If you’re unsure what you’d like to do after your studies, it can often be hard to know where to start with your job search. However, there are some great online tools available which may be able to help you, in just 15 minutes!
Prospects and Target Jobs both have interactive career planners which can help you generate job ideas, compare different career pathways and relate job roles to your skills and interests.
You’ll need to register to use these, but the sign up process is very quick (Target asks for a bit more information around areas of interest).
So how does it work?
Both are interactive questionnaires which match the information you provide to occupations and current job opportunities. Prospects breaks sections down into First Steps, Skills, Motivations and Desires, whilst Target Jobs covers similar areas under the heading Interests & Preferences.
On both sites, you’ll be given a number of statements, such as I am able to negotiate with people, for which you’ll need to select a response from the options provided (along the lines of I do this very well or I am not good at this). The idea is to build up a picture of your strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to answer honestly.
Prospects requires you to select your responses from a dropdown box for each statement, whilst Target Jobs has a more colourful interactive design, with a simple scale from 1 to 5, and later a drag and drop system based on your answers. They’re both really easy to use.
Once you’ve completed these sections, you’ll be presented with your results. Prospects will show you your top 10 job matches, ranked by an overall percentage score. For each of the sections you completed, you’ll see how closely you matched with each job role and can then view a full job profile which includes the main responsibilities, qualifications required, career prospects and where to find vacancies.
Target Jobs offers you a list of suggested job roles, with a link to each full job profile. You then need to mark whether you’re interested (or not) in each role, and it will populate a list in order of preference. From here you can save jobs to your library to come back to at any time.
How will they help me?
These tools are a great place to start to get you thinking about your career path, particularly when making your first move after your studies, as they can open your eyes to a whole world of opportunities that perhaps you didn’t know even existed. Importantly, this exercise also gets you thinking about what you aren’t so keen on too.
There’s lots to consider when choosing a career, so it’s well worth trying out both sites – it will be interesting to see if your results vary! Whilst they’re both similar tools, there are differences in the questions asked which might give you more things to consider. Hopefully you’ll find some great careers ideas, but it’s important to remember that the process of questioning and evaluating your own skills and experience can be incredibly useful, regardless of the results.
So what next?
If these tools inspire you to find out more, then feel free to book an appointment with a Careers Consultant to discuss your options further, by contacting the Careers & Enterprise Centre: http://www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/about/book/index.html