Top Ten Ways To Make Yourself More Employable

Jolene Pilgrim
24 Aug 2017

Let’s face it, when it comes to the job market and competing with other qualified candidates for a shallow pool of top career opportunities, it’s a dog eat dog world out there!  Being one among hundreds vying for a single, lucrative spot can often feel like something out of a dystopian, gladiator-style, battle royale-filled young adult novel.  The power really is with the potential employer as they comb through piles of qualified candidates to find their next office superstar.

With an increasingly competitive employment market, and a distaste for knocking off your competitors in armed combat, what’s a person to do to set themselves apart from the crowd and snag that job of their dreams?  We’ve got the answer with ten of the best moves you can make in order to look more employable and set yourself apart from the job-seeking crowd.

#1 Educate Yourself!

So you think you’re a big wig in your field and know how to do your job just fine, thank you.  Well, think again!  Continuing education is the key to keeping at the top of your game.  The latest trends in your industry, market or field are excellent conversation topics during interviews to show you are passionate and have expertise.  Add in a few certifications on your resume and you’re sure to set yourself above the rest of the pack of applicants.

#2 There’s Always Room for More Experience

Whether you’ve been in a field 2 or 20 years, more experience in your area of work is always a good thing.  For those just entering the job market, internships or volunteer positions should be mission-critical to building up an otherwise empty resume.  Don’t forget to think outside the box at complementary and related work fields, either.

#3 Have an Attitude that Shines

Whether in the interview room or in life generally, nobody wants to associate with a “Debby Downer”.  Be optimistic about both your job opportunities and the potential position.  During your interview, avoid speaking badly about your prior employment, if any.  Positivity makes you appear more energetic, likable and memorable; all good things for earning gold stars in the employability game.

#4 Broaden Your Horizons

Being stagnant is pretty much never a desirable trait.  This is doubly true when it comes to your career prospects.  Instead of being a one-trick pony with an incredibly narrow focus, why not try on a few new skills, certifications or experiences?  Versatility and the ability to think outside the box are big hits with potential employers and adding a few skills to your arsenal is a great way to show you possess both these traits.  Be careful not to go off into left field by adding in too many unrelated skills as this may have the opposite effect of making you appear a tad flighty or unfocused.

#5 Know Your Tech

This one is a must if you want to stand out among employable candidates in today’s job market.  Companies big and small are utilizing technology in increasingly complex ways in order to add efficiency and value to their businesses.  While you can’t be expected to know the ins and outs of every last program on the market, take some time to familiarize yourself with the primary applications you’ll need to use that may be specific to your position.  Don’t forget to brush up on your basic email, smartphone, printer and scanner skills, either as these are everyday essentials in most careers.

#6 Get Your Social On

In the past, social networks were generally considered places where Aunt Agnes could post cute puppy videos or your Cousin Jenny could share her latest attempt at a perfectly lit selfie.  Nowadays, these websites, forums and other online platforms are important areas to connect with other professionals in your field.  LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more provide excellent opportunities to search and “friend” other professionals in your field.  Just be sure to keep the pictures of your wild girls/guys night out party off any place where a potential employer or professional colleague may be able to sneak a peek!

#7 Focus on Productivity

We’ve all heard that sage advice from our mentors, teachers and even moms; work harder not smarter.  As it turns out, the same advice is incredibly handy when it comes to your job search.  Productivity when looking for a new career opportunity is an important trait to keep you on task and meeting important goals.  Try making daily, weekly and monthly to-do lists.  Be sure to include a variety of tasks that will help in your job search such as daily networking time, certifications and following up on prospective leads.

#8 Rock that Resume

Your resume is the first and best impression that you can give to prospective employers.  Brushing this document up to include your most recent job experience, relevant skills and more can make the difference between you and other candidates.  To change things up, try putting together several different resumes geared towards unique positions.  A second pair of eyes is always a great thing to have so be sure to have a trusted friend or advisor give the document a final once over to ensure CV perfection.

#9 Practice Makes Perfect

Preparation is the key to success, so why not practice for your interviews, phone calls and employment screenings?  For individual positions, conduct some research into the company or position and come up with likely interview questions and their corresponding answers.  Don’t forget to look into a mirror and practice facial expressions or body positions to really impress your potential employers.

#10 Dress to Impress

Our final tip to increase your employability and ultimate chances of scoring that job is all about making an impression with your appearance.  Professional and well put-together attire lets an employer know you’re committed to scoring the position and also provides valuable insight into the kind of quality employee you’d make.  Sometimes it’s the little things that show your employer you’ll pay attention to the big things once you land the position.

Article updated from the original on August 24, 2017

Jolene Pilgrim