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What might my next job look like?

Once you know what qualities and characteristics you need in your next job and what you have to offer, you can start looking at possible roles to apply for.

You might not quickly spot a job that seems ideally suited to your aspirations. If that happens, you may find it useful to start building up a file of job descriptions and person specifications for vacancies at the relevant level so that you can see a range of information about the kind of job you’re seeking. Even if the job isn’t in the area you think you want, the job details will still give you some valuable information about what recruiters are looking for in terms of the knowledge, skills and attributes of the right applicants at that level.

If you’re looking for promotion, remember to collect job details for jobs on the same level as your current role as well as for jobs at a higher level- one of the things you’ll find it helpful to do is to understand the difference between jobs at different levels. Reading both sets of job details will help you see what you need to be able to demonstrate that is different to what you do now in order to get that promotion.

Sometimes the role you are looking for won’t exist. It may be, for example, that you are looking for a promotion in a very specific area, where your ideal job doesn’t exist. If this is your situation, the it’s worth going back to the first question, What do I want to do next? to make sure you have considered all your options and aren’t missing other possible roles that would suit your aspirations.

Ultimately, if the role you would ideally like doesn’t exist at Warwick, then you will need to consider what choices and timescales you have in terms of staying put or moving on.

One option may be to spend some time enhancing your skills in your current job in order to prepare for a career move some time ahead. In that case, you may find the Planning Your Development tool useful.

Person specifications and job descriptions

Why are job descriptions and person specifications so important when you’re looking for a job and what’s the difference between them?

Every job in the University has a job description and a person specification.

A job description will tell you what kinds of things you will be doing if you are appointed. It will usually list the duties and responsibilities of the post. This will help you decide if this is the kind of job you want to do or feel able to do, based on your current experience.

A person specification lists what personal knowledge, skills and attributes the person who is appointed will need, to do the job effectively. A person specification will list the qualifications and experience you will need. It will also describe the behaviours and attributes you will need to do the job well. The person specification will help you decide how closely you match the recruiter’s requirements. It will also help you decide what you need to show the recruiter if you are to convince them that you are a credible contender for the role.