In order to stay competitive in the business world, you need to continually improve and better yourself. The market is fierce in no matter which line of work you are in, and you need to stand out. Technology has sped up everything, from our daily lives, to our professional ones. Getting better at what you do is always a must.
But, both climbing up the corporate ladder and being hireable isn’t only about your actual work. There are other things you need to learn, to educate yourself about, in order to become more competitive. Below is a short list of things to keep in mind.
Get your CV in order
While we won’t get into detail about how to write a good CV (something outside of the scope of this article), we do recommend you spruce it up regularly. You need to show that you have educated yourself properly, and the first place to start is your resume.
So remember to place any new certificates, seminars, courses, and licenses that you received. Place them in reverse order, and highlight the most important ones. Update it further, place a professional, high-quality photo. Remove any unnecessary projects that don’t really influence the work you are applying for. Organizing a team of volunteers to clean up a river is an excellent project where you showed teamwork management and altruism. However, that summer you worked at a gas station, while showing you are hardworking, will still just clog up space on the resume.
Learn relevant skills
The obvious one for this kind of article, but it needs to be said (over and over again). Namely, people become complacent and think that just because they got their degree, a relevant certificate, and a job, that they don’t have to work on their skills anymore. However, that cannot be further from the truth.
In order to stay competitive, you need to constantly hone your craft, to work on your skills. Seek out courses for your profession, read and improve constantly. Practice and go to seminars, and try to invest in every manual and textbook out there. If you work with your hands, set some money aside every month so you can buy the latest tools and materials.
Learn a foreign language
One of the best things you can do is learn a foreign language. You never know what kind of opportunity you can seize if you know a certain language. Perhaps a rare seminar in that language taught by overseas experts. You may even get a job in a foreign country. Passing an English placement test, or whatever language you want to perfect, creates room for amazing opportunities.
Knowing a foreign language can impress a potential customer or business partner, making room for better opportunities, and making you seem like being on top of your game.
Figure out how to keep your social media clean
You need to learn how to keep your social media platforms professional. These days employers double check everything, including your online presence. So any photos from your wild week in Vegas should be removed from Facebook, and put in Dropbox. Spruce up your LinkedIn, and remove any embarrassing and inflammatory tweets.
Your email address should be professional as well. At a time firstname.lastname@example.org may have seemed like the best idea ever, but no employer will take you seriously further on.
Learn how to network (differently)
Regular networking is, of course, a must. No matter what kind of work you’re in, learning how to talk to people properly, in a manner that makes them trust you and see you as a true professional will make you stand out greatly. Communicate with people, try to be patient and polite. Developing your people skills goes a long way. Furthermore, it also gives you access to better opportunities. Meeting the right person at the right time, and impressing them, just may land you your dream job.
However, if you really want to stand out, don’t just apply to various job postings and move around the regular business places. Think outside the box. Volunteering is an excellent option. Not only will you be giving back to the community, but you may meet people in high places you never would otherwise. You’d be surprised how many actually give back.
Things like building homes for the poor if you want to get into architecture or construction management, working in soup kitchens if you set your eyes on the hospitality industry, volunteering at an animal shelter if you are trying to get work as a vet, all excellent options.
Becoming more hireable in the 21st century is not easy, but with a little work and education, you can certainly pull it off. Just remember to educate yourself constantly, on a daily basis, and to think outside of the box.