Despite major changes in unemployment rates over the last five years, potential employees have more prospects than ever thanks to the Internet and technology. With a few minor tweaks, one can get out of the unemployment line and become employable for life. Here are 10 ways to make oneself irresistibly employable to make anyone’s glass overflow with options.
1) Polish Your Language Skills.
The Internet, cellular telephones, and cable television has made the world accessible to everyone. Most people studied at least one other language besides their own in grade school. Your second language may be a little dusty but taking the time to polish it will increase your marketability. This may mean taking an immersion course through your local college continuing education program or community college classes. Language CDs such as Rosetta Stone have proven to be quite helpful as well. CDs are also available free through your local library.
Being able to communicate with other cultures can greatly increase your job prospects. Even if you can only read and comprehend another language, add that to your curriculum vitae. Just be honest and say if you speak some of that language or if you are fluent. If you spent anytime in another country, you may be fluent in the language as well as understanding the culture.
Don’t overlook summer camp or a summer school program you did 20 years prior. It helps.
2) Improve Your Communication Skills.
Many positions today involve presentations. If that is the case for you, consider polishing your public speaking skills by taking a Dale Carnegie course or Toastmasters. Being able to speak in front of a group comfortably and concisely can greatly differentiate you from the pack. Everyone in marketing and sales should consider this option and find a way to practice their speaking skills.
Get a copy of your speaking engagement on DVD whenever possible. Upload a portion of an impressive presentation on YouTube or Vimeo and include it in your profile page.
3) Improve your Computer Skills.
Almost everything is handled electronically these days. If you are not computer efficient, take a class at your local library to get better acquainted with the technology that will never go away. It’s now a way of life. Most local libraries offer free classes for PowerPoint, Excel, and MS Word. Call and schedule an appointment for a class. Most presentations are done in PowerPoint today. If you are in sales, marketing, advertising, or engineering, you will likely need to present in PowerPoint some day. Learn it.
4) Consider freelance assignments.
Most people prefer stability and are seeking long-term employment. Many employers don’t want to commit to people in the second or third chapter of their career. However, sometimes your experience is worth getting their attention. But if you’ve only worked for one or two companies that perhaps no longer exist, you may need more referrals and current experience. Companies worldwide are searching for you. Connect with them on credible sites as freelancer.com, elance.com, and 99designs.com. Select job assignments that compliment your skills. Tell them how much you will charge to complete the assignment. Wait to see which ones select you. It’s a great way to stay active, get paid, network, and meet potential long-term employers and start-ups. Many people have worked with start-ups and received a better title and greater long-term prospects. See what works best for you.
5) Purchase Your Own Website Domain.
Having your own website domain and setting up a website to compile your profile (YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, articles, press releases) makes it easier for prospects to get to know you and review your qualifications.
6) Update Your Social Media Profile.
Keep your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook pages current. Even if it’s only once a week or monthly, be sure you include something that shows you’re still in the game. It shows that you are connected and relevant.
Volunteering at events in your industry or a charity event that is close to your heart is a great way to meet prospects. Be efficient and courteous.
Get the speakers to their seats or podium on time. Make them feel at ease. When you are there for them in the middle of what can be a chaotic event, you have their attention. Briefly introduce yourself. Give them your business card or ask for theirs. Let them know you are familiar with their work and respect what they do. Make it easy for them to get in touch with you. Follow up within a week of the event. Keep it brief, concise, and cordial.
8) Update our Business Card.
Don’t send out business cards with crossed out numbers and handwriting. If your phone number or email has changed, get new cards. Places as Vistaprint.com offer affordable business cards with prompt delivery. If you have more time and a bigger budget, visit your local printer. Include your website if you have one, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook page. You don’t have to include all social media sites. Just include the ones that best reflect who you are and where you wish to be.
Do not include the site you use to show silly pictures and jokes with close friends and family. Don’t use any silly childish names or descriptions like BigDaddy or MsThang for your email. Be sure your email address is either your name or describes what you do.
9) Take a Continuing Education Course.
Take a class that balances you and adds value to your brand. Regardless of your trade skills, take a business and/or accounting class. It will greatly enhance your creative approach to presenting your personal brand. If you design software or hardware, learn the latest programs.
10) Get spiritual reinforcement.
Being unemployed can be a scary time. Many people second guess their skill set. Often times, it’s just temporary. Use the time for reflection and polishing your skills. However, if you go around sounding defeated, thinking your time has past, you may only be deflecting prospects.
Visit your local church. Speak to your pastor. Listen to spiritual CDs and watch a good service online as a daily part of your personal development program.
When you attend your church in person, you will often find someone willing to pray with you and for you. This will feed you in ways you never knew you previously needed yet everyone does. With renewed confidence and perspective, you will present your personal brand in a positive way that will greatly benefit all with whom you com in contact.
Your new profile is an inside-out job. Your polished skills will be current and attractive to prospects. Now let them know who you are and where to find you. The fish always bite good bait. Just be patient, confident, and persistent. Your next job is on its way to you. Be ready and grab it when it comes.