What Are Some Goals I Should Set for Getting a Job?

by Ralph Heibutzki

People spend most of their lives at work, so it's essential that your career choices reflect your true abilities, interests and passions. Otherwise, you'll struggle to feel fulfilled. An employer also wants to hire someone who's interested in the job that he's worked so hard to land. For applicants, that outcome is more likely to occur if you align a potential opening with your own goals, values and personality.

Define Your Dream Job

Before launching any search, consider the qualities that define your dream job. Relevant factors include the size and type of employer, how far you'll commute, and if you believe in the company's product or service, consultant Mary Jeanne Vincent advises in a January 2013 "Monterey County Herald" column. You can then weigh subtler factors, such as whether you enjoy a changing environment, or prefer a set routine. Careful consideration of these issues is more likely to result in a job that fulfills you.

Grow Your Network

Most hiring is based on referrals, but without a network of relevant contacts, it's tough to capitalize. However, many applicants don't understand how to network properly, consultant Ramit Sethi asserts, in an interview for "Forbes" magazine's March 2012 issue. Instead of randomly passing out business cards, you should contact employees who work for the company you want to join, Sethi suggests. Once you research each person online, you should send an email, which is the first step in building the relationships -- and networks -- that can expedite a job search.

Set Realistic Goals

Success is harder to achieve without realistic, specific and measurable goals. In setting goals, you must consider your values, as well as the personal resources and abilities needed to achieve them. From a job seeker's perspective, it's good to write goals down, with a starting and ending date. That way, you're more likely to stay committed to making your goals happen. Flexibility is another important part of the equation, since you need alternative options if your original plan doesn't work out.

Show Why You're a Good Fit

With numerous candidates vying for openings, an employer is mainly concerned whether your hiring will benefit the company. According to Sethi, it's critical to show that your skills amount to a good return on investment. If you're called for an interview, you should bring documents, result printouts and other supporting materials that make your case. Smart candidates research the company's needs in advance -- which can tilt the odds in your favor, even if you have little direct experience.

Tailor Your Resume

Employers don't have time to painstakingly review every resume that they receive. As a general rule, any resume should include at least three specific examples of how you contributed to a previous organization's success, according to the Illinois Jobs Network. Otherwise, you'll need to highlight other outstanding qualities, such as measures you undertook to improve efficiency or increase sales. The more of these examples that you provide, the more likely an employer will call you for an interview.

About the Author

Ralph Heibutzki's articles have appeared in the "All Music Guide," "Goldmine," "Guitar Player" and "Vintage Guitar." He is also the author of "Unfinished Business: The Life & Times Of Danny Gatton," and holds a journalism degree from Michigan State University.

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