"Fast Focus" Job Objective Exercise

What do you do if you need to get a job soon but have no idea what kind of job you want? And when you look at the job search sites you just feel more confused!

First of all, you are not alone. Many students don’t know what kind of job to seek at first. To help you start honing in on an objective, try this brief exercise.  It will help you identify one or more options that may be viable short-term goals, if not long-term careers.
 

Step 1: Using Handshake or the job categories in Craigslist, browse listings for which you are qualified.  Look at a few different job categories, functions or industries.   

Step 2: Disregarding the job titles, review each job listing and identify elements of the job that you find appealing - whether it be the responsibilities, work environment, or product or service. HINT: If you don’t find anything you like, try another job board such as Craigslist, indeed or idealist.org.

Step 3: Print out the 7-10 job listings you like the best. Read through each one and highlight words in the job title, description, or qualifications that appeal to you.

Step 4: Look over the job listings you've marked up and notice whether there are patterns. For example, do you see skills ("organize", "research," "advise") or other terms ("pharmaceuticals," "grants," "classes") frequently highlighted? These are clues to the kinds of jobs you should look for.

Step 5: Now go back to Handshake or Craigslist, etc. and search the job listings again but this time search by the keywords or job titles you've identified. Most likely, this will give you a much more targeted list of jobs. As your search progresses, your objective may narrow or even change, but for now you have a starting point.

 

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