Developing your job search objectives

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.

Explore

  • 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.

Organize

  • 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.

Prepare

  • 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

Connect/Network

  • 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.

Persist

  • 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.