Whether you’ve gone to college and university, you’re fresh-faced and innocent, you ’ve been employed for a long time, making yourself increasingly attractive to employers is your chief aim if you’re to secure the kind of jobs that you’ll feel happy and fulfilled in. Concentrating on your employability may feel strange, but in reality it’s all about honing your core skills and increasing your ability base so that your comfort zone expands. Here’s a run-through of all the things you can do to make yourself a more attractive applicant to some of the most attractive jobs that you come across.
Life is all about experience, and employers know that. You can be an academic whizz-kid but it makes no difference if you’re unable to send a fax, file a document, or set up a sales spreadsheet an in office job. All of these skills you need to build through experience, and that might mean volunteering experience, work experience, or your taking the initiative and learning these skills independently through a recognised course.
Recruiters do see practical, hands-on experience as valuable in order for their new recruits to hit the ground running in a new job – not requiring many hours of training in order to get up to speed. That said, there’s also a more general field of experience that can serve to intrigue those in charge of hiring you – things like travel experiences, strange stories, and things you’ve been involved in that gave you something – some new insight, skill or knowledge. Don’t be afraid to get stuck in to all kinds of things in your life – they’ll likely all make you more employable.
Applications to jobs are of course your introduction to the company for whom you wish to work, and as such they’re incredibly important to get right. You need to get the basics right, first and foremost. That means correct grammar, spelling and punctuation in all of your text, and the correct formatting so that readers will be easily guided through your education history and your work experience to date. Consider doing something unique with your CV or resume – like using a design programme to give it some extra pop – so you stand out from the crowd.
Applications should also contain a cover letter – an often overlooked but incredibly important part of all job applications that really does affect your employability. It’s best to draft a number of cover letters for different job industries so you have a template to go off, but nonetheless every cover letter should be unique to the job you’re applying for and should present you as a perfect fit for that job. If you’re really excited about a job you’re applying for, you should also alter your CV so that every bit of information contained there in some way connects to your suitability for the role.
The final important stage for those applying for jobs who’re looking to boost their employability is in interview performance. It’s not irregular that many applicants get through to the interview stage in the job process, but only one or two actually get hired. This means that you have a large crowd to stand out from, and you’ll have to perform at your very best in order to compete at the top. No one wants to be that person who gets lots of interviews but never gets the job offer: you need to work hard on how you present yourself in order to impress.
This can be achieved in a number of ways. Practice with a friend or loved one, with them pitching common or difficult interview questions at you and you responding as calmly and charismatically as possible. Don’t feel embarrassed about practicing in front of a mirror: plenty of famous businessmen do this too. Know your lines and know what experiences to reference when asked specific questions, so that when you come to enter an interview situation, you’re comfortable, confident and well-drilled enough to succeed.
While a lot of weight is put on how you present yourself, both on paper and in an interview situation, there are plenty of other aspects to employability that affect your desirability to employers. One of them is how you carry yourself – which reveals your veils of self-esteem and confidence. It might be how you shake hands, or how you make eye contact. Body language cues such as these give clues as to your personality and inner world, and are just as important to employers than your presented world, which they know has been polished to perfection.
Actually, in order to really impress with your personal side, appearing comfortable, confident, charismatic and completely individual, you’ll need to go on quite a journey towards self-fulfilment. There are self-help books galore on this subject, but you won’t go far wrong with this step by step guide which aims to point you in the right direction when it comes to discovering, getting to know and respecting yourself. It might sound like an airy-fairy concept, but it’s actually vitally important when it comes to making yourself more attractive a proposition to employers.
Finally, the biggest and most important thing to continue in your life beyond adolescence is, of course, learning. Education is the crux of what employers are looking for. Contrary to what you might think, that doesn’t mean they’re looking for the best grades or the people who can rattle out times tables as quickly as possible – it means they’re looking for active, engaged and curious brains, trained in the art of listening, learning and putting into practice lessons.
In this sense, life-long learning is your backbone and something you should always ensure you’re enacting in your life. It can even be in areas such as learning a musical instrument or a new language – or to code on a computer, or paint on a canvas. All employers are looking for is evidence that you’re someone with the ambition and drive to progress: a very attractive prospect indeed.
Following these tips will certainly make you more employable, so that you can walk into your next interview with your head held high and your confidence higher.