Job Search Basics

When you network, you will be asked “So what do you want to do?”or “What are you looking for?”

Every job seeker needs a powerful intention statement – a 5 to 10 second answer to this question. It has to GRAB the listener immediately.

Here’s a simple formula for answering it in two or three sentences.

Write an “intention statement” that describes those skills and talents you love to use, the challenges you love to solve, and the value you can deliver to an employer in your field in such and such a role.I suggest saying “I’m looking for a chance to use XYZ skills, to have ABC impact on an employer hopefully in this field or in this kind of role.” You can add something about your background at this point, such as “I’ve worked in xyz field and am interested in abc as well.” It also is helpful to say “I can see myself in these roles…”

To be more specific, tell me exactly what work challenges and issues you want to tackle. Specificity works in a few ways:

  1. Specificity breeds commitment.
  2. It conveys confidence in yourself.
  3. Others can start helping you with connections, rather than help you figure out what you want.
  4. It gives people some direction about how to think about you, so they can help you.

Write it down and then practice saying it – editing and practicing until it comes really naturally to you. Ask a professional friend can give you feedback on this “intention statement.” Do they know what you want to do? Do they understand the kind of value you can provide? Do they have any ideas of where you could look, who you could talk to, the kinds of jobs you could seek? If not, refine it even more.

This format is used very effectively by MANY clients, because it starts with you, travels to the employer and then focuses on some specific types of roles that will spark people’s brains to think of positions they may have heard of.