Job Search Tip: Know your career goals!

October 9th, 2012 | Articles, Interviewing, Job Search, Resume | No Comments »

It sounds obvious but your career goals are inextricably tied to your job search. They directly affect your choices and without them, you may find yourself adrift without a compass to orient your journey. So, how do your career goals affect your job search?

No. 1: Concrete career goals can build your resume

Your career goals can help you fulfill all those prerequisites that may be keeping a more satisfying career at arm’s length. By looking at your short term goals, you can make yourself a more attractive employee. You can pursue certifications on your personal time (even on the company dime if they provide tuition reimbursement). You can volunteer at non profits, using your skills to meet stepping stone goals. You can even take on additional projects at work, expanding your professional repertoire in new & exciting ways. With career direction, you can tell a more focused story of who you are and better attract the attention of a company that will make you happy.

No. 2: Concrete career goals can streamline your job search

For those without a target down the line, job searches can rely upon trial and error. When reaching for new job opportunities, the whole application process may regress to a scattershot approach: firing at as many positions as you can in the hopes of hitting home with a place you can stand to work. When you have your goals lined up, the whole process is less random and exhausting. You look at opportunities that suit you and then tailor your resume with all the requisite skills you’ve worked to obtain. You can eliminate jobs that don’t fit your goals or place you on the wrong track. Overall, the whole process is less uncertain and the responses are better because you fit the mold as the ideal candidate.

No. 3: Concrete career goals can strengthen your interview responses

When you know that a job you are interviewing for fits your career goals, much of the uncertainty about the position fades away. You confidently respond to questions, knowing that your skills and experiences will almost speak for themselves. When asked about your career goals, you can confidently discuss them and explain how your passion will change the course of business for your future employer. Using what you’ve achieved through your goals, you can create a sharp picture of value and allow your interviewer to easily make the decision to offer you a job!

Defined career goals are essential to anyone looking to succeed in the job market. They set you on the appropriate course, guide you to jobs that suit your personality & dreams, and dictate your success during the interview process. Now you may be asking yourself, how do I best set out my career goals? Click here to find out.

by James Walsh

Image available from jayneandd via flickr