Most job seekers take the “shotgun” approach to their applications – submitting their resumes to any job posting that is remotely relevant to their experience and interests. Sound familiar?
Unfortunately, this often results in great candidates being hired for jobs that initially excite them, but ultimately disappoint. Avoid the 6 month let-down by beginning your job search with clarity.
Don’t know where to start? Check out the 9 easiest ways to find clarity in your job search:
Take some time to yourself and make a list of the following: What do I love doing? What gives me energy? What do people tell me I’m good at? What am I interested in? What are my hobbies?
The longer the lists, the better. Once you’ve gotten some good ideas down, look for any linking themes between the lists you created. Do you love working with people? Planning logistics? Executing on a strategy? Highlight the common actions and activities to create a master list of things that you both excel at and enjoy doing.
2. Personality Profiling
Understanding yourself and how you best work with others is key to finding a role that is a great fit for you. There are several resources online that give great insights into personality and work styles. This is one of my favorites!
3. Ask Your Peers
We spend the majority of our lives with our coworkers, so they are a great resource in providing clarity. Ask them about your strengths and weaknesses to get an outside point of view. Remember, this can include topics outside the context of your current role. If they notice that you’re great at integrating the team and planning group outings, that’s valuable insight that may otherwise go unnoticed!
4. Strengths Finders
Similar to the personality profiles, online strengths finders can be a great tool to use to map your strengths to those listed in potential job descriptions. This is also a great way just to stay in tune with your strengths as they evolve! When you enter a new job, you develop a new set of skills, competencies, and habits that change the way you market yourself with each job search. Here’s a great tool to get you started!
5. Forward-Looking Resume Exercise
Take a look at your resume as it stands right now. First, go through and cross out anything listed that you didn’t enjoy doing. Even if you were successful doing it! Then, highlight the lines that detail activities that you enjoyed at each of your previous role. You’ll be surprised at the results.
Use this to guide your job search as you’re seeking new roles.
6. Ask Your Family and Friends
Who knows you better than your friends and family? Poll those closest to you to see what types of jobs they see you in. You might find that there is an obvious role that you’ve been overlooking! Friends and family are also great resources to highlight your strengths and weaknesses outside the workplace that could potentially translate into a new career.
80% of available jobs are not posted online. That means you need to be out networking to know about them! The added benefit of networking is that through conversations had with potential coworkers and hiring managers, you’ll have greater clarity about the potential job roles going in rather than relying on detail within an online posting.
9. Talk with a Mentor or Coach
Take advantage of talking with someone who’s been there before and can help you sort through the information that you get by going through each of these exercises. An outside perspective is invaluable when seeking clarity and you want to talk with someone you trust.