INFORMATION GATHERING

                        Methods for Obtaining Occupational Information


A. People
Talk to college instructors, staff, administrators, and students, friends, relatives, neighbors, acquaintances and anyone else you can think of that might have information to offer you. Hint: prepare yourself by having specific questions to ask.
  • Write letters or send email asking for information.
  • Interview people who work in occupations you are interested in. Most people are happy to talk about their work.
  • Talk to people whose job it is to help with your career related concerns. e.g. faculty, advisors, counselors.

B. Organizations
  • Write or email for career information brochures.
  • Get names, addresses, phone numbers, and web sites of professional organizations in your field of interest and contact them for information. Hint: use the Internet and the Career Center.
  • Go to your local state employment office. They have a lot of career information.

C. Career Center Library
  • Read job information from books, brochures, or online career library.
  • Use eCIS to learn about employment in Idaho.
  • Staff is available to help locate information and discuss career plans.

D. Employers
  • Consider interviewing employers, not for a job, but just to get career information. Be specific in what you want to know and ask simple, direct questions. Write potential employers for career literature.

E. Newspaper & Other Periodicals
  • Analyze newspaper want ads for trends, requirements, salaries, etc. They can be of some help, but they don’t tell you everything and sometimes they exaggerate the benefits and exclude the negative aspects.
  • Analyze job announcements on bulletin boards and on web sites.
  • Career information is not always labeled or categorized as such. Check out professional journals and magazines for their career information content.

F. Experience
  • Do volunteer work in the job area of interest to you.
  • Take work experience classes.
  • Spend a day or week visiting a job site. Make prior arrangements.
  • Take a part-time or summer job in your area of interest.


Information about jobs and careers is all around you. Be aware of the people you come into contact with and the jobs they are performing. Notice what people do and ask yourself if it could be something you would enjoy.