Your Most Important Job Search Homework
By Meaghan Marshall, Oct 13 2013 01:43AM
If you are about to begin your job search or have been searching without success it’s time to do some homework.
Your homework isn’t researching companies, networking or writing your resume. All this is important but the most important is to do extensive homework on yourself.
The outcome should be a better understanding of who you are, what you have to offer, and what kind of work matches this.
Why is knowing yourself important and how does it help your job search?
• You get to know yourself for the skills, qualities, abilities and experiences you have and not just a job title. By thinking of yourself in terms of skills and experiences you open yourself to alternatives, different opportunities and are not constrained by looking for a specific job title.
• You can develop a precise goal. Knowing precisely what you are looking for you can focus your efforts and it also allows you to provide a clear description to your network of what you are looking for.
• By first doing your homework and reflecting on your skills, qualities and strengths, you start your job search better equipped to accurately describe yourself in your resume and at interview. You will be in an improved position to sell yourself to employers knowing exactly what is unique about you and what you have to offer.
How do you get to know yourself?
You can approach your homework in a variety of different ways. You have the option to do this yourself or enlist the help of a career consultant. A career consultant or career coach can guide you through discussion, exercises or tests to assist you improve your self-understanding, identify options and then approach your job search.
There also a variety of excellent career books that can guide you through the process. Along with an abundance of resources online.
Here are some resources and helpful links to get you started:
An exercise designed to increase your self-understanding and help you to identifying work preferences and priorities.
An exercise designed to get you thinking about how you define career success.
Myfuture is Australia's career information and exploration service.
Mind tools has an abundance of advice, tools and self-administered tests that can help you identify about your strengths, skills, work preferences and career options.
What Color is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers By Richard Nelson Bolles
Richard Nelson Bolles is a leader in the career development field. Updated yearly this title provides practical advice for those making a career change or job searching. Using this book you will explore your unique gifts, skills, and interests and gain valuable knowledge on resumes, networking and interviewing.