Are you feeling stuck in your career as a young professional? Are you frustrated with the lack of opportunities available to you? If so, you aren’t alone. As the world becomes more competitive, it’s becoming harder and harder to find a job opportunity with decent chances of getting hired. But don’t worry…there are ways to get ahead, and we’re here to help. Remember:
No one is born good at something — competency is developed with strategy and hard work.
That said, we’ll outline five steps that will help you become more employable as a young professional and achieve your career goals. So whether you’re job hunting or want to improve your current situation, read on!
1. Get out of your comfort zone.
Your comfort zone can be an obstacle to achieving your goals professionally. It’s easy to get comfortable with the things you know, and this can have a detrimental effect on your career. Staying in your comfort zone will:
- keep you from gaining more skills;
- stop you from meeting new people in your industry; and
- keep you from becoming increasingly competent.
Finishing college was just the start of your journey. If you want to become appealing to employers, you need to get out of your comfort zone and start building yourself practically.
2. Learn and polish skills practically.
Even if you have the skills you want, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the job. The best way to become more employable is to develop skills that are in demand. There are two types of skills:
- Hard Skills
- Soft Skills
You may already have hard skills — the technical skills in your field — from a university education. However, you don’t have soft skills at the starting point of your journey as a young professional.
The soft skills that employers look for when hiring employees include problem-solving, leadership, communication, and creativity. The best way to learn these soft skills and polish your hard skills is by getting an internship.
Don’t take an internship for granted, even if you are not getting high pay for it. Do it anyway because this is the foundation that’s going to make you stand out when applying for a job.
3. Start networking with people in your industry.
Did you know that 70% of the jobs are not even advertised and almost 80% of vacancies are filled through referrals? Imagine if there are people in key positions who know you…won’t you have the best odds of landing a better job? This is only possible if you go out and network.
However, by networking, we don’t just mean meeting people in bars.
Instead, we’re talking about building relationships with those who have the power to help you achieve your goals. The more people know you, the more doors will open, leading to more opportunities. There are various ways to network, but you can start from:
- attending events and conferences in your industry and meeting new people;
- starting volunteer work to gain more knowledge of how organizations operate when budgets are tight, polish your skills, and gain more exposure;
- joining social media groups in your industry and start talking to other members; and
- start posting valuable blogs related to your area of expertise on social media platforms like LinkedIn. (People will share them…giving you exposure.)
If you are active in your industry, you’ll develop relationships with the people who have the power to help you get ahead.
4. Gather the data on your past achievements.
Before you build a resume and start applying for jobs, there’s one more thing left for you to do; gather facts and figures. You’ll be doing volunteer and temp work in different organizations for some time before going big.
So make sure to gather the details of the things you do. If you are managing staff, note down the number of people on the staff, and if you are doing bookkeeping, note down the number of funds you verified and recorded every month.
Furthermore, if you are working in operations, note down how much efficiency boost you achieved during your time working there.
Providing this information to the employers will give you an advantage over other candidates. HR managers find it appealing when someone mentions how they contributed to the growth of their organization.
5. Develop a resume that makes you stand out as a young professional.
Once you have done some practical work during your internship and learned skills relevant to your industry, it’s time to craft a resume.
Remember, it’s a good approach to fill the resume with your achievements, but it’s even better if all the skills, past experiences, academic qualifications, and extracurricular activities are related to your industry.
This means you can keep the resume short and sweet by only providing relevant details about your area of expertise and how they resonate with the job post.
Furthermore, make sure to add as much data as you can to your resume, which you gathered in Step 4. Employers are attracted to anything that shows you improved a company’s bottom line.
For instance, you can mention that you used to manage $1 million in funds for your previous organization. Or it can be something as simple as saying you found a new business phone provider that cut communication costs by 10%.
If you want to be more employable as a young professional, you need to stand out from the crowd. That’s why you should develop a unique, professional resume tailored to your skills. A well-crafted resume will:
- give you an advantage over other job applicants;
- show employers that you’re a well-rounded individual; and
- signal employers that you’re an excellent fit for their company.
Over to You
By following these simple, yet powerful five steps, you’ll be well on your way to finding a new job or going forward in your current one.
This actionable strategy will help you build a strong resume that can help propel your career in the right direction.