Five Questions Job Seekers Should Ask Themselves

Before you start looking at job postings or even update your resume, you should ask yourself these five questions. If you can’t articulate a clear answer for each question, then you are not ready to start your job search in earnest.

  1. What do I want to do?
    • Before you look for new opportunities, you need to be sure exactly what kind of job you want. You can’t effectively look for your dream job if you aren’t sure what that dream job is.
    • You should have a clear job title or career level in mind when answering this question.
    • Bad answer: I want to work in marketing. Good answer: I want to be a junior marketing executive for a small advertising firm.
  2. What are my salary requirements?
    • Again, the answer to this question needs to be specific. You might ideally want $50,000/year, but $45,000 might be satisfactory for your lifestyle.
    • Analyze your salary history and research general salary estimates online to make sure your requirements are realistic.
    • Make sure that your salary requirements are not only in line with your lifestyle, but also with your experience level.
  3. Am I willing to relocate?
    • You need to be prepared to answer this question in an interview, so you should ask it to yourself before you ever get to that point.
    • If relocating is a practical option for you, then you will be able to broaden your job search outside of your local area.
    • If relocating is not an option, then you should avoid applying to companies or positions where relocation is common.
  4. What do I have to offer?
    • You should make a list of your work experience, education, formal training, personal qualities and professional skills so that you can tell a potential employer exactly what you have to offer.
    • Knowing your own experience and skills will also help you to sort through various job postings. If you have a list of your own qualities and experiences listed in front of you, you can easily decide which opportunities you are qualified for.
  5. Are you ready to start a new job?
    • Whether you have been on the job hunt for a while or you are looking to leave your current job, you need to confirm that you are ready to make the move.
    • Starting the job search process before you are fully committed to pursuing new opportunities can be dangerous and potentially lead to self-sabotage.
    • Starting a new position is a huge transition for most people, and finding a new job can take a lot of work. In order to have a successful job search, you must accept these realities and fully commit to your job search before you begin looking for new opportunities.

WAI Staff

Whitman Associates is a professional staffing agency serving businesses and job seekers in the Washington, D.C. area. Since 1972, we’ve been dedicated to matching highly qualified candidates with a wide variety of temporary, temp-to-hire and permanent positions. We prioritize the needs of both our clients and candidates to ensure successful, lasting relationships.