Making yourself more employable
YOU may be perfectly happy with your current career. You may even be working in your ideal job. But for many, that probably isn’t the case. Here are some positive benefits to all parties: those who are perfectly happy, and those who would love to change careers, or who are in need of employment. Becoming a more employable prospect brings a lot of benefits and increases your self-worth. You never know when you may need to find a new job or sell yourself to your current employer for a promotion.
Here are some ways you can make yourself more employable by taking action and learning some practical, useful skills:
Get busy on social media
Love it or hate it, social media has a huge presence in employment and recruitment. If you are savvy on social media platforms and has built a strong profile, you will increase the chances of landing a job or moving up the ranks at your current company greatly.
Having an up-to-date profile on a platform such as LinkedIn will improve your employment prospects.
Even if you are working, you will get notifications from recruitment agencies looking for prospective candidates that fit their criteria.
Keep your CV up to date
Whenever you complete a training course or take on more responsibilities at your current role, add them to your CV.
It can feel overwhelming to write your whole CV from scratch, and you may forget certain key details. Better to simply add to it as your career progresses.
Some tips for modern-day CV best practices:
• Include links to your social media profiles;
• Make sure you use your most up-to-date email address;
• Create a Pdf version for use in email; it looks much better than a Word document.
Brush up on your IT skills
Even if you don’t work in IT, having IT skills will always give you the edge.
You can’t be expected to know all the different types of systems that prospective companies may use, but being sharp with general IT skills is an absolute must.
Always be true to your own skill set, however.
Adding the names of systems you may have used only once to your list of qualifications is not a good idea. Employers may put you on the spot with a brief test, quickly debunking your credentials and credibility.
Even worse, you may find yourself hired and expected to use a complex system that you haven’t used in years – if ever.
Believe in yourself
There are far too many people who doubt themselves, and that is always frustrating. Sure, we all need to be realistic and not set ourselves up for unnecessary falls. But we also need to believe in ourselves. If you have read the requirements for a position and think you are suited, go for it.
Carry yourself with confidence and determination; your results will reflect this attitude. Don’t allow setbacks to knock your confidence.
Always be learning
It’s all too easy to become complacent and let your skill sets plateau. If you have been working in the same job for a number of years, it’s likely that you are not learning a lot of new skills or engaging in self-development regularly.
Schedule some time each day to learn something new. If you don’t schedule the time, there is less chance of you keeping true to the commitment. Some people start by putting one hour aside in the morning or the evening. Look into a hobby or a pastime you enjoy and start studying.
You have probably heard the saying “The early bird catches the worm”. It may be a cliché, but it’s absolutely true.
People who are proactive and make things happen early get the jump on great opportunities. Don’t wait for employment opportunities to find you: look around and make inquiries.
A proactive attitude can help promote a positive work ethic. It shows employers that you are the kind of person who shows initiative.
Smart-first impressions are important, and looking sharp can only help. Dressing smart around your office will set you apart from others around you.
Similarly, if you look sharp when going to an interview, you’ll likely leave a good impression in the interviewer’s mind.
You never get a second opportunity to make a first impression, so you have to make sure it counts.
If there is an industry or profession that you are interested in, start networking. This is easily done online by joining forums or groups dedicated to the industry.
Start offering help to others, asking and answering questions, and making contact with people.
You will be one of the first to hear of any jobs coming up in the industry, and will have people to use as references or mentors when necessary.
If you feel that the industry is not represented well, you can start your own blog or forum to establish yourself as an industry expert.
Lawrence Jugmohan is the head of Digital Street, Automation Engineer at Derivco.