In today’s competitive landscape of businesses and careers, there’s a tough fight for every vacancy. Since the coveted jobs are few, it has become imperative to get noted by prospective employers fast. But employability too has overcome its boundaries that were earlier defined just by skills. Now, it includes a bigger vertical, which consists of behaviour, attitude and aptitude as well. It has become more demanding than ever in terms of being simply qualified since it now tries to reach the better version of YOU – as a person, as a team player and as a leader. Let’s examine the qualities that employers are looking for in their future employees:
– Good personal presentation
– A positive attitude (a can-do approach)
– Personal organisation and timekeeping
– Integrity and honesty
– Customer focus and commercial awareness
– Collaboration and team working, and
– Flexibility among others
How to develop employability?
Apart from the core skills, there’s a lot that is required by the employers. The employability skills, which are required by a prospective employer, aren’t limited to a particular extent. For instance, they encompass extra-curricular activities as well as core skills. Here we’ve jotted down some examples that might be helpful to develop your employability:
– Join a student consultancy forum
– Start your own social enterprise, society or small business
– Develop a personal website
– Help to develop a community website
– Consider a fund-raising event for your community
– Engage yourself in a volunteering service
– Contribute reviews and articles to different student publications
1) Be up to date
To sustain in this business scenario, you need to have well-honed life skills together with educational degrees. Today’s employers don’t stop looking for qualified employees only. Instead, they look for people who can create a path to the future – a road full of innovative ideas and creativity. You must have good motivation, good attitude and the ability to manage time strategically. Additionally, you’ve to manage all your communications in terms of going online, over the phone, face-to-face, writing emails, online chats etc. while managing different kinds of clientele that covers geographically dispersed locations. Thus, you need to stay updated in terms of communication skills and other qualities required to handle such diverse tasks.
2) Adjust your CV as per job description/requirement
For getting picked up by top employers for a certain position, your CV needs to be modified accordingly. When a position becomes vacant with specific requirements, a normal CV isn’t likely to perform well.
These days, most employers publish the exact requirements of a vacant position, which greatly helps candidates to modify their CVs. Thus, it’s advisable to fashion your CV in sync with the things that employers want to know about you and how you can help the organisation to attain its goals.
3) Emphasis on soft skills
Today, businesses are rapidly transforming around soft skills. Skills like team work, time management etc. are becoming more critical than ever. Hence, employers are emphasising on these skills. In case you lack these skills, you need to work on developing them.
Getting engaged in different activities like volunteering, community projects etc. would greatly help to develop soft skills. Additionally, you need to be prepared to talk about both professional and personal weaknesses. Provide a development plan whenever you are asked to discuss your weaknesses so that the impression you create on your future employers is a positive one.
4) Use your Connections / Contacts
Professional networks immensely help to develop one’s career and to attain certain goals. Relationships with different types of people who might be your next employers can help take your career in the right direction. Also, it’s of great importance to distribute your network amongst diverse industries and professionals from different verticals.
When you have a robust network of professional contacts and connections, only then you’ll be able to attract the top employers and your desired jobs. You can use different social media platforms to make contacts and enrich your network. There, you can interact with experts from different industries who can guide you to develop your career in the right direction by providing valuable inputs coupled with their varied knowledge and skills.
5) Put yourself in an employer’s shoes
For getting noted by prospective employers, you need to understand their requirements too. This is where you need to know the difference between benefit and features. Benefits are something that an employer is going to have by hiring you while features are the strengths that dictate your candidature. Having said that, you need to understand your core strengths that are necessary to demonstrate your skills.
Since recruitment process mainly involves performance comparison, you would need to be aware of your USPs. Your USP consists of the strengths that help you stand out from others. Identify these strengths, clearly mention them in your CV and keep them in mind when answering assessment questions in the interview process.
6) Be a social media butterfly; get yourself out there
Since many employers these days use social media platforms to find the right candidates, you should put every effort to get noted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+. From listing your degree information and work experience in your profile to demonstrating how you handle different situations and your soft skills, you can do a lot across these platforms.
For example, on LinkedIn, you can get your skills validated by your contacts or ask for short recommendations from previous employers. On Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, you can ‘like’ and ‘follow’ pages of relevant companies to get updates from them (could help you know about job vacancies), post comments, join groups relevant to your job search and participate in discussions. Posting content related to your job search on these sites (say, a visual pin board on Pinterest showcasing your projects) can also help you get noted by prospective employers.
7) Be prepared
Finally, solid preparation for an interview process has become more important than ever. Remember that you’ll only have one chance to be there in the room and to prove yourself as a prospective candidate. First, you need to understand your target employer very clearly like the industry it belongs to, the services or products it offers etc. Check the organisation’s website to have a solid understanding of all these. Meticulously read its annual reports, editorials, future goals etc. Check different social media platforms of the employer to get to know its employee strength, overall production volume etc.
Once you’re done with your research, it’s time to prepare interview questions with the help of these. Jot down questions like growth opportunities, company culture etc. That will help you have a better picture of the organisation. Make copies of all your important documents well in advance to avoid hassles on the big day.
Here’s wishing you good luck for your job hunt!