How To Research Careers
Follow the techniques below to make the most of your job search and work experience.
Perhaps you do not know what exact type of job you want, but you are certain about what field you would like to work in. For example, you know that you have an interest and background in environmental issues.
Spend some time looking at what options there are in that field. You can use O*NET Online to find specific occupations and other jobs related to it. Review job listings for ideas about what is available and who hires entry-level employees.
If you know what type of job you want, you need to find out what organizations typically hire those positions. What sorts of employers need people to do this job?
Spend some time reviewing job listings for ideas about possible job titles since different organizations may use multiple titles to describe the same job.
Search online listings by job type and/or keywords.
Your job search may be influenced by an interest with a specific type of employers such as nonprofits, government agencies or educational institutions. Within these sectors, you may find a more specific interest such as a nonprofit working with low-income housing issues. Once you identify sectors of employers you are interested in, develop a list of potential employers.
Know about an employer before you approach them in your job search.
Once you know which specific employers you would like to research, go online to see if they have a website. Look at how the organization describes itself; scan the career opportunities section of the site, scan staff biographies and job titles, review annual reports if available. An annual report contains information on the organization’s finances, products, and services, operations and growth or decline trends.
You can also contact the organization for any printed literature they might have.
To get a balanced perspective, also find out what other people have to say about the organization. Search newspapers and journals for articles referencing the organization. Talk with personal contacts, such as a current or former employee, or a knowledgeable professional in the field. A few hours of research can help you find the job of your dreams and avoid a nightmare position.
Talking to people who are involved in the type of work you are considering is an invaluable tool for making informed career decisions. Reach out to alumni and other working professionals. Attend the Career Development
Office’s “Careers In” panels and events like the Professional Networking Career Conference to get advice on a wide variety of career fields.
Gaining experience and exposure can tell you much about what your compatibility with a job or career field. You can take on a volunteer position, work during the summer, or find an internship, to help you learn more about career options as well as enhance your marketability to employers.
Make an appointment to talk to one of our career advisors. We can help you sort through your options and gather more information.
Think about what you have learned through your self-assessment, career research, and experiences. What do you now know about what careers appeal to you and what you are looking for from a career path. Begin evaluating the pros and cons of your options and start taking action.