2020 has certainly turned out to be a year that nobody could have predicted. One of the few positives brought on by COVID-19 has been the downtime we’ve all inevitably had while in lockdown, which has given many of us the chance to refocus and reprioritise things.
If you’ve spent any of that time either job hunting or reconsidering the job you’re in, now could be the perfect time to consider a career change. We’ve pulled together our top tips to help you brush up on your skills and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward when it comes to securing a new role.
- Fix Your Resume – if it’s been a while since you last updated your CV, now’s the time for a refresh. Be sure to include the four key elements recruiters and employers look for too; a personal statement, up-to-date work experience, a skills section (which should always be tailored to the role you’re applying for) and details of your educational or training qualifications.
- Let your network know you’re available – update your LinkedIn profile and put up a post letting people know you’re looking for a new opportunity.
- Use your free time to strengthen your skills – look back through your job reviews to see what has been highlighted as areas for improvement. Or, compare your skill set against the skills mentioned in job descriptions you’re interested in to see what you’re missing. Find an online course or resource to help strengthen that skill.
- Research sectors that are hiring – while hiring has slowed down across many industries but there are some sectors on the rise.
Focus on Transferable Skills
Transferable skills are those that can be applied across different roles. They may be personal attributes that you’ve developed over time, or they could be skills you’ve acquired through training.
While the range of skills an employer or recruiter will be looking for depends on the role, there are some fundamental transferable skills that will help you stand out. Why not take the time now, while you have it, to think of some really good, real-life, examples that demonstrate the transferable skills you have. Spend time planning out the best way to talk through your background and experience, and prepare and practice giving answers to commonly asked questions that demonstrates your skills in the following five areas.
- Communication – Express yourself clearly and with confidence. Demonstrating proficiency in written and verbal communication is a sure-fire way to impress an interviewer.
- Listening – Answer the question asked. Listening is more than hearing what is being said, it’s about being able to interpret the message and act accordingly.
- Teamwork – Teams that work well together, achieve more. Employers are typically looking for people who work well and get along with others.
- Organisation – Demonstrate that you’re able to organise your own work schedule and can adapt to and deal with unexpected issues that arise.
- Leadership – Leadership is a skill that most employers look for in all employees, regardless of seniority.
The amount of time you have in an interview is limited, so make sure you prepare to give yourself the best possible chance of success.
Identify what skills you have; you might even ask friends or colleagues for their input. Then determine what skills the recruiter or employer is looking for.
Finally think of examples that show how the transferable skills you have will add value to their business.
If you’re actively looking for a role, get in touch with our team to see how we can help you find your dream role here.
Written by Ebony McCabe for Discovered People