Job hunting is hard, there’s no doubt about it. It can be especially hard if you receive few or no responses to your applications. Unfortunately, as much as you may want to blame the market, you can’t change it, so take control of the situation. This is the market we live in, and if you want to find your dream job, you need to do as the market demands.
A self-assessment, although often overlooked, can be what your job search is missing. How do you know if you are looking for the right position, targeting the right companies, or aligning your resume correctly if you don’t know what you want? A self-assessment will take some time and effort, but it’s worth it. A self-assessment gives you deeper insight into what you truly want in a job and what kinds of positions you’ll flourish in. The Serious Job Seeker sums it up nicely, and has some assessments to help you get started, “Self-assessment will help you put together your resume. It will help you list your skills and abilities on job applications. It will help you navigate the interview. When you get to the interview, you don’t want to just make up the answers, when they ask you about yourself, you want to be totally prepared to tell them who you are.” Anytime could be a good time to reflect and conduct a self-assessment, but it is extremely helpful when you are searching for a new job. It could be as simple as reflecting on some questions about your personality and values and jotting down answers, or it could go much deeper if you have a career coach helping you through it. If you choose the simpler route there are somethings you don’t want to skip over such as your values, your interests and passions, and your favorite skills.
Another way to look at a self-assessment or self-exploration is it’s a way to market yourself. It helps you let hiring managers and recruiters know what you have to offer. Critically look at your experience and skills as they relate to the positions you apply for. Are you a direct match? If so, does your resume reflect this or is the “perfect match” only in your mind? The job market is recovering and hiring authorities want top-performers. Can you market yourself as a top-performer? Self-reflection is a great first step but I encourage you to find a friend, family member or mentor who you can honestly engage to learn about your deficiencies.
As a final note, take a day or two to consider the information you gather from those closest to you and your job search assessment. Compare and contrast to your prior job search tactics and refine as necessary.
Your job is a big aspect of your life, finding one that makes you happy is of utmost importance, they key to finding that position, knowing yourself.