Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Learning about jobs

Sometimes students come to me asking for advice about writing their resume. One of the things that I frequently notice on their first draft is that they have not done a very good job of describing what they do on their current or past jobs. I think that it is because they are not familiar with how human resource professionals describe jobs. Understanding job content is the starting point for almost everything that HR accomplishes. I thought that it might be beneficial to provide you with some links to VERY useful job-related web sites. The first of these websites is O*Net Online. Take some time to cruise over there and learn about jobs and what people do in those jobs. The second resource is the Occupational Outlook Handbook. If you haven't yet found what you want to do with the rest of your life, this is a valuable resource as well. The last resource is the online version of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. While not as elegantly designed as the previous websites, I find this one the MOST useful in actually writing job descriptions. As an example of what is available in the DOT, I decided to search for my job as a University Professor. In part that job description is as follows:
Conducts college or university courses for undergraduate or graduate students: Teaches one or more subjects, such as economics, chemistry, law, or medicine, within prescribed curriculum. Prepares and delivers lectures to students. Compiles bibliographies of specialized materials for outside reading assignments. Stimulates class discussions. Compiles, administers, and grades examinations, or assigns this work to others. Directs research of other teachers or graduate students working for advanced academic degrees. Conducts research in particular field of knowledge and publishes findings in professional journals. Performs related duties, such as advising students on academic and vocational curricula, and acting as adviser to student organizations. Serves on faculty committee providing professional consulting services to government and industry.
Actually this is pretty accurate! I strongly encourage anyone who is looking for a job or is going to be writing job descriptions, to bookmark these URLs.

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