Just starting out in your career? Or are you looking for a new challenge?
Your CV allows you to showcase your skills, experience, and you, to potential employers. So it's important to make sure that it's in good shape to help you reach your career goals. But if you don't have a lot of experience, there's lots of other things you can do to become more employable, so we wanted to share a few ways of how to do this:
Fine Tune Your CV
Let’s start with the basics. If you’re looking for new employment then, of course, your CV should be fully up to date, but it’s also important to pay attention to the finer detail, particularly if you’ve been out of the job-hunting game for a while. Whatever career stage you’re at, there’s a few basic steps you can take to make your CV more employer-friendly:
Format for readability– recruiters sift through a lot of CVs, so aim for an 'at a glance' summary that’s easy to scan. Direct the reader’s eye with good use of white space, clear headings and bullet points. In some cases, your CV might be scanned by an Applicant Tracking System. Since the layout is one of the things this technology considers, if your CV’s not well-formatted, it may never get in front of human eyes.
Keep it relevant– your CV needs to reflect your skills and experience in the most appropriate way for the job at hand, so clear out anything that is irrelevant to the role you’re applying for. Avoid repetitive reams of text that offer the same description of responsibilities for multiple posts. Think from an employer’s perspective – what are they looking for, and how can you make yourself stand out?
Consider your file type– when you submit your CV, you’ve no guarantee it’ll be opened with the same programme. This can lead to formatting issues. Unless asked to submit a specific document type, play safe and convert your CV to PDF format.
Brush Up on Your Tech
We’re not just talking basic computer skills here. Companies of all shapes and sizes are increasingly turning to technology to streamline processes and increase efficiency. To stand out in a crowded job market, you need to be at the top of your game when it comes to the most commonly used software in your industry.
No one expects you to be super proficient in every programme available, but you should be able to demonstrate a good knowledge of what’s out there. Take the time to familiarise yourself with the applications you’re likely to encounter, and how they compare with those you have experience in using. The more informed you are, the more likely the chances of getting hired.
Do some networking!
When it comes to making yourself more employable, networking brings two key benefits:
Connections– whatever sector you’re looking for work in, good connections are your greatest asset. Firstly, they’re additional eyes and ears – essentially a grapevine for new opportunities. Secondly, personal recommendations can strongly tip the balance in your favour should a relevant opening come along.
Experience– the more networking you do, the better your people skills become. From body language to communication, you’ll grow in confidence and become a more attractive prospect for any potential employer.
So get yourself out there. From local business events to large industry conferences, there’s plenty of scopes for you to find relevant networking opportunities. And don’t forget social media. If you’re in the market for new employment you should be actively networking online, especially on LinkedIn.
Take the Time to Upskill
Think your experience is enough to make you the best candidate for a role? Think again. The most employable applicants are those that continually update their skills and look to develop new ones. And adding another string to your bow doesn’t have to be a major commitment of time and money.
Dependent on your area of work, you could consider industry certifications or online courses that can be taken alongside current employment. You can even upskill for free thanks to an ever-growing bank of online resources like webinars and video tutorials. Putting in a personal effort for professional development speaks volumes to any potential employer. Ultimately, upskilling is the best way to strengthen your CV and show you’re open to new learning opportunities.
Get Involved in Your Community
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly important in today’s business world, and employers look for candidates that are willing to take an active role in bettering society. Demonstrating that you're committed to your local community shows that you’re a socially responsible individual, and are likely to play a contributing role to a company’s CSR efforts.
Volunteering, sustainability initiatives, charity work, community fundraising – there are plenty of opportunities available for you to boost your CV, and subsequently your employability, whilst giving back at the same time.
Looking for work can be tough. There’s a lot of people out there doing the same thing, many of them with comparable skills and experience to your own. It’s all too easy to feel downbeat in the face of lost opportunities, but it’s vital that you don’t let negativity get the better of you.
Stay upbeat and stay productive. If you’re unsuccessful in an application don’t see it as a rejection but as a learning curve. Ask for constructive feedback and look for ways to improve. See each interview as a brand new opportunity and approach it with a positive mindset – hiring managers are skilled at sensing negativity and it could well harm your chance of success if you’re surrounded by it.
It may sound cliché, but positive things really do happen to positive people, so simply by keeping your chin up, you’re ultimately boosting your employability.
If you're looking for a new role, our teams are always on hand to provide advice and support. Click