Sharpening Job-Search Focus Will Make Selling Yourself Much Easier


Kevin writes:
I have a degree in American studies from Brigham Young University and I struggle not only with the liberal-arts degree but with having one in a subject nobody has ever heard of. Because of this and probably some confidence issues in an interview situation by not really being able to point out my tangible skills and how my degree can help me do the job I have been struggling finding a job that I enjoy and am interested in.
Since graduation I have had two jobs. The first was with as a shipping-department manager for a legal-document processor. The company ended up going out of business and we were all laid off.
After several failed interviews and hundreds of resumes and cover letters being sent out I finally put up the white flag and asked my dad to use some of his contacts to help me find something so I could support my family. Through his contacts I got a job as assistant director at a retirement home. The pay is terrible as are the hours so I am currently looking for something else.
I am interested in math and science. I believe I might be an engineer at heart but I wanted to take four years of college and do something learn something new. I have very little but my own word about my own strengths that I feel I can use to land the job of my dreams. Can you help?


The Career Doctor responds:
I would recommend that you get a better handle on what you want to do (doing so will make your resume much better). One of the best ways to do that while also building your network is to conduct informational interviews. See our tutorial.
Then once you’ve narrowed down the possible career directions see if you can build experience by volunteering temping interning or working on a project-consulting basis — perhaps even while still holding your current job. The info interviews and experience-building will give you a better handle on the training needs for the career you want to get into. You may have to go back to school to pursue the career of your dreams and that won’t be easy but if it’s important enough you’ll find a way.


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