4 Ways to Find More Relevant Jobs for Your Skills
Some skills are effortlessly transferable, no matter what career path you decide to travel down. Others are more suitable for particular jobs—but which ones, exactly? And how do you go about finding them? Luckily, there are multiple ways to discover more relevant jobs for your skills. Here are a few ideas to get started.
1. Complete a skills assessment quiz
This is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to discover what kind of job fits your individual set of skills. CNBC describes these tests as similar to “those career aptitude tests you took in grade school, but with practical steps for how to actually pursue the jobs you’re interested in.” Websites like The Career Test or My Next Move will help you narrow down what kinds of qualifications and experience you can bring to a job, as well as your personal interests. Together, this information is used to build a robust list of jobs that fit your abilities—and hopefully inspires you on which direction to take.
Similarly, there are plenty of “skill matching apps” out there like Career One Stop or O*Net that display a list of skills, then has you choose whether your knowledge ranks as “beginner,” “basic,” “skilled,” “advanced,” or “expert.” Based on your quiz results, it lists jobs that match your specific skill set. From there, you can search these different job titles based on your interest, location, or desired pay range.
2. Perfect those keywords
Part of the challenge of finding jobs is navigating the often very specific job titles that may or may not line up with what you are wanting or able to do. So instead of searching by title, try searching by keywords that describe a particular skill you have cultivated over the course of your current career. For example, while searching for a job title such as “app developer” will generate countless results, The Balance Careers instead suggests including specific industry relevant knowledge you possess, such as “APIs” or “iOS.” This way, you may wind up getting results—and career ideas—you never even thought of before.
3. Check out your ZIP code
If you are job options are limited by your location, try checking out your area’s hiring trends via the ZIP codes in your surrounding areas. While this will not necessarily generate a list of jobs that apply to you, it will help you see what kind of jobs (and, by extension, skill sets) are on the rise in your community. You can then get a better picture of how your local economy functions, clueing you into whether your specific qualifications are relevant in your current location—or if a move to another area of the country might be worthwhile.
4. Find out more from someone in the know
So, what do you do if you think you have found a job that matches not only your specific skill set but also your interests? Nothing quite beats speaking with someone who actually works in the industry or field you are considering. It is hard (if not impossible) to get a complete picture of what a specific job looks like without discussing it with someone who lives it on a daily basis. So try reaching out via career networking sites (LinkedIn is always a popular option) to find someone willing to talk to you, whether in person or over the phone, to get a better idea of whether that career path is really one you want to pursue. This approach has the added bonus of building a personal connection within your potential new career field. After all, it is often about who you know when landing a job.
While certain skills will always be desired, it is important to assess how the skills you possess make you stand out from the crowd—it will make the process of finding a job that is uniquely “you” that much more straightforward.