One of the toughest parts about looking for work is figuring out what jobs to apply to. Particularly, if you are interested in a career change, as many cancer patients and survivors are, you may need help figuring out what career path may be the best fit. One approach is to inventory the skills you already possess and then look for jobs that match your skill-set.
In an article on Flexjobs.com, career coaches weigh in on how to find jobs that match skills you have already developed:
Inventory your skills
Take an assessment of your skills. This can help determine what skills you have to see what jobs match those skills, build confidence during the process and generate keywords for your resume and cover letter. CareerOneStop's Skill Matcher is a good place to start.
Ask a supervisor, coworker, someone who knows you professionally or even from a volunteer role what they think your top three strengths are. Sometimes we don't see ourselves in the same light others see us.
Ask your personal network
Ask friends, family, and other trusted individuals what they think your top skills are. Their answers could be different than the skills identified by former colleagues and could help you think about jobs you may not have considered.
Identify transferable skills
Think about what transferable skills you have, not just your hard skills. These are skills that can help you move from one job to the next, no matter what the job is, such as leadership, problem solving, attention to detail, analytical thinking, etc. Use tools like JobScan Career Change Tool, where you can upload your resume to see which jobs are best matches based on your current resume; or LinkedIn Career Explorer Tool to see see how your skills match to real job titles.
Ask for informational interviews
After you identify what jobs might match your skills, make sure to network! Ask people you know if they have connections with anyone in that industry, or use LinkedIn to identify 2nd-degree connections, and reach out for informational interviews.
Search by skill, not job title
Instead of searching for jobs by title, search by the skills you identified. This will populate results that include those skills in the posting and it may broaden your search to jobs you hadn't thought about with the skill-set you possess.
Try out some jobs
Test your skills and see if a job is right for you by taking a part-time or temporary role. This can help you explore potential full-time job opportunities while gaining experience, seeing what you do and/or don't like, building your current skills and possibly new ones as well. However, you will want to be mindful that your resume doesn't look like you are jumping from job-to-job as many employers want to invest in training an employee who will be with the company long-term.
The great news is, you already have tons of skills you may even be unaware of but by taking the steps above can identify what they are and use them to your advantage. And, don't forget: you can always learn new skills. To learn more on inventorying your current skills and building new skills, view our archived webinar, Enhancing Your Skills: Prepping for Success.
You may also be interested in submitting your resume to our Resume Review Service for personalized feedback from a professional career coach.