Career Confusion: Take a Career Quiz!

  • Can't stand your current job, but feel stuck?
  • Are you overwhelmed with job-search buzz words?
  • Learn the top 25 activities of succesful job seekers!
Take heart, the lack of call backs and interviews may have nothing to do with your education or experience. It could be that you are simply using old, outdated or inefficient job search techniques. It is not your fault.
Most people wouldn't hesitate to hire a personal traininer to learn fitness routines or join a weight loss group for skills and support. However, many people are baffled about what a career coach does and are struggling to job search in 2011! Of note: if you haven't looked for a job in the last year, you will be shocked at how much it has changed. What worked for you in the mid-2000's may not be enough to get noticed today. In particular, strategy and technology have completely changed.

Below is a list of the top 25 services and/or topics which clients request.' You can also consider this as a simple skill list and/or rough outline of what every job seeker needs to do. This is a skeletal list. Similarly to how the frame on a house is not a house, it simply creates the foundation. The list below is the foundation for a modern job search, but each term requires a level of knowledge, self awareness and skill. The good news is that even an average job-seeker can break ahead of the pack and become a great job seeker with the right education and career coaching.

To do the quiz below, consider the following questions: do I know what the term means? can I execute the skills required? How confident am I about my ability to perform the skill compared to the competition?

Rate yourself from 1-5

1 What does this mean?  2 Vaguely Familiar 3 Can Define it, 4 Can do this task well, 5 Excellent Skills
  1. Leads List
  2. Cold Calls
  3. Intercultural Compency and International IQ
  4. Social Media Job-Search
  5. Networking (live and online)
  6. Job-task analysis
  7. Global Executives 
  8. Behavioral Interviews
  9. SWOT Analysis
  10. Career Fit
  11. Career Risk
  12. Verbal Business Card
  13. Industry & Job Function (in a career context)
  14. Professional Reputation
  15. Career Values, Vision and Competencies
  16. Personal Branding 
  17. Positioning Statement
  18. Career Action Plan
  19. Interview Performance,
  20. Mock Interviews & Informational Interviews
  21. Professional Papertools: Cover Letters, Reference Sheets, Resumes
  22. Salary Negotiations
  23. Career Fair Evaluation Scale
  24. Retained vs Contingency Recruiters
  25. Career Transition Plan
If you rated your self 4 or higher on 20 of the items - you are already a great job seeker who has kept up to date on the latest methods and technologies. Chances are that you already have a detailed, career action. plan. (Of note: even if we are skilled, it is often difficult to be objective about ourselves. I have hired my own career coaches several times - to help me identify my blind spots, fill me in on the local labor market or to target a niche industry. So, even coaches can benefit from coaches)

If you rated your self 4 or higher on 15 of the items - you are have some solid skills. However, you also have many gaps in your job search knowledge. About half the time, your competition may win out and score the interview which should rightly be yours. Short-term coaching can help. Let a potential coach know exactly what your weak spots are.

If you scored lower than this on the majority of key skills, I'd recommend you make use of a coach. Additionally,  seek out and attend career workshops, job-clubs, read about the new subject areas, role-play scenarios with people who are more experienced in job search. You will frequently lose out on positions, which you are actually qualified for - due to weaker job-search skills. You may not know how to dig up the best job leads, which are often "hidden from the general public."

If you are like most job seekers, you've never had formal education in any aspect of job search. You have just struggled through it. So, don't feel discouraged if many of the key-terms are foreign to you and/or you are not sure how they relate to job search. I'd encourage you to explore the terms, and speak to a career coach. For many coaches, the initial consult is complementary.

Keep me posted about your job-search progress and your success stories!
Author: © 2012 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon B. Cohen, MA,CPRP, NCDA. Virtual Career Counselor and Career Transition Specialist.

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