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Job Search Tip: Define Your Goals

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Photo by deanmeyersnet

Job hunting, especially if you really need a job right away, is  stressful. One mistake that’s easy to make is to rush in (especially if you are desperate) and end up in a disappointing situation. To  avoid that, it’s a good idea to take a moment (and a few deep breaths) and define your goals before job hunting.

How do you do that? It starts with identifying and specifying your goals.

Putting Goals in the Driver’s Seat

First, try getting into the goal mindset. It’s been said that your goals should direct your job search, not the other way around. Sometimes, we take what we can get and then find ourselves building up a career we never really wanted and may not be qualified for ultimately. So put your goals in the driver’s seat and let them steer your job search.

Proactive, Not Reactive

Another component of the goal-setting mindset is to be proactive. If you wait for an employer to advertise his or her need for help, you may be waiting a while. Some sources suggest that the majority of job openings are not ever advertised to the public.

So a proactive approach is to search out the company or employer for whom you want to work rather than waiting for them to search for you. Get your mind in a proactive stance and get ready to search for employers that fit your criteria and will help you further your career goals, and contact them.

Now that you have the proper mindset, let’s look at some specific goals to help you on your way.

What Are Your Skills?

Take an honest look at your skills. Let this be an exercise that is not influenced by what you think an employer would want; you’re not filling out an application or writing a resume yet. This is intended for you to really see what you’re good at – write down anything you are able to do, from childcare to cooking, writing to data entry. There are no “right” skills here. You may even surprise yourself!

What’s Your Experience?

Now you can take a look at what experience you have. It doesn’t have to be job-related; raising a family, helping with community service, or organizing a church event are all relevant experiences. Write down a list of these experiences.


Now connect your skills with your experiences. You might see career ideas opening up that you hadn’t thought of. Is one of your skills cooking? Do you have experience preparing food for a community event? Maybe you could be a meal coordinator for a facility like a hospital or nursing home, or maybe you want to open a restaurant. Make connections between your skills and experience, and you will be well on your way toward defining your career goals and job hunting accordingly.


Now be honest… is the resume and cover letter you’ve been submitting for jobs getting you noticed? Are you receiving invitations to interview? If you answered “no,” we should talk. Contact me by phone: 1-866-562-0850 or email: for a NO COST, NO OBLIGATION 15-minute consultation. 

Kimberly Ben is a multi-credentialed Professional Resume and LinkedIn Writer and Job Search Coach. She has written hundreds of resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and other career communications for multiple career industries and professions. Kimberly’s extensive education, training, and experience have resulted in a clear understanding of current hiring best practices and the most effective job search techniques, branding strategies, and insight on what it takes to gain the competitive edge and impress employers in a challenging job market.

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