to identifying positions in the hidden job market.
- Tap your personal network of friends, family, neighbors, friend’s parents, past supervisors, professors, co-workers.
- Conduct informational interviews of professionals in your field(s) of interest.
- Join professional organizations.
- Stay in contact with your Alumni Office.
- Attend job fairs, employer presentations, and discipline specific conferences/conventions.
- Re-evaluate and enhance job search strategies on a regular basis.
- Follow-up immediately after making contact with a potential employer with thank you letters or emails.
- Show enthusiasm, initiative and motivation.