Before you make that first job search call or send out resumes, complete these four pre-search steps. By following these steps, you will gain valuable insight and increase your confidence in making career-related decisions now and in the future. And you will be ready when someone asks you “what do you want to do?”, “why are leaving your current position?” or “send me your resume.”
Step 1: Assess and Research
- Conduct a Self-Assessment of your interests, values, knowledge, skills, and attributes.
- Gather information on possible career options, including key skills and expectations for specific functional areas and industries. Access the Walker Management Library resources such as the Vault career guides and First Research’s industry information. Also, look at a job posting aggregator such as www.indeed.com for job descriptions, qualifications, and requirements.
- Utilize the Owen alumni network to learn more about careers, functional areas, and industries. Connect through VUConnect or use the LinkedIn alumni feature.
Step 2: Discover and Evaluate Options
- Evaluate options in light of self-assessment and industry/market information.
- Develop a focus based on your preference for Function, Industry & Geography.
- Perform a gap analysis based on what you have to offer now and what employers seek for your career focus; establish priorities and set goals to address your gaps.
Step 3: Plan and Communicate
- Create your Talking Points and Personal Brand so that all pieces of your communications strategy (resume, LinkedIn profile, transition and accomplishment stories) are ready for the market.
Step 4: Keep Detailed Records
- Select and implement a method for detailing your job search activities, contacts, referrals, and applications.