Archive for the ‘keywords and looking for a job’ Tag

The Key to the Job Hunt: Keywords

One of the few rules of unemployment is that I have to perform “five job searches” a week.  These job searches include searching online, submitting a resume, attending a job fair, using a Workforce center or attending job skills training. It sure doesn’t sound like it should be hard to hit that five very quickly. Heck, if you don’t clear your cookies you can perform a search in about five seconds on some sites.

Since I am hyperobedient, I have a stack of these sheets dating back to day one of unemployment. The entries, however, only include job training, resume submissions, and job interviews. If I included all the job searches I have done in the past month and a half, some paper company in the Midwest would own all my unemployment money. Not a bad thing for them, bad thing for me!

Part of the reason why I am only including job training, resume submissions, and job interviews is because of keyword searches. Keywords are so important to my job search. Knowing what I want to do – outreach, social service, preventative services, non-profit work, communications – is so key in finding the good jobs.   Without knowing exactly what I am looking for the job hunt would be really hard. Well, the job hunt still is hard, but nonetheless, it’s not as hard knowing where to find the jobs I want now that I know how to narrow them down.

But, how do you narrow down those key words? Let’s start with your current/previous positions. What type of skills do you have (transferable or otherwise). For example:

  1. Microsoft Office
  2. Bilingual
  3. Case Management Skills
  4. Database Management
  5. Training Skills
  6. Management Skills

Etc….

What experiences do you have that go along with these experiences?  For example:

  1. Networking with community based organizations
  2. Press Conference Organization
  3. Creating national database systems

Etc….

Now…go to Google, Hotjobs, Careerbuilder, your job search site of your choice and find your dream job. It could be a job that you fit the qualifications for or a job that you want in the future. For example…a job I’ve applied for is an Outreach Caseworker the job description is below:

Complete in-home assessments and determine eligibility of clients for homebound program. Qualifications: BA or BS degree in Social Work or related field. Professional experience working with the elderly preferred. Must have good time management skills and excellent verbal and written communication skills. Computer skills required. Must have reliable transportation with required insurance. Bilingual (Spanish/English) preferred. Respond by e-mail or fax resume.

We need to peel the layers apart of this job.

  1. The job:

Complete in-home assessments and determine eligibility of clients for homebound program.

  1. The Qualifications (education):

BA or BS degree in Social Work or related field. Professional experience working with the elderly preferred

  1. The Requirements (job wise):

Must have good time management skills and excellent verbal and written communication skills. Computer skills required. Must have reliable transportation with required insurance. Bilingual (Spanish/English) preferred

Now that this is all broken down, we can search for a job like this (of course, if we don’t get this job!). Check out the education requirements – social work. Much like a thesaurus we need to change the wording around. Organizations use different lingo, some like “social workers” other like “social service” others like “psychologists.” So, if you are looking for something based solely on your education, change it up every once in a while. I’ve come to search for “social services” as opposed to “psychology” because “psychology” is much for of an upper division or Masters level requirement, which I don’t have.  And what about the requirements? Computer skills? Search for that! Bilingual? Search for that! Search for them all, social services, computer skills, bilingual and you will find very specific jobs.

But, if you aren’t finding anything with those specifics, then you’ll need to widen things up again. It’s like trying to shoot a basketball from center court at the buzzer and hoping it’ll go in. Most of the time it won’t work, but on some rare occasions, it will. So, give it a try! Be specific. And, if it doesn’t work, move in a bit, say the three point line. And even further if that doesn’t work. Try the free throw line.

The key here is…the keywords. Once you know the keywords you’ll be able to search endlessly. And even when you have the “perfect” job months later you’ll be able to help your friends by narrowing down your skills and experiences, finding a job that includes these skills and experiences and then looking for jobs that include these jobs and experiences. Yah us!

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