To conduct an effective job search it is important to have a clear understanding of what you want to do and where you want to do this. By now you should have conducted some self-assessment activities and listed your interest. Now, it is time to start exploring in more detail what these interests are. You need to begin to understand trends, challenges, hiring needs and "buzz words" for you chosen industry, function, and companies to evaluate how your skills and experiences match, how you can get a competitive edge, and what constitutes a right fit for you.
Remember, your interest can always change. If you find that you are no longer interested in the industries, functions or companies you listed, just start again.
- Research Industries
When conducting research on industries you want to understand what is going on in the industry.
- What are the trends and challenges in that industry?
- What is current in the news regarding each of the industries you selected?
Understanding the industry will help you know if there is a demand for your skills and experience and/or how you can present yourself as an effective candidate. You will also be able to understand if there is room for growth in that industry and what your career path might look like. In addition, it will help you to identify who are the leaders in the industry, which will help you start identifying possible target companies. You might also uncover information—like norms, culture, and general public perceptions—that might encourage (or discourage) your interest in the industry.
- Research Functions
Once you have an understanding of you target industries you need to identify and review functional areas of interest within your target industries.
Research titles within a functional area using job postings. Evaluate the titles and language used to decide if that is what you want to do and what is typical of a role within that function. Compare your interests and skill sets. Ask yourself some key questions:
- What titles are commonly used to represent the type of work I want to do?
- Is it realistic that I start at this level?
- How can I leverage my background and experience? What value do I offer?
- Do I need to know more about this? If so, how will I gain the skills/knowledge?
- Research Companies
Once you have a solid understanding of your target industry and function you need to develop a list of target companies. We strongly suggest that you list at least 40-50 target companies. The list you create will serve as:
- A guide to conduct further research into key organizations of interest.
- A map for identifying specific job openings in these organizations.
- A foundation for your networking activities.
Go to Career Connect
and visit the Career Resources Library
to get access to worksheets, videos, guides and more.