The one thing you must do before starting your job search
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a job, and scary numbers about youth unemployment pop up on the news every other day. In this atmosphere, you just want a job – any job. That’s what matters, right? Maybe. But not quite.
The one thing you must do before starting your job search and sending out masses of cover letters is to ask yourself this:
What do you want?
- What kind of occupation are you seeking?
- What interests you?
- How do you want to contribute your skills?
- What is your goal?
This is crucial because you never want to be stuck in a job that doesn’t interest you or makes you dread going to work everyday. You can’t give it your all when you don’t want to be there or feel like you don’t belong. Avoid wasting valuable months, or even years, by knowing what you want before you throw yourself in the deep end.
Not only is being stuck terrible for your morale, but it will also inevitably affect the quality of your work. Who wants a bad reference when you finally leave? What would be the point of enduring the job be if it negatively affects the rest of your career? The case for saying yes to any job quickly breaks down.
Maybe you really need a job for financial reasons. But even so, if you know what you want in life, it will be easier to tolerate a less than ideal position if you have the conviction that it’s just another stepping stone towards your dreams. It won’t seem as futile and hopeless as it once did.
Furthermore, knowing what your goals are helps you produce a winning cover letter (hyperlink to cover letter article). It will give you a starting point for writing that fiendishly difficult and rather impossible letter. Talk about how the job fits into your goals and plans, and what you hope to contribute in order to get what you want out of it. This will give your letter much more focus and let your employer know that you are serious about applying.
So what now?
The next question is, who are you? This links directly to what you want. Take some time to really go through and note down all of your characteristics, special skills, expert knowledge, and experience. Find out how your background and knowledge match the requirements of the job.
One way Rise To helps you find the perfect company is by incorporating your values to the matching process. When you fill out your profile, you pick 3 character traits that you feel most accurately describe you i.e. creative, reliable, and optimistic. Each company chooses their top 3 qualities as well, ensuring a superior match based on your shared values.
Rise To also takes into account your soft skills (which the employer can’t view, but is used in the matching). Are you a great leader but perhaps not the most creative? If you order your soft skills to reflect your working style, your opportunity and company matches will be even more tailored to you.