Let me ask you a question that will take you back to your childhood: what did you want to be when you grew up? Remember when they’d ask us that in school and we all had really specific answers? I wanted to be a doctor. Or a teacher. Or to join the Army. To be honest, those were my answers because those were the only options I really ever saw since I grew up in a family who was military, I saw teachers at school, and I went to the doctor a lot. I was really accident prone.
The sad truth: most people don’t grow up to be what they wanted to be. I surely didn’t. I mean, I guess I’m a teacher but not in any traditional sense like the other 4 teachers in the family.
It happens for a million reasons. Sometimes because the options we’re familiar with are limited and once we grow up, we find what we really want to do. For others, it’s because of much more disappointing reasons like society simply telling someone no in a million ways.
You can’t… You’re the first… You shouldn’t apply if you didn’t…
Searching Queries: Questionable Results
The people who make it out – the people who make it past those barriers to entry – get to write a new story. But who teaches them what to look for in this world?
No one really tells you how to figure out what your job title should be – how to pick a job title to search. We spend so much time crafting our careers, but if you aren’t following a linear career path with spelled out next steps, it’s hard to know what your end goal should be. When you’re looking at positions to apply to on LinkedIn or Indeed, you’re probably skipping over jobs, but how exactly do you know which job titles should be standing out to you? What job titles fit your qualifications?
It’s time to expand your results, y’all. I want to show you a trick.
But How Do I Pick the One?
Okay, so how exactly do you pick the right job title for your dream job then?
- Google your current job title plus the word “resume.”
- Look at the image search results. There, you will literally find a pile of resumes. No shit, thousands. Need a resume template? You’re all set. But that’s not what you’re looking at. Right now, you’re reading the job titles and descriptions to see if those jobs are positions you would want. Write down the job titles you want – even if it’s just changing the order of the words or abbreviations. (HR vs. Human Resources, for example).
- Now I want you to open Google Trends. Type a job title, click compare, do it again. See which one gets the most volume.
- Search the top 3 contenders regularly. Set up alerts, etc.
Bonus career hack: Not looking for a new gig? This also works for people looking for a promotion, but aren’t sure what their next job title should be. Sometimes your career path isn’t as linear. It’s not always “Marketing Coordinator” getting promoted to “Senior Marketing Coordinator.” This process can not only help you find alternate job titles to aspire for, but also related searches – what folks in your field are looking into.
Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.
Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.