The objective of this 8-part series is to provide you with some key steps that you can take to help you create and establish your profile as a professional in your field and start your career by finding a job. Over the next 8 weeks, I will be sharing tips on various career-building topics ranging from creating a strong cover letter, resume and LinkedIn profile, to navigating job searches, preparing for and following up an interview, building professional social media accounts, networking and building engagement in your industry.
Personal assessment is an important first step you need to take before you even begin writing your resume. This is the time to consider which career path you would like to take within your designated field. It also gives you a better idea of the types of workplace environments that might suit you.
Let’s get started!
Clear your mind and reflect on what area of study, within your college program, you enjoyed most or in which you performed best. If this can be narrowed down to a specific course, what was the focus of that course? If you worked with an industry partner while studying, what did you do that brought you the most satisfaction?
After you have done this, also ask yourself which courses, if any, you had some difficulty with and why? Answering this question will allow you to identify any weaknesses within your acquired skill set and reflect on how to improve upon them.
I want you to begin brainstorming your skill set and reflect on times you were recognized for your achievements, values, and interests.
There are two kinds of skill sets: hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills are knowledge and expertise you have gained through your education and any additional forms of technical training. These skills are measurable.
Soft skills are skills that you have gained through life experience, such as the way in which you communicate; your interpersonal skills. These skills are often transferable to many different careers.
What awards or special recognition have you received?
Why were those awards given to you?
How did your hard and soft skills help you to achieve this recognition?
Values are important to your career because they help describe the type of person you are. They can be a key indicator of behaviour and how you might respond to different situations in the workplace. For example, if you value trust, you are likely someone that would be able to keep information confidential.
Describe your character. What type of personality do you have?
What are your values?
Are you a “people person”?
What type of attitude do you have? For example, do you typically look at things in a positive way, a negative way etc? Are you typically an optimist or a pessimist?
How do you react in stressful or challenging situations?
Interests are made up of anything and everything you enjoy doing or want to learn about. Interests can be broad, such as having a general interest in reading or music, or they can be more developed hobbies such as knitting or painting. Identifying what your interests are also has the added benefit of helping you figure out what you are not interested in. Narrowing down your interests will help you decide what to focus on and develop going forward.
Your task is to review the questions above and answer them. Having a better understanding of who you are and what you enjoy are crucial to your job search.
Join me next week when I will be posting Series One: Resume Tips.
Until then, take care.