Fast Focus Exercise

What do you do if you want to get a job or internship soon but have no idea what kind you want? And when you look at the different job/internship postings you just feel more confused!

First of all, you are not alone; many students have the same question. 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.  If you'd like a more extensive approach, try out our Know Yourself exercises or speak with a career counselor. 

Step 1: Using Handshake or the job categories on another careers website liked Indeed, 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 Linkedin, indeed or

Step 3: Print out the 4-6 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 online and search the job listings again -- but this time search by the keywords or job titles you've identified. Most likely, you will get a much more targeted list of jobs. This is your starting point! As your search progresses, your objective may narrow or even change...all part of the process.


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