When searching for a job, make sure to focus on the QUALITY of the opportunity and not the quantity of opportunities available.
Do not limit yourself to a set number of parameters. Expand your search. You might find a greater variety of positions that may pique your interest should you not limit yourself to specific parameters. Below are important search parameters to consider throughout the entire job search process.
The skills and requirements needed for the job.
Make sure you look at both the job title and the qualifications. The same job title might not have the same roles and responsibilities for every position. For example, job titles with “sales” in the name do not all mean “door to door” sales positions (ex. Sales Coordinator). Carefully read the job descriptions, responsibilities, and qualifications for better clarity on the role.
The geographic area of the job you are searching for.
If the location of a job is not an issue and you are able to relocate, try expanding your search area beyond your current city or state. There may be more job openings in certain regions than others (“Industry Clusters”) that will provide more meaningful opportunities for the role. Consider relocating if an opportunity presents itself in an area outside your location.
For example, if you live in Massachusetts and want a career in finance, searching for jobs located in New York will be the best course of action, since New York is an “Industry Cluster” for the finance industry. More opportunities will be available for you in New York than in Massachusetts.
Certain companies offer branch offices outside the Headquarters (HQ) offices. If relocation is not an issue and an office location is an option, it is highly recommended that you begin your career at the Headquarters for optimal exposure to corporate culture and networking opportunities.
The compensation offered for the job.
Even though there are many sources online (ex.payscale.com) that can estimate the average geographical and industry salary based on your skills or experiences, not all companies will follow or offer that amount.
Additionally, most companies do not post salary information in their job description. Any discussion of salary is always conducted towards the latter portion of the interview or hiring process. You will extremely limit yourself to a small pool of open positions and may hurt your candidacy by focusing too much on the compensation package upfront.
Job Title or Level
The title or level of the job you are looking for.
Do not get too attached to the title or level when searching for a job. Even if you are in the same title or position, depending on the company, there may be differences in the actual roles and responsibilities.
Instead of the actual job title or level, be sure to focus on the skills, roles, and responsibilities outlined in the job position. Focusing too much on the job title or level will significantly limit the number of jobs that will become available to you in the search result. Even if the job title or level is not what you are looking for, every other aspect of the position might be what you are exactly looking for.
Additionally, companies will have varying job titles for different job levels within the organization due to the unique syntax with which they create titles. You may overlook a job that you are perfectly qualified for due to the unique titles or syntax.
Different industries will also have different career progressions. As such, it is common to have someone with the title of Vice President with only five years of total experience in one industry, whereas, in other industries, a Vice President is the second most senior-level leader below the President. Such is the case in the Banking/Finance industry where the title progression is significantly different.
Below is an example of an investment banking career progression.
Investment Banking Analyst
Investment Banking Associate
In other industries, a common career progression will be as follows.
Staff / Associate
Senior Staff / Assistant Manager
Senior Manager / Associate Director
Senior / Executive Vice President
Do not let the title of a position dissuade you from considering the role. Carefully read through the job description and its requirements to best understand how it aligns with your career development goals.