During the job application and interview process, employers look for applicants with two skill sets: hard skills and soft skills. Successful candidates will make sure to put both sets of skills on display. In order to do so, it helps to understand the difference between these two types of skills. Get definitions and examples of hard and soft skills, along with tips for how to showcase them throughout the job application process.
8 Actions to Become More Employable
8 Actions to Become More Employable
You may be perfectly happy with your current career — you may even be working your ideal job. But for most of us, that probably isn’t the case.
That being said, this post can offer some positive benefits to both 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:
1. Get Busy on Social Media
Love it or hate it, social media has a huge presence in the employment and recruitment sector. If you are savvy on social media platforms and build a strong profile, you will greatly increase your chances of landing a job or moving up the ranks at your current organization.
Having an up-to-date profile on a platform like LinkedIn will improve your employment prospects. Even if you are currently working, you will get notifications from recruitment agencies looking for prospective candidates that fit their criteria.
2. Keep Your Resume Up-to-Date
Whenever you complete a training course or take on more responsibilities at your current role, add them to your resume. It can feel overwhelming to write up your whole resume from scratch, and you may forget certain key details. Better to simply add to your resume as your career progresses.
Some tips for modern-day resume best practices:
- include links to your social media profiles;
- make sure you use your most up-to-date email address;
- and create a .pdf version for use in email — it looks much better than a Word document.
3. Brush Up on Your IT Skills
Even if you don’t work in IT, having IT skills will always give you an advantage. 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.
4. Believe in Yourself
I see far too many people doubting themselves, and that always frustrates me. 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. Easier said than done sometimes, I know, but the point still stands.
5. Always Be Learning
It’s all too easy to become complacent and let our skill sets plateau. If you have been working in the same job for a number of years, it’s likely you are not learning a lot of new skills or engaging in self-development on a regular basis.
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.
6. Be Proactive
You have probably heard the saying “the early bird catches the worm.” It may be a cliche, but it’s absolutely true. Those 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, and it shows employers that you are the kind of person that takes initiative.
7. Smarten up
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 looking sharp when heading 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 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 like the industry is not represented well, you can start your own blog or forum and establish yourself as an industry expert.