Heather R. Huhman, Contributor
Searching for a job is an arduous task…even when you know exactly what you’re looking for. And what about when you don’t? Perhaps you’re changing careers, or maybe you’re just starting out. Whatever the case, it can be difficult to find your next job when you’re not even sure what you’re looking for.
Figuring out what you want to do
To start, make a list of potential jobs and career paths that interest you. These may be directly related to your college degree (if you have one), or they may not. Then, start researching each field through online searches, consulting your network, and scheduling informational interviews or job shadows.
Experience is also an important factor of discovering your next job. Realize that you may need to try different jobs out before deciding on sticking with that particular career path. Internships, freelance work, and temp jobs are all great opportunities for test driving a career path and finding out exactly what you like (or dislike) about the position.
Consider past experience as well. What did you like about your past jobs? For example, if you were a cashier at a local supermarket, you may have found that customer service isn’t your forte, but there may have been other aspects of the job that you did enjoy.
Searching for your next job
Aside from identifying your ideal position, there may be other challenges in finding your ideal job. Many companies are now getting more creative with job titles to make their openings stand out on job boards and to convey more about the job — for instance, receptionist becomes “First Impressions Officer”. But unless you know you already want to work for that particular organization, how will you ultimately find these opportunities?
Mona Abdel-Halim, co-founder at Careerimp, the makers of Resunate, points out that the list of available jobs generated by existing job search engines “primitive”. “Job seekers are able to put in the position and location they are interested in, but it doesn’t really provide them with a list of the most relevant jobs. In addition to making certain opportunities more difficult to find, candidates may not know exactly what they are best suited for — for instance, a Project Manager at a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company requires many different skills from a Project Manager at a VC-backed tech startup.”
Finding the right fit
A job search tool that launched yesterday can help you discover positions that are a good fit for you. ApplyApp.ly, created by Careerimp, uses your experience to tailor job search results to show the positions for which you’re best suited. It analyzes information provided by you, such as your LinkedIn profile or resume, and semantically compares it against job descriptions sourced from job boards and directly posted by employers and then provides personalized job matches. Additionally, it also assesses positions based on your Myers-Briggs® personality type, which helps to determine if you will be satisfied in the position. Not only does this lead to a more diverse pool and better ranking of opportunities, but it also helps you optimize your efforts when applying for a new position.
Once you’ve found a position of interest on ApplyApp.ly, you can then use Careerimp’s other service, Resunate, to convert your qualifications into a resume and receive objective feedback to improve your resume for the job before applying to it. ApplyApp.ly currently has job postings from the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Pittsburgh but will be expanding soon.
Did you struggle figuring out what you wanted to do in your career? What advice do you have for others in similar positions?