How To Improve Your Employability
Top Tips When Applying For Jobs!
How to improve your employability
The UK unemployment rate remains worryingly high, with many Brits facing an increasingly-tough job market and experiencing extreme difficulty securing a position on the payroll. A recent report evidenced the troubles, showing that more than 1,700 jobseekers applied for just eight roles at a new branch of Costa Coffee in Nottingham.
Making your application stand out in the current climate is tough, but there are ways to make yourself more attractive to recruiters. Adopting and implementing these strategies could enable you to gain meaningful employment which allows you to achieve financial independence and improve your quality of life.
Update and improve your CV
Some employers dismiss a candidate at the first instance because the applicant has made fatal errors on their CV. Taking the time to carefully update and improve this document is therefore crucial, and could really make the difference between securing a job and being unsuccessful. Making changes is relatively simple, so it's a great place to start when trying to improve your prospects.
Put your name and contact details at the top, ensuring that your email address looks professional and does not include any inappropriate words. You should then succinctly detail your work and educational history, including dates. Pay more attention to achievements and experience that will be valued by your prospective employer.
Near the top of your CV, add a short personal statement that explains your desire to pursue a particular occupation. Tailor this to each job you apply for rather than trying to take a one-size-fits-all approach, since employers will quickly be able to recognise which people have put effort into their application.
Try to fit all of the information on a single side of A4 - use no more than two sides. Many employers will simply dismiss CVs that are too long and will take up a lot of their time. Use a basic typeface that is easy to read, like 12-point Times New Roman. Always use black, and avoid any decorative additions like pictures of borders.
Gain additional experience
The job market today is extremely competitive, with university graduates and experienced older workers alike having difficulty securing a role. With so many candidates and so few vacancies, recruiters have the benefit of choosing the cream of the crop, and are sure to prioritise those applicants with experience in the occupation or field.
No matter whether you're applying for a low or high-skill position, your time undertaking similar roles will be highly valued by prospective employers. Participating in related activities could therefore improve your prospects significantly, demonstrating your proficiency with certain tasks and giving you something to highlight on your CV.
This is likely to mean taking on unpaid volunteering roles. Although this may seem an unattractive option, look at it in the short-term as an enterprise that will expedite your transition into the world of work. Of course, these experiences can also boost your confidence, which in turn will improve your interview skills and hence your chance of securing a job.
See whether local businesses are willing to take you on for work experience, or look around for volunteering opportunities with charities. Even if the duties do not directly correspond to your job aspirations, demonstrating that you are willing to work hard to improve your skillset will be beneficial when it comes to any application.
Work towards new qualifications
You could take a more formal approach to improving your suitability for the role by engaging in educational or training courses. Pursuing a professional qualification or certificate could open more doors for you on the job market and give a considerable lift to your CV, meaning that you are more likely to land that dream role.
Look for courses near you by searching on the National Careers Service website, which even has tools to identify suitable classes according to the skills you wish to develop or the career you are pursuing. It even details advice on funding, so you can easily find out whether you are eligible to take part in these courses for free.
Develop your interview skills
Once you have overcome the initial application hurdles, it's likely that you will have to go through an interview process before gaining employment. Many people who are perfect for a job lose out to the competition due to a poor performance, so it is well worth investing some time in boosting your confidence and skills.
It's a great idea to think about the questions you are likely to be asked, and consider an appropriate response. You don't want to sound too rehearsed, but knowing what you are likely to say will reduce the risk of you missing out important details and give your self-esteem a boost. You could also try practicing interviews with a friend, relative or career advisor.
When Stef was seeking employment she confined in Debt Free Direct, who offered her a solution plan, whilst she was out of work. Stef now offers job seekers and individuals struggling with mounting debt advice to help them through the times of financial hardship.
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- Update your CV to improve your prospects.
- Put your name and contact details at the top and make sure your email is professional.
- The job market today is extremely competitive so be sure to highlight activities and skills.
- Look around for volunteer or internship opportunities to expand your skillset.
- Develop your interview skills along with your confidence and self-esteem.