Searching for a job can be a laborious and disheartening process. After browsing what feels like hundreds of vacancy sites, firing off resumes, writing extensive cover letters, and filling out thousands of registration forms only to not receive a response from a single employer is, in a word, demoralizing.
That being said, while it is easy to feel annoyed at the company for not getting back to you, it may be the case that you simply haven’t made the most of all the opportunities to make yourself as employable as possible and hence attract employers.
Here are some good tips for boosting your profile and getting companies to notice you.
Keep your resume up-to-date
First and foremost is creating and maintaining an eye-catching resume with all your latest experience clearly displayed. If a company is going to invest time and money in hiring your services, they will need to see some evidence that you can perform to the standards required.
A resume with gaps where you have forgotten to add your latest experience can look sloppy and will be a red flag for any employer. If you complete a training course, learn a new skill or get a new email address, make sure to add it to your resume as soon as you get a chance.
Another recommendation is to tweak it depending on the type of job for which you are applying. For example, if you are after a job at a newspaper, place greater emphasis on your past writing experience over any summer bar work you might have done.
Build a portfolio of work
Putting together a collection displaying the best examples of your work is a very effective way of setting you apart from other applicants. It is a multi-faceted means of organizing your accomplishments, while at the same time highlighting life experiences, values and abilities.
Although it should never replace a resume, it should contain similar aspects and must also be tailored depending on the specific job. There are a number of different portfolio types, including project, professional, online and personal.
Create an online presence
Social media might seem irrelevant to securing a job, but don’t knock it; employers place significant weight on candidates with a strong online presence.
This doesn’t mean that regularly uploading vacation photos to your Facebook account will land you the dream job. Instead, being savvy and making sure you have a strong profile on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter can help showcase your skills to potential employers, improving your prospects.
Recruitment agencies, in particular, routinely scour social media platforms for candidates who fit their criteria, using tools like keyword searches to quickly identify the best people for the role. Therefore, creating a powerful online presence will significantly increase your chances of getting spotted.
Get the right training
Learning a specialized skill is a very important part of increasing your employability in various fields and, in some cases, maybe mandatory. Telling employers that they should hire you simply because you are interested in a job, yet lack the formal qualifications, will be highly unlikely to land you the position.
Despite the associated costs, investing in a vocational training course is a reliable way of improving your chances of finding employment. If you would like to work in early childhood education, for example, studying online to get the ECU Masters in Education would be a good route to make you stand out from the competition and ensure you fit the criteria for any vacancies that appear.
Don’t wait for permission
One of the classic mistakes job-seekers make time and time again is waiting for permission to show off their skills. Expecting employers to do all the leg work while you sit back and wait is unrealistic and unlikely to lead to good results.
Instead, be proactive and complete tasks before being instructed to do so. For example, if you are applying for a job as a translator on a news site, don’t simply send in your resume and expect them to get back to you; find an article on their website and send them your translation of it. This will impress employers who will undoubtedly appreciate your energetic and bold approach.
Brush up on your IT skills
Developing your knowledge of the latest technology and IT skills are highly beneficial for securing a job. Not only will they help make you feel comfortable in a variety of workplaces, nowadays they are viewed by employers as essential, particularly ones involving email, calendars, Excel spreadsheets
There are countless resources available online offering free IT courses, with Google Digital Garage a favorite amongst young professionals keen to learn the fundamentals of digital marketing, data and tech.
One of the great aspects of these courses is that they allow individuals to learn at their own pace, while there is no financial loss if you find you no longer have the time to complete it.
Listen to others
Hearing from those who are already successful and applying it to your own situation is an invaluable way of improving your employability. The ability to listen is an underrated yet vastly important skill to have, making you appear more likeable and interested.
In his ground-breaking psychology book How To Win Friends and Influence People, the author Dale Carnegie states “To sell more, you must first listen more”, and this applies to selling yourself as a potential candidate too. Listen to feedback, take on suggestions and think carefully about the questions you ask in order to instantly improve your career prospects.
‘Spraying and praying’ is a term that refers to the practice of sending out your resume to multiple employers and hoping for an instant and successful response. Not only will this tactic leave you feeling dispirited when you don’t receive a reply, it allows you to convince yourself that the onus is on the employer, not yourself.
Taking the aforementioned steps to improve your prospects of landing a job will lead to a higher success rate and open doors to opportunities that otherwise might have remained closed.