In November 2020, the US civilian labor force was pegged at 160.47 million people, a huge figure that requires the need to appeal to hiring managers by creating demand for yourself. This includes possessing practical expertise, higher education, excellent networking skills, and many more contributing factors. In effect, creating a competitive advantage for yourself is the real deal in an overcrowded job market. Equip yourself with more ideas as listed below.
Indeed, education has no end, and the sooner you grasp the idea, the better it will serve you now and in the future. It doesn’t matter if it is an occasional workshop or a certification course. The most important thing is the signal it creates to a potential hiring manager. It shows your commitment to professional development and a conscious effort to remain relevant in a dynamic job market. By certifying your skills, you have physical proof of an accredited institution validating your expertise.
To avoid future problems with your certification, ensure the course(s) you enroll in are run by recognized course providers. Accredited facilities with at least five years’ continuous service should be your target. Secondly, choose a course that enhances your short to long term goals. It creates room for career flexibility, especially when moving from one employer to the next.
At a time when millions of Americans are out of jobs, do not allow your unemployment status to block your chances of using the period productively. Many valuable professional courses have gone online, and you will find them useful. These will help you avoid wide gaps in your resumé.
Get involved in volunteering jobs and gigs
One of the best ways to get a sense of purpose is to be involved in volunteering. This selfless act is beneficial to the community and yourself as well. In a 2017 study, a Time Magazine survey revealed that volunteers have a 27% increased chance of getting employed quicker than non-volunteers.
Admittedly, some schools of thought will argue that this a subjective finding. However, it doesn’t take away the fact that volunteering creates more networking opportunities, increasing the chances of finding future jobs. Gigs may not be much, but they will build a great career profile for you. Getting copywriting gigs for example, is a great way to boost your portfolio until you land a company willing to take you on permanently. Most importantly, it keeps you busy and prevents you from sinking into depression associated with job loss.
Keep researching your dream job
Instead of whiling away time feeling morose about not landing a job yet, you should research your dream job. Focus your research on understanding the tenets of that job role. Understanding all these requirements will help you realign your skills to fit what will be expected when you finally land that job. As every profession has its pros and cons, it is useful to know this first-hand, lest you get disappointed or berate yourself for not realizing it earlier.
Furthermore, because the work environment has changed due to the pandemic, you must ponder what style will work best. Are you more inclined towards working from home or the office environment? Does your dream job embrace a healthy work-life balance or integration? As difficult as this may be, avoid rushing to get back into an active work life until you find workable solutions that will improve your value.
Strengthen your social and professional network
The purpose of nurturing and maintaining networks is to establish contacts that would provide a leeway to escape the unemployment doldrums. Getting to know lots of people should go beyond mere pleasantries. Make a deliberate effort to discuss issues of mutual interest while getting them to like you back. In many instances, you should avoid directly talking about your unemployed status. The reason being, you do not want to solicit pity or bias from others.
What you’re seeking to achieve is to subtly display your knowledge on issues spanning broad topics. Over time, your network will notice you, and word will get around on how you would fit into a company’s potential job role. Now, it will be convenient to strengthen your presence on social media platforms. You should comment or make intelligent submissions on issues you have expertise on. Better yet, follow personalities on social media while using the platform to connect with others who follow that person.
Refine your LinkedIn profile
For the past five years, LinkedIn has become an intrinsic part of recruitment. It does not replace your curriculum vitae, but it is a quick way for others to view your career profile via a digital platform. Today, recruiters and employers look at LinkedIn profiles to gain better insight into a potential job applicant. For example, your education, compelling summary, skills, career goals, and recent experience(s) are essential components that require your attention.
More importantly, recommendations and endorsements on this professional digital media help create a positive trail for you. Meanwhile, according to LinkedIn research, most hiring managers are more attracted to creative headlines that go beyond a mere description of your job title. It would not be wrong to say that your profile is that first impression you create for yourself (albeit digitally).
Stay abreast with current job market demands (and meet them)
Staying abreast with the current job market and associated demands is an excellent way to increase your value. It goes beyond just knowing what the latest hot demand is. Instead, it has more to do with devising viable ways to help you meet those demands. For example, if you recently lost your job as an events marketing manager, move on to digital marketing.
The Coronavirus pandemic caused a drastic change in business operations around the world. For this reason, most companies have experienced a heightened demand for digital marketers. With your marketing background, you will find it useful to expand your net into SEO, social media analytics, and content marketing. The possibilities are endless in this new field.
In conclusion, it will be in your best interest to consider yourself as a work in progress. This way, you will always be on a mission to self-improve. In a shaky economy brought on by COVID-19, your saving grace will be creating competitive value that a potential employer will consider as an asset.