How to Establish Career Goals to Share in an Interview

What are your career goals?

There is one irrefutable truth in life. If you want to achieve something – big or small – the best way to ensure success is to set goals.

Life offers many opportunities to set goals – planning a wedding, buying a house, choosing furniture and going on vacation. The best time to calculate and set specific goals is when you are trying to find a job. By putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, you can map out each step that needs to be taken in a calculated manner.

The idea of ​​getting a new job is a simple concept, but the process can be arduous, difficult, and stressful. You can make it easier by planning.

Begin by answering the question, “What are your career goals?”

What is a goal?

A goal is simply something that you want to have in the future. It can be a desire or a need. It can be big or small (ie, long term or short term).

The most popular career goal is deciding what type of profession you want to pursue throughout your career. Do you want to become a Chemist, Doctor, Fundraising Expert, Project Manager, Sales Expert or something else? If you’re not sure of your career goals, try these exercises.

It is not enough to say that you want to grow up to be a marine biologist. You have to know how to get there. Knowing your ultimate career goal will enable you to clarify your short-term career goals.

make your SMART goal

You need to set goals in a very specific way to help ensure that you will achieve them. Here’s an acronym to help: SMART.

If you set goals using the SMART method, you’ll have a clear path defining what you need to do.

If you decide to go into sales, your SMART goal might look like this:

Join a Fortune 500 company as an entry-level sales representative within 1 year.

  • sSpecific You want to join a Fortune 500 company.

  • Measy – Whether you get the role or not, you can measure the target.

  • areceivable – You know you can’t get into any kind of manager position, so you set your goal to join the ground floor of the company.

  • RElephant – It fits within your career mission.

  • Teatamarind – You want to do it within 1 year.

there are different types of goals

It is important to understand how to set long-term and short-term career goals so that you can create an effective action plan. A goal of joining a Fortune 500 company within 1 year is an example of a long-term goal.

How to develop short-term and long-term career goals

Your goals need to take into account where you are now, where you want to be, and what you need to do to get from point A to point B. Point A is unemployed and point B is being gainfully employed, as an example. To accomplish this, you first set a long-term goal and then define all the short-term goals you need to achieve to reach the long-term goal.

Hiring managers look for a combination of education, practical experience, and cultural fit when hiring, so once you know your end goal, you can do your homework on who is considered a prime candidate. From there, it’s a matter of setting and accomplishing your SMART goals.

long term goal

Achieving long-term goals usually takes a significant amount of time – 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or more. These include things like wanting to take a new job within a year of graduating college or going to London on vacation the next summer. No matter what your long-term goal is, it will require time and detailed planning.

Often, in order to meet long-term goals, you have to set multiple short-term goals.

short term goals

A clearly defined set of short-term goals is similar to a How List. You will need to have the right education and a little bit of experience to decide to join a Fortune 500 company within 1 year as an entry sales representative. Depending on which company you apply to, you may also need a certification or license.

Here are a set of short-term goals that will help you achieve your long-term goals:

Research and find the required certifications for the upcoming sales rep job search.

Sign-up to take the classes you need to get the education you need to pass any licensing exam.

Take the license exam for insurance license within 2 months.

After passing the licensing exam, apply to the state licensing board to secure the distinction as a license to sell.

You can see how short-term goals stack up. How Guide to achieving your long term goal. Even though there are already 4 goals listed, you are starting to reach a point where you want to reach the long term goal.

goals as they relate to your job search

It’s good to have broad – even aggressive – personal and professional career goals, provided you are diligent in putting together and following an action plan. Once you have clear your short-term goals, you can begin to tailor your job-searching efforts to find the right opportunities. If you’re very clear on what you want, it makes it easier for you to find the right listing and for your network to help you.

RELATED: Set Goals That Are Actually Important to Your Career

Tools for a successful job search

Yes, it is essential to set proper short and long term goals to get your job search off to a great start. It’s impossible to know what to search for if you haven’t defined it before. Once you start that pursuit, you need to showcase the successful achievement of your goals through your resume.

Pro Type: Remove the phrase “responsible for…” from your resume writing vocabulary.

Hiring managers want to see resumes that have achievements. Let’s say your previous job required you to bring in 50 new clients every month. Many job seekers will put something like this on their resume:

“Responsible for bringing in 50 new customers every month.”

Fabulous! But, did you actually do that?

Technically speaking, bringing in 50 new customers every month is a long-term goal. To accomplish this, you have to do something every day. Perhaps you broke the task into smaller pieces. Setting a short-term goal of calling 75 prospects daily to close 2 sales will move you one step closer to achieving the long-term goal of achieving 50 customers by the end of the month.

Describe your short- and long-term goal achievements on your resume using the STAR method.

Status: Bring in 50 new customers by the end of the month.

Task/Task: Called 75 prospects each day to close 2 sales.

Result: 52 new customers added.

Now, you’ve turned the phrase “responsible for…” into a verb. Here’s what it might look like:

“Exceeded client quota by networking with 75 prospects daily to add 50+ new clients by the end of each month.”

Your career goals should be clear on your resume as well. Make sure they a. are with free resume review.

career goal vs old resume purpose

You should begin to demonstrate achievement of career goals early in your resume, however, not just within the description of your professional experience. The beauty of using a professional summary paragraph is that you can also talk about career goals you haven’t achieved yet as they relate to your job search.

Everyone knows that using the resume objective has gone the way of the dodo. When you write a career summary paragraph, you are giving details about your career which drives a hiring manager’s thinking about whether you would be a good fit for the role/company.

Personal Goals vs. Professional Career Goals

Business goals can and should be combined with personal goals. There is an upward trend towards more flexible work environments and even remote work. The fact is that the people they meet in a job tend to be more productive. When you set your career goals be sure to include the type of job that you find personally satisfying.

How to Answer “What Are Your Career Goals?” in job interview

“What are your career goals?” First step to answer correctly. In an interview, obviously, goals come first. The next is learning to communicate effectively with the hiring manager in an interview.

To begin, make sure you have a clear and concise description of your career goals. This description needs to be phrased in a way that outsiders (hiring managers, people outside your current career) can relate to and understand. Always remember to formulate your career goals in a way that is relevant to the company you are applying for – the hiring manager wants to see if you have a future there and do you envision yourself there .

Next, be prepared to elaborate on how you plan to meet (or at least work on) your career goals. Many hiring managers are trained to dig deep during interviews, and after stating their career goals, it can be a follow-up question to ask the hiring manager about you and your vision for you. Helps to know more.

Finally, be prepared to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability by discussing how you are prepared to adjust your short-term goals to achieve long-term goals, as necessary. This is another reason why it is important to clearly define short-term goals. It is easier to change a step on a path than to build a new road.

One last thing – with whom do you share your goals and when?

Sharing your goals with someone creates a psychological separation. Talking about what you plan to do and getting positive feedback (ie affirmations) from those around you can do the trick on your mind. The satisfaction you get from positive feedback on your goal makes you less likely to work to accomplish it.

Derek Sievers explains it in his TEDTalk “Tips to help you set and reach your goalsResearch suggesting that you limit your goals to yours dates back to the 1920s.


Goals are a normal part of everyday life, whether we realize it or not.

Taking the time to set SMART goals makes things easier — including your job search. Don’t waste your time applying for 100 jobs that won’t make you happy. Define what you want and go after it.

Note: This piece was originally written by Carrie Maldonado and has been updated by TopResume contributor to include more guidance and information Marsha Heberte.

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