7 Ways to Improve Your Employability Right Now!
In today’s competitive landscape of businesses and careers, there’s a tough fight for every vacancy.
Since coveted jobs are few, it has become imperative to get noted by prospective employers fast. But employability too has overcome its boundaries that were earlier defined just by skills. Now, it includes a bigger vertical, which consists of behavior, attitude and aptitude. It has become more demanding than ever in terms of being simply qualified since it now tries to reach a better version of YOU – as a person, as a team player and as a leader.
What are the key qualities employers are looking for in their future employees?
How to Develop Employability?
Apart from the core skills, there’s a lot that is required by employers. The employability skills which are required by a prospective employer aren’t limited to a particular extent. For instance, they encompass extra-curricular activities as well as core skills.
Here we’ve jotted down some examples that might be helpful to develop your employability:
- Join a student consultancy forum
- Start your own social enterprise, society or small business
- Develop a personal website
- Help to develop a community website
- Consider a fundraising event for your community
- Engage yourself in a volunteering service
- Contribute reviews and articles to different student publications
1. Be up to date
To sustain in this business scenario, you need to have well-honed life skills together with educational qualifications.
Today’s employers don’t stop looking for qualified employees only. Instead, they look for people who can create a path to the future – a road full of innovative ideas and creativity. You must have good motivation, good attitude and the ability to manage time strategically. Additionally, you’ll need to manage all your communication in terms of going online, over the phone, face-to-face, writing emails, online chats etc. while managing different kinds of clientele in geographically dispersed locations.
Thus, you need to stay up to date in terms of communication skills and other qualities required to handle such diverse tasks.
2. Adjust your CV to the job description
To get picked by top employers for a certain positions, your CV needs to be modified accordingly.
When a position with specific requirements becomes vacant, a normal CV isn’t likely to perform well. These days, most employers publish the exact requirements of a vacant position, which greatly helps candidates to modify their CVs. Thus, it’s advisable to fashion your CV in sync with the things that employers want to know about you and how you can help the organization to attain its goals.
3. Emphasize your soft skills
Today, businesses are rapidly transforming around soft skills. Skills like team work, time management etc. are becoming more critical than ever. Hence, employers are emphasizing these skills.
If you lack these skills, you need to work on developing them. Getting engaged in different activities like volunteering, community projects etc. would greatly help you to develop soft skills. Additionally, you need to be prepared to talk about both professional and personal weaknesses. Provide a development plan whenever you are asked to discuss your weaknesses so that the impression you create is a positive one.
4. Use your contacts
Professional networks help to develop one’s career and to attain certain goals.
Relationships with different types of people who might be your next employers can help take your career in the right direction. Also, it’s of great importance to distribute your network amongst diverse industries and professionals in different positions. When you have a robust network of professional contacts and connections, only then you’ll be able to attract the top employers and your desired jobs.
You can use different social media platforms to make contacts and enrich your network. There, you can interact with experts from different industries who can guide you to develop your career in the right direction by providing valuable inputs coupled with their varied knowledge and skills.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Develop the skills you need to get that job.
This eBook is essential reading for potential job-seekers. Not only does it cover identifying your skills but also the mechanics of applying for a job, writing a CV or resume and attending interviews.
5. Put yourself in an employer’s shoes
To get noticed by prospective employers, you need to understand their requirements.
This is where you need to know the difference between benefit and features. Benefits are something that an employer is going to have by hiring you, while features are the strengths that dictate your candidature. Having said that, you need to understand your core strengths that are necessary to demonstrate your skills.
Since the recruitment process mainly involves performance comparison, you need to be aware of your USPs (the strengths that help you stand out from others). Identify these strengths, clearly mention them in your CV and keep them in mind when answering assessment questions in the interview process.
6. Be a social media butterfly: get yourself out there
Since many employers these days use social media platforms to find the right candidates, you should put every effort to get noticed on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+.
From listing your degree information and work experience in your profile, to demonstrating how you handle different situations and your soft skills, you can do a lot across these platforms.
For example, on LinkedIn, you can get your skills validated by your contacts or ask for short recommendations from previous employers. On Facebook and Twitter, you can ‘like’ and ‘follow’ pages of relevant companies to get updates from them (which could help you find out about job vacancies), post comments, join groups relevant to your job search and participate in discussions.
Posting content related to your job search on these sites (say, a visual pin board on Pinterest showcasing your projects) can also help you get noted by prospective employers.
7. Prepare smartly
Finally, solid preparation for an interview has become more important than ever.
Remember that you’ll only have one chance to prove yourself as a prospective candidate. First, you need to understand your target employer very clearly: the industry it belongs to, the services or products it offers, etc.
Check the organization’s website to gain a solid understanding of all these. Meticulously read its annual reports, editorials, future goals etc. Check the different social media platforms of the employer to get to know its employee strength, overall production volume, etc.
Once you’re done with your research, it’s time to prepare your responses to questions with the help of these interview questions. Jot down questions about growth opportunities, company culture etc. that’ll help you have a better picture of the organization. Make copies of all your important documents well in advance to avoid hassles on the big day.
Here’s wishing you good luck for your job hunt!
About the Author
Ben Karter is senior recruiter at Xist4 IT Recruitment in the UK, Ben also works as a consultant & trainer for top IT companies.
He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the tech scene.