Job Search Basic

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This section briefly explains the basic job search elements.


[edit] Self-Assessment

A fundamental step that is often overlooked, but perhaps the most critical step in achieving your career goal. Take the time to evaluate your skills, your interests, and your dreams. What have you done in relationship to what you want to do? What steps do you need to take to reach your ultimate career goal?

To assist you with your self-assessment, The Office of Domestic Programs Returned Volunteer Services (RVS) makes available to you SIGI3. SIGI3 is a highly interactive career assessment tool that is designed to help you make informed and rational decisions about your field of study and career. It can help you assess your work-related values, interests, and skills by examining your key motivators and matching work-related values, interests, and skills to educational and career pathways. In order to register for a SIGI3 account, you must submit to RVS ( an email request containing your full name, country, and dates of Peace Corps service.

[edit] Research

Once you have defined your skills, work values, educational background and career interests, it will be time to start researching. Find out as much as you can about the field you've chosen. Utilize every possible resource: local libraries, your alma mater career resource center, community career resource centers, the career resource areas in many of the Peace Corps Recruitment Offices nationwide (except the DC Office), and the RPCV career center in the DC area.

Gather as much information as possible about trends in the field, what organizations have employees in the field, where the organizations are located, what the salary range is and what the various titles given to jobs in the field are. Be thorough in your research and maintain files or a notebook to stay organized.

[edit] The Resume

A study in the private sector mentioned that a resumé gets only 11 seconds of attention from potential employers. That's not a lot of time to let them know what you've done. Keeping this in mind, keep the resumé clear, concise, and looking sharp. Remember to use proactive verbs such as managed, implemented, developed, researched, wrote, designed, created, etc.

And don't forget the importance of a well-designed resumé. The way it looks is as important as what it says! This is an advertisement of YOU! Present yourself on paper as best you can in 11 seconds.

[edit] Networking

The term "networking" has become a cliché in the job search. But the term is being widely used for a reason - it works! In today's market, it is next to impossible to get a job without knowing somebody who knows somebody. Let it be known that you are on a job search. Ask any and all of your friends and acquaintances to keep you informed of possible job vacancies in their organizations or with organizations with which they may have contacts. One of the most successful ways to network is through informational interviewing.

[edit] Informational Interviewing

How familiar are you with your career field today? Setting up informational interviews is one of the best ways to learn more about the career field of your choice, as well as doubling as a networking option. Ask friends, family, colleagues, and fellow RPCVs if they know anybody in your career field who might be interested in taking 15 minutes of their time to share their expertise about the field.

Returned Volunteer Services has a Career Information Consultants manual available that lists 600 professionals in various fields who are willing to meet with RPCVs to discuss their career field at no charge.

After setting up the information interview, prepare by writing down thoughtful questions about their responsibilities and best advice for you, and have copies of your résumé on hand.

The day of the interview, dress and present yourself professionally; make certain you don't take more time than what was originally agreed upon; and be sure to thank your interviewers, give them a copy of your résumé, and ask them if they know anybody else in the field who may also be interested in speaking with you. Although you shouldn't approach an informational interview with the idea that it will offer more contacts and job leads, oftentimes this is the case. Lastly, don't forget those thoughtful thank you letters!

[edit] The Interview

Here it is: the day you've so diligently worked towards. You've slaved over books in the career resource center, you've bought a new interviewing suit or dress, you've mapped out a career plan, you have a notebook bursting open with contacts in your field, and your dynamic résumé has achieved for you an interview with the organization of your dreams. But the day of the interview you wake up feeling queasy. Are you getting sick? Or is it maybe just jitters from anticipation?

Interviews can leave you feeling anxious and unsure of yourself. Try your best to approach them with as much confidence as possible. Hopefully, the informational interview process has given you some practice in this process. Prepare yourself further by practicing your interviewing techniques with friends, in front of a mirror, or even use a video machine or tape recording device if you're fortunate enough to have one at your disposal.

[edit] External Links

Career Resources Official US Peace Corps Website

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