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.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.