Improve your Chances of Getting Work: Advice for the Unemployed and Job Seekers
For those who have recently been laid off, downsized, or are just plain out of work; these helpful tips can improve your chances of standing out from the crowd.
From CV preparation, career fairs, waiting for call-backs, and selling yourself in the interview, entering the workforce can be an intimidating time.
CVs are not about telling a potential employer about previous work duties and responsibilities in a drudging way; they are about explaining accomplishments in a succinct, energetic fashion. The best way to accomplish this is through the use of forceful, action words and high powered verbs. A resume that may have caught an employer’s attention five or ten years ago is likely to appear bland.
Start each bulleted statement with an appropriate action word, to augment the impact of previous work experience. These action words can then be transferred to the interview setting; be sure to use these words and show yourself as forceful and confident.
Computer skills and career-specific skills are essential to compete in today’s job market. While they are often buried at the bottom of a CV; career candidates should improve their computer skills in order to have a better chance at receiving a higher competitive pay.
Workers seeking job re-entry should be able to complete the following computer related tasks:
* Compose detailed word processing documents with tables, charts, and graphs
* Use Microsoft Excel, or similar processing program, to provide budget information
* Create modern PowerPoint presentations
* Back up important data on an external hard drive or via internet backup service
* Online or inter-office calendar systems
Every worker should have these basic skills, but preferably candidates should display advanced knowledge of computer programming, including:
* Word templates (creating, editing, and using)
* Software programming for scheduling, time sheets, deadline completion, and activity tracking
* Managing flow of office supplies and materials
If these skills are not already in an individual’s repertoire, then they at least should demonstrate an active ability and incentive to learn the required skills
Do not underestimate the value of a certificate: A certification records skill credentials
that signal to employers significant achievement. Certifications are awarded by external groups, the most common of which are universities and technical centres. While some certifications are necessary for particular careers, others do not require any certificates at time of employment. However in the case of the latter; certifications can help a candidate stand out among competitors.
In times of economic crisis, re-entering education can be a great way to standout in the workforce.
Here is one area where many individuals fail to fully sell themselves; but a few steady rules will keep an interview on the right track:
* Dress should be professional; If a full suit attire is not available, business casual is a minimum requirement. Business attire includes dress trousers or skirt and a clean, pressed dress shirt.
* Jeans are never allowed: Even if jeans are acceptable in the work environment of the company, jeans should not be worn in the interview room. Wearing jeans can decrease your credibility, especially when the employer is interviewing multiple individuals in a short amount of time.
* Build rapport with your interviewers: This will give them a pleasant interpretation of you and your abilities, especially in terms of interpersonal skills
* Practice beforehand: Contact your local university career services office, or grab a friend or mentor, and have them (in full interview attire) mock interview you several days before your interview.
Focus your conversation around the action words and phrases in your CV, specifically pinpointing numbers, facts, data, and specific skills acquired in previous career experience.
By focusing on your CV, computer skills, certifications, and interviewing skills; you can significantly increase your chances of finding a job.