5 easy steps to enhance your employability

23 January 2017 | Careers Advice | Thomas Peacock

The search to find your dream career is not a sprint - it’s a marathon. Once you finish that ‘oh so promising’ first lap, things can spiral very quickly. Sending application after application will leave you low on enthusiasm and high on self-criticism.

If you do score an interview, this negative approach will make it easy to become intimidated by almost every part of the process from the applicants to the job position!

Enhancing your employability is more than a change of attitude, it means focusing on the skills you do have and improving what you can offer a potential employer.

Create A Legitimate Social Profile

It isn’t always your experience that closes doors but the way you position yourself. Start by making a list of each public digital profile. While LinkedIn is great to show off your employment history, it’s used by more than 433 million people - so you won’t stand out here alone.

Social media accounts are your best friend at this point. More than 94% of recruiters source candidates via these websites. Review your accounts carefully to ensure that it is relevant and can provide a key point of difference.

If you operate as a freelancer, offer a testimonial from a happy client to build trust and credibility.

Simplify Your Current Resume

The right resume will attract the right employer. Position yourself as an established professional with extensive experience but don’t offer a detailed explanation of each year on paper. Keep the wealth of knowledge succinct and save the best for your interview.

Bullet points are the best approach. This format allows an interviewer to read your application quickly and retain only key information. On average, a recruiter will spend no more than 6 seconds before they reach a decision.

Many recruitment agencies conduct a resume keyword search before they even reach out to the public with an advertisement. The right keywords eliminate candidates whose experience is irrelevant, so it pays to keep your language in line with the job listing.

If you know they are looking for an HR professional with a degree or diploma of HR, don’t list your training as adult education courses.

Volunteer To Get Hands-On Experience

A period of unemployment in your work history is never the best look. There are other ways to keep your resume active during the job search. Volunteering can be undervalued by candidates but never by employers.

More than 41% of employers consider unpaid work to be as important as paid work. Offering your services in exchange for training and a reference is an invaluable approach to get your foot in the door for a paid position.

No matter your skills or age, volunteer work is a great option to improve your employability between jobs. Throwing yourself into a new and unfamiliar environment will sharpen your communication and problem-solving skills. These are considered to be more desirable and less common by employers.

Be As Tech-Savvy As Possible

In this digital age, rapid technology trends continue to shape the parameters of the standard skill set. Core skills including numeracy and literacy aren’t skills that recruiters are looking for - you are expected to already have them.

As the point of difference between candidates becomes increasingly obscure, many recruiters have turned their attention to program and systems knowledge. An in-depth understanding of the latest technology is highly valued because it is relevant now.

Equip yourself with the right tools to keep pace and, more than this, stay one step ahead of your competitors. This edge could make all the difference in an interview situation.

Educate Yourself With Today’s Knowledge

Leadership qualities are essential for a recruiter and strongly associated with education and a life of learning. If you can show on your resume that you’ve been able to recently learn project management online or join in a community workshop, this demonstrates great initiative.

If you’ve recently graduated and are looking for an entry-level job, it doesn’t hurt to enrol in a short course while you search for a job. These are usually held at night once or twice a week, so it can fit perfectly into a busy lifestyle.

Enrolling in adult learning courses (specifically for young professionals) or seminars will expand your skill set and give your application a unique addition to separate you from the masses. What recruiters love to see on your resume more than anything is a personal pursuit.

Studies and hobbies that show you’re passionate about the industry are the ideal opportunity to inject some personality into your application without compromising your professionalism. This will help to improve your employability.

Author Bio Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about adult learning. She has developed and authored many workplace leadership programs, both in Australia and overseas.

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