AIU Blog

The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.

3 Questions That Can Help Structure Your Career Search

There are many advantages available to the career searcher who takes a thorough, methodical approach to their search from its start. Consider initiating your career search by taking a careful assessment of what you are looking for in a position, and in an employer.

AIU Career Services TipsAnswering a series of questions such as, “What do I want to achieve through my career?” “Which industry will help facilitate that achievement?” and ultimately, “Are there pertinent employers within my search radius?” will help cultivate a more specific career path for you, and may allow you to identify employers you wouldn’t have been able to find by relying solely on job boards/job search engines.

Let’s take a closer look at those questions, and how their answers may benefit your career search.

  1. What do I want to achieve through my career?

    Not every job is for every person; knowing what you are good at and what you like to do will prevent you from being stuck in a job you aren’t interested in. Conversely, knowing what you hope to achieve will help you narrow down the industries you are interested in, and the employers as well.

  2. Which industry will help facilitate that achievement?

    Once you know what you are looking for in a job, you can identify the particular industry (or industries) that may offer you pertinent opportunities. There are several websites that can help you with this, one of the most popular being the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The site allows you to search for position titles you are interested in, and will list the types of employers that offer them.

  3. Are there pertinent employers within my search radius?
  4. After identifying your industry-of- choice, take some time to locate the employers in that industry who are within your search radius. You might search your local phone book or a site like that compiles lists of companies in different areas.

    When you search for employers that fit your overall career goals, you have the benefit of reaching out to them prior to putting in an application. After identifying the pertinent employers within your search radius, consider following them on Twitter or LinkedIn. You might find employees on LinkedIn who you can connect with, or you might consider cold-calling the company to hold an informational interview. Prior to contacting them, make sure you do some research ahead of time. HooversPro is a great source of company information and it is available to all students.

For more career search information, visit the AIU Career Services page.