Being unemployed is not an excuse to hone your Xbox skills or develop your latest theories on Game of Thrones. There are much more valuable skills you could be developing which your next employer would appreciate more. Obviously some skills will be specific to your industry, but there are others which are transferable – invest in a little time improving on these and you might find that your job search gets easier.
Whether you’re out of work and jobseeking or in work and looking around, here are the skills you should be honing to land your dream job.
- Communication Skills – We’ve all got them, but whether they’re any good is another matter. You could consider beefing up your CV with short courses in things like speech writing and presentation skills. Writing cover letters is all good practice, and there’s plenty of advice out there on improving your written work.
- Teamwork Skills – Sound hard to develop when you’re jobseeking, don’t they? Not if you find something to get you out the house and into a team. Volunteering always ticks some boxes on an employer’s wish list. If that’s not your thing though, then being able to list a team sport such as football or netball as one of your hobbies is just as good.
- Computer Skills – Few people these days have no IT skills, but a few more never hurt. If there’s a particular programme or skill which you know will come in handy, spend some time getting to grips with it. Better still, find a short course which will turn you into an IT ninja in that field – the official piece of paper at the end will impress the recruiters.
- Planning Skills – They want to see you can prioritise and think strategically. Get out there and organise something – anything (except a pub crawl). A residents’ meeting, a book group, an allotment society. The choice is yours, but make it something you can brag about.
- Creative Thinking Skills – Go out there, find a problem and solve it. Being able to provide an example of how you identified a challenge and went about overcoming it is sure to impress.
Don’t see the time you spend jobseeking as wasted, this is the perfect opportunity for a little self-improvement. You just have to stay positive and find creative ways to turn day to day life into a skill-building exercise. Just make yourself so valuable to your next employer that they simply can’t say no.
Once you’ve beefed up your skill set, why not enter your CV into the ValueMyCV tool to find out how much your new super powers are worth to a prospective employer? With some idea of your current value you’ll be able to get a feel for where you stand out and where there’s room for improvement.