Many people are out there conducting a job search with little or not direction. They are setting at a computer for a couple of hours a day searching through a variety of job search websites, hoping a job posting will actually be an opportunity. The problem is that this is their only strategy. This is not productive for most people, and for those who do get a response it is probably only 1 in 100 per submitted.
There is a better way, develop a comprehensive strategy. As a part of your strategy the first thing to do is find out what you would really enjoy doing. If you are just looking for a paycheck, then you will have a hard time finding a good fit. But if you are looking for a long-term position, then doing an assessment is essential, especially if you have never done one.
There are many assessments online and you could spend hours trying to find the right one. There are assessments that are free and those that can cost a couple of hundred dollars. The best advice is to find one that gives you an evaluation of you and will help identify job categories or working environments that will be a good fit for you. The Department of Labor has a link to a free Skills Profiler, which will give you some basic information. This assessment is a self-evaluation of your skills and abilities related to a specific job. It will then give you a list of how you match up with the job and also similar jobs.
A great set of assessments is the Myers Briggs and the Strong Interest Inventory, which Morse Transition Consulting can give and review with you. This assessment has to be given by a certified provider and is fee based. When these two assessments are combined, they help align your interest and personal preferences to help you find a more rewarding career. They can answer a variety of career development questions for you and help you get on a great track.
Once you have completed an assessment you can develop a job search strategy that will work for you. You can now pin point the types of jobs you should be searching for, as well as the different working environments that will best meet your personality and interests. By putting these together in your job search you can better target companies.
When you have targeted companies or positions, you would next do research on those companies to find out who would be contact person. Next you develop a cover letter and resume that demonstrate your specific skills and abilities for those positions, or one that demonstrates transferable skills and abilities that indicate how you would be a good candidate for the positions.
The next part in your strategy is to develop a specific plan for activities. Your strategic plan should include the following: how many hours a day will you spend at a computer doing research; how many hours a day will you spend in following up on the jobs you have applied to or contacting people in your network; how many hours will you spend involved in online networking activities, such as LinkedIn; how many hours a week will you spend talking to a few essential recruiters in your field; how many times a week will you spend in your community attending networking events or volunteering in community activities that share your interests.
All of these are essential parts of your job search. Spending hours online just submitting a resume over and over again may, over many months, get you a job, but with time and effort developing a strategy, that includes assessment, you are more likely to find a career with an organization that will be a great fit and be professional fulfilling.