Career Planning & Job Search Guide: 1993-1994

Article excerpt

There are four key areas to consider as you position yourself for effective career planning and job searching. These include researching and ultimately being able to answer personally the following questions: 1) How do I conduct a personal self-assessment and construct a job-winning resume? 2) How do I prepare for and excel at on campus interviews? 3) How do I excel at on-site interviews and choose the best job offer? and 4) How do I make a successful transition from college to the workplace?

Each part of this guide will help you focus on determining the answers. Planning charts are also provided to assist you. The Annual Planning Chart will help keep you on track as you move through the various stages as you uncover job opportunities: Self-assessment and Career Planning, Career Exploration and Investigation, Gaining Career/Work Experiences and Job Search/Transition to Workplace activities. The Semester Action Steps provide you with strategies to approach each of the four key question areas presented above.

A Snapshot of the Current Job Market

The current economy dictates that African-American students become extremely knowledgeable about the job market. There are many factors affecting today's job market. In addition to projections for a continuing tight job market with intense competition for available positions, you should know that you are about to enter a "world market" where increased technology, innovation, and participative management reign.

Many jobs in the United States have been eliminated or have changed significantly because of foreign competition. Skilled workers are needed to bring expertise and experience to corporations. Companies are also learning how to do more with fewer workers. Because of automation and changes in the way work is processed, a number of steps have been reduced through technology, causing job redesign and reductions. Because of these factors, you may come to realize that your "ideal" job is beyond your immediate reach or that the job for which you trained may be in short supply. Given these realities, we recommend that you approach the job market with a commitment to your search and with the realization that you can achieve your career goals through dedicated and focused attention. Consider the following phases as you approach your personal self-assessment and resume development.

Phase I -- Getting Started. Your Personal Self-Assessment

* Complete a personal inventory and self-assessment. It should focus on:

What's important to you?

What are your abilities?

What are your strengths?

What are your weaknesses?

The more you know about who you are as an individual--your likes, dislikes, ambitions, career goals, strengths, areas needing improvement etc.--the better you will be able to focus on fitting this profile into your ultimate career goals.

* Develop a personal career action plan. This plan should help you to:

* Determine your short- and long-term career goals.

* Target career fields and develop a career objective.

* Identify alternatives career options--Plan B, Plan C, etc.

Assess the type of job you want: ideal and realistic.

What is the job title?

What are the duties and

responsibilities of the position?

Where and what type of company/


What qualifications are required?

What job outlook exists for the


When do you want to start?

What salary level?

What are the advancement


Refine your personal career action plan periodically. Review specific job goals.

* Research companies and review career periodicals.

* Check academic performance and work experience. Review honors, college activities, and extracurricular activities.

* Use your college career planning and placement office. …