Career Research and Preparation

Job market research is an integral part of all stages of the recruitment and selection process.

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Career Research and Preparation

Job market research is an integral part of all stages of the recruitment and selection process. The candidate will need to engage in an appropriate level of job research of both the organization and the industry sector.

Effective job research enables the candidate to:

  • customize their resume
  • build credibility
  • indicate their level of passion for the role
  • uncover career opportunities
  • focus on the most promising aspects of the job market
  • understand their market value
  • frame questions to ask in a job interview

Job Market Research Steps

For effective career research, use both published information – print and electronic – as well as information provided through networking sources. Here is a list of suggested steps to follow in conducting job market research.

Figure 1 – Eight Job Market Research Steps

Eight Job Market Research Steps

Step 1: Prepare initial list

  • List job roles that you would like to perform within your current workplace.
  • List departments within your current organization that you deem on initial thought to match your target listing.

Step 2: Refine and prioritize listing

  • Run through your listing and rank them in order of importance, i.e., how well they match your stated selection criteria.
  • Prioritize them into Priority A, Priority B and so on.
  • Eliminate any inappropriate targets.

Step 3: Conduct initial job market research on top priority lists

  • Engage in desk research (internet, web pages, and annual reports) or internal networking to identify whether other sections, departments or organizations are still hot targets.
  • Eliminate any inappropriate targets.

Step 4: Screen hot targets through networking

  • Prepare a list of people you already know who work within that section, department or organization.
  • Meet with network contacts to source information.
  • Identify key decision-makers and make sure you have their correct titles and contact details.
  • Be alert to any opportunities for potential work that emerge in any of your networking conversations.

Step 5: Job interview preparation

  • Anticipate what questions you might be asked.

Step 6: Decision time

  • Make sure you know enough to make an informed decision about whether the job role is right for you.

Step 7: Negotiate salary package and terms of employment

  • Know what the benchmarks are in the market for salary and employment terms.

Step 8: Career management

  • Keep abreast of what is happening in your professional area of practice.

Using a range of career research sources in each of the steps above will enhance the candidate's position in the job market, improving their chances of securing their ideal job role.

Expert View Author: Pamela Frost

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For a wealth of career research resources for each of the eight job market research steps, check out our comprehensive career toolkit. Download our toolkit and start using today.

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