Friday, April 8, 2011

Job Search: Is Your Search Too Narrow?

A solid job search strategy includes targeting jobs and companies that interest you; however, if your job search is too narrow you could be limiting your opportunities. You may be purposely selective about the opportunities you’d consider, or you may be unconsciously limiting your search, for example by overlooking some of your skills that could transfer to other jobs or occupations. Either way, if you’re not getting the results you had hoped for, it may make sense to re-evaluate the scope of your job search. Consider the following activities that may help.

  • Research employment growth projections for occupations, industries, and fields that interest you, and stay abreast of news and trends. This can help you target segments that are trending upward. You may even identify a segment, like the green jobs segment, that is in need of specialized expertise you have to offer.
  • Explore companies of all sizes—from large corporations to small start-up companies. For example, if your work experience has always been with big companies, step outside your comfort zone and consider small companies as well. Each has its own set of pros and cons.
  • Take a skills assessment test to identify the occupations that match your skills and would be of interest to you. Check out the occupational overviews in the Career Transitions “Explore Careers” section.
  • If relocation is feasible, think about expanding the geographical boundaries of your job search. This is a particularly good idea if you live in an area with high unemployment rates.

· Broaden your reach to include those within your network, and work diligently to meet new professional contacts. Networking can help you discover job opportunities—specifically those jobs that aren’t posted (often referred to as the “hidden job market”).

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