Keeping your Skills Sharp Between Jobs
One of the things that will set you apart from other candidates is your versatility as a worker. Often times a company will look too deeply at one skill set and neglect the fact that a top candidate may have a multitude of skills that don’t necessarily show on their résumé.
In this instance, it may be up to you as the interviewee to let them know up-to-the-minute details about what you have been doing or learning during your job hunt. Let’s say you are applying to become an executive admin or perhaps a secretary. Often times a company looking to hire you will be very focused on essential requirements – communication, confidence, and education. But what if you could go the extra mile and convince them that you bring far more to the table?
The job hunt can drag on. Many of us have been in this position and it can be tough on your level of confidence or patience. Luck certainly plays a factor – you simply may not have found the best match even after a year of searching for a new job. Many people might sit around sulking or try to continually refine what they believe is a subpar résumé. Let’s consider a few actionable items that will bolster or add to what might be an average skill set and make it super.
If you have weeks of downtime while waiting to hear about a job interview or to plan out your next wave of submissions, why not learn the basics of coding? In the year 2015, it is glaringly obvious that tech and digital skills are becoming more and more important because nearly every new business starts online, services are offered through apps, websites are built left and right…
Following on the heels of coding – are you competent with WordPress? Knowing the inner workings of a WordPress website, or better yet hosting or creating your own, is a great talent to add to your toolbelt. Being able to hop into the backend of your company website to make a few adjustments can be a great way to increase your value as a member of the team.
On top of this, let’s say you decide to start your own blog. Any blog. Something about your favorite hobby, how much you love to cook, or what kind of TV shows you love. The exercise of writing helps sharpen your communication skills, both written and verbal. Imagine walking into an interview as an account manager and you drop the fact that you also run your own fitness blog. This immediately shows the interviewer that you are confident, versatile, competent with writing and someone who doesn’t squander their free time.
As we head into the second half of 2015, it is abundantly clear that social media has taken on a whole new level of saturation in our culture. It’s everywhere. Everyone who does anything discusses it in some way on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and about 1,000 other social platforms that many people aren’t familiar with. Take the time to do some research into the latest trends and try to come up with some creative ways to use social media. Share these ideas with your prospective employer to show that you are a go-getter that likes to think outside the box.
Understanding the ropes, how people think, how people share – all of this can let you contribute to business efforts, especially on the marketing front. Check out our series #RecruiterAntics – we have some fun using YouTube videos and social media to help people understand who we are and what we do. Do you know how to setup a YouTube channel? Have you ever even uploaded a video before? These are the kinds of small skills that many people might neglect, but give you a nice well-rounded profile when someone is thinking about adding you to their team.
At the end of the day, you should never squander down time that you might have while looking for your next job. Even spending one hour per day learning to code will add up over time and will give you the confidence you need when someone asks about your familiarity with the subject. Come right out and say it! While hunting for your next job, sharpen your skills in new and creative ways.
Stand out from the rest by slowly adding to your skillset when you have the extra time.