Whether you’re a month into your job search or on day one, there are little tweaks you can make to your skills set that have the potential to boost your employability and give you an edge over the competition. And the good news? It is easier to do than you may think!
4 Ways to Get Noticed
Learn Another Language
Previously, we’ve discussed how the workplace is becoming increasingly diverse and more global in scope. This means employers are looking for employees with cultural agility who can represent their company world-wide. Get noticed by having mastery (reading, writing, and speaking) of a foreign language. Languages that are in high demand are: Arabic, English, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish. And it’s a common misconception that this skill will only benefit those in the business or technology fields. If you’re looking to work in hotel/restaurant management or even medicine, a foreign language can be a great asset to your career.
Another way to boost your employability is through professional training and passing certifications. This is especially true for those looking to work in IT. Examples of possible certifications are: Cisco Networking, Oracle Database Administration, or Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Accounting and computer-aided design (CAD) are other fields where training and certifications are beneficial. Looking to snag a social media position? Try learning how to code. Even knowing the basics can give you an advantage over other candidates. Check out Codeacademy, a free coding site that will walk you through a range of codes you can learn interactively.
Hone this Skill: Start by reading more. Think about authors or columnists you admire and study their work. By reading well-structured essays or articles with clearly-thought out arguments, you expose yourself to a higher level of writing. This will make you more aware of what you’re writing and how it resonates with your audience. Matching your writing style and tone with your audience should always be top of mind.
Organize Your Online Life
Think for a moment about your social media accounts—the pictures you have up, the comments, etc. Now, think about the fact 80 percent of employers Google your name before even considering inviting you for an interview! Is your online presence professional enough? To ensure prospective employers aren’t finding those ‘I can explain’ pictures from Spring Break, search your name on Google Images and take down any unpleasant surprises. If you’re on Twitter, go through your profile and remove any questionable tweets. Adjusting your privacy settings is another way to go, but be careful. It could make it harder for employers to learn about you, or make them suspicious that you’re trying to hide something.
Highlight Your Hobbies
Not all hobbies can help boost your employability, but there are certain ones that will call attention to those soft skills employers are looking for. Some examples are:
- Endurance sports – Shows tenacity, perseverance and drive, which are desirable qualities for a sales or business development role.
- Strategic mind games – Playing chess or backgammon show that you enjoy thinking strategically. This type of strength is desirable for positions where policy development and strategy formulation are central to the work.
Hobbies also show that you are not just single-minded and enjoy the challenges of extra responsibilities, which can go a long way to boost your employability.
Create an ePortfolio
Lastly, we want to remind you of the value of having a detailed and updated ePortfolio. It is another great touchpoint which allows employers to easily find you and could ultimately lead to more job offers than a traditional resume would.