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Emergency Kit – phase 3

One of the bigger obstacles that many of the unemployed currently face (myself included!) is the lack of a specific direction in their job search. When we’ve been out of work for a year, or even just several months, we often have the inclination to respond to the question, “What job are you looking for?” with the answer, “Anything!”

However, the more general our job search is, the more difficult it becomes. If my resume is a random hodge-podge of experience, with no focus on any specific skill set/industry/job, it becomes harder for a potential employer to easily see why I’d be good for their particular job or company. As our Transferable Skills workshop Instructor Anthony Metten told us, “Even if you don’t know your destination, know the direction you want to go.”

There’s a couple of  great quotes from the Toolbox workshop (given by Catherine Thur) I was in last week which I also wanted to include here:

“Hunting for a job is like a sales pitch. You’re selling yourself. You need to figure out what the employer’s needs are and which of those needs you want to fulfill.”

“You need to know twice as much about yourself as the job.”

Being more specific about job search also means that we’ll be more likely to seek out industry-specific web-sites or groups for job leads. (Groups in LinkedIn can be a good way to generate job leads!) Niche and specific company sites often get earlier notification of available jobs, or have jobs posted which never make their way to sites like Monster and CareerBuilder.

After all – who would you rather hire? The person who simply wants ‘a job’? Or the individual that’s sought you out specifically because they want to do YOUR job?

The Instructors in the Emergency Kit workshops had some tips for finding a direction when you’re lacking one:

  • Ask yourself a LOT of questions.
  • If you were a superhero, what would your powers be & what would you do with them?
  • Try taking a Meyers Briggs (Jung-type) test to determine your ‘personality code’. (Holland codes are good as well, but usually cost $$ to take.)
  • Figure out what’s important to you.
  • Choose the skills you want to use on your next job -these are the ones you want your resume to focus on.
  • Find some job titles that appeal to you, and list which of your chosen skills are beneficial to those jobs.
  • Just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean that you enjoy it. Find what you enjoy.
  • Identify some specific companies you’d like to do that sort of job for.

Just be wary of being too title-specific. “Accounts payable clerk” is a title that might have the same duties as an “Accounting specialist,” an “Accountant Level I,” or an “Accounting Manager.”

I’m really eager to move on to interviews…  so I think today is going to be a two-post day! First, some helpful links:

  • Human Metrics has a free Meyers Briggs (Jung-type) test you can take on their site. You can find other versions of this free personality test as well, just do a google search for “Meyers Briggs”
  • Stewart, Cooper & Coon also offers some free tests you can take to help you determine what jobs might be right for you.
  • Onet Center allows you to find jobs based on your skills. (Down near the bottom of the page, under the ‘Advanced Search’ heading, there’s a box labeled ‘skill search’.
  • Labor Market Info, a sub-site of the EDD website, also allows you to find occupations by skills.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. demea warren | February 26, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Good Shit!

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