If you currently have the day job that pays the bills but isn’t quite building towards your career goals, or you want to switch career tracks, then you have to be smart about collecting the skills you need to bolster your CV. There’s no time like the present to take steps toward landing the job of your dreams. Plenty of opportunities exist to develop the background and skills needed to set you up as an attractive candidate. Take matters into your own hands by creating eye-catching career experience using the strategies listed below.
Building skills through small certificate programs or local or online classes are a good way to learn and demonstrate your abilities. Taking classes can also show your motivation to prospective employers. Online courses are a convenient way to build your skills or interests on your own time. Whether it’s a Google Analytics certificate, or a continuing studies course in graphic design at your local art school, you can find low-cost ways to build your skills in a new area.
Think beyond traditional employment
While a full-time job in your desired field may be the ultimate goal, other types of work opportunities can be powerful resume builders. Many companies (especially smaller ones and startups) simply do not have the resources to add to their full-time staff and depend on part-timers. Exceed the employer’s expectations in this capacity and you may be first in line when a regular position opens up. Freelancing and temping are two other foot-in-the-door methods of developing connections with companies of interest while accumulating real-world career experience that can be touted to any future employer.
Build your online presence
Beyond a website, there are a number of social media platforms available to keep you informed on your industry of choice and help you interact with that industry. For example, if you want to work in a museum, follow art news feeds and link to articles you find interesting. A lot more employers are looking at prospective employees’ social media, so let that be a plus for you. Beyond these basics of staying on top of industry trends, you can build your own stories on YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, or your platform of choice. Investing the time to engage with your industry will keep you informed of opportunities available and the skills you need to get the position you want.
Develop transferable skills
A hiring manager can get a feel for a candidate’s potential ability to perform industry-specific tasks by looking at degrees, certifications, and other educational credentials. However, coveted applicants also present evidence of qualities valued across fields. Identify traits employers in your goal career might find most useful and look for ways to develop those talents at your present job. Hone your negotiation skills, develop a reputation for excellent customer service, or train a newcomer – whatever might boost your marketability down the line.
when it comes to gaining that required experience to land your dream job, try thinking outside the cubicle. That, plus some networking and learning how to position your transferrable skills, can be exactly what it takes to put you on the right path.
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