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Posted by Helena Jones
5th September 2017
Back to School skills brush up!
Do you remember leaving school or university and thinking that assessments and exams would be a thing of the past? The workplace can be just as intense, so when applying for a new position you need to make sure you’re at the top of your game!
If you want to ensure that you remain employable, you need to take charge of your personal development.
Candidates who show that they are responsible for their personal development are likely to be highly motivated and show a strong work ethos. A willingness to learn also shows flexibility, which is appealing to an employer.
We all need to develop and evolve to remain at the top of our game. Learning new skills, expanding our knowledge and completing additional training is key to succeeding in a competitive job market. There are so many options available online and offline these days, there is no excuse not to gain industry-recognised qualifications or certificates to prove your skills and reinforce your experience.
Do some research to see which skills would boost your job prospects. To find out which skills are required for the type of work you want, check out the job boards, read the job descriptions you’re interested in and make a list!
Social Media has been a popular item in the “skills” section of many job seekers’ curriculum vitae’s. But what does it really mean to be skilled at social media? It’s more than simply having a LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook account. You need to be able to show an interviewer that you’re active on these networks and understand each one’s distinct community, would you be confident in analysing results and reporting back for example?
Something to also work on are your soft skills. These are personal attributes that help you work better with others. Employers want to be sure that you’ll be a good team fit, would work well with your Manager/direct report and on occasion the company’s customers or clients. Things like: communication (oral and written), confidence, creativity, patience and a positive attitude.
Take a look at your transferable skills and how they can help you secure your next role. Although you may need additional training to pick up a new job or navigate a career change, many skills you already have are transferable to a new field. You just need to apply your current skills in a new way. The ability to manage projects, for example, is a transferable skill.
Here are some ways that you can improve your skills:
- Read professional books or articles
- Attend training courses, conferences or webinars
- Do some voluntary work, fundraising or event management
- Spend time with other departments, customers or suppliers
- Join committees or professional associations
The skills you learn or improve on may be your ticket to your next job.