Developing your job search objectives

Developing your Job Search Objectives

Download information on Getting Started

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.