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Employability – you hear a lot of talk about it, but you might be confused about what it really is.
I remember during my first job searches, I had a tough time knowing exactly what it was that employers were looking for (which is why I ultimately decided to pursue my side-hustle full time!).
It can seem pretty nebulous, but let me break it down for you. Basically, employers look for some common qualities in their new hires.
Now, every employer is different, and if you’re trying to get hired on as a hair stylist, you’ll probably need a different set of qualities from someone applying to a chemical engineer position.
However, in general, there are some qualities all professionals should have, and most employers are pretty careful to look for them when hiring. I’ll break it down into three simple tips.
Tip #1: Focus on Authenticity
Most seasoned professionals know how to smell a phony. Just like in your dating life, when you’re on the job hunt, it’s important to be the realest you that you can be.
Don’t have a certification in data analytics? Then don’t lie and say that you do on your resume.
Most employers won’t expect you to walk onto the job knowing how to run the company all on your own.
In fact, most of the time, you’ll have a couple of weeks of on-the-job training before you get fully thrown into your position.
That means you can be honest about your lack of expertise, but be sure you back that up with an eager desire to learn more.
Hiring managers are looking for people they can train, especially for entry-level positions.
On top of that, it’s important not to lie about your past. Many employers are known to conduct background checks as part of the hiring process.
What is a background check? Basically, they look through your employment and legal history to make sure you weren’t fired for setting your boss’s office on fire, or some other crazy thing.
Don’t say you had a job or got a degree that you didn’t – more likely than not, the employer will find out.
Tip #2: Market Yourself
Getting a college degree or professional certification is a huge step, and you should be super proud of yourself if you completed this important life goal!
However, it’s a tough market out there, and you’ll likely be competing with tons of other smart, talented, and skilled people just like yourself.
That’s where marketing yourself comes in. It’s not just about your skills and education, it’s also about how the story you tell about that education.
Sure, you studied accounting, but what makes you passionate about numbers and spreadsheets?
Yeah, you bounced around between welding and electrical work, but what did you learn from those transitions, and how does it translate into a concrete set of skills you’re ready to bring to this new job?
Those are the questions you should answer on your resume and cover letters when you apply to jobs, and that’s what marketing yourself is all about.
These days, employers don’t just want another drone with skills, they want a career-driven professional who is invested in the company’s goals.
Telling a story about yourself gives them a clearer idea about whether your own goals match onto theirs.
Tip #3: Network, Network, Network
Did you know that the majority of jobs are found through a connection? It’s true.
Sure, job boards are a great resource for those who are looking to get the lay of the land, but there’s more to applying to jobs – and finding your career path – than simply clicking “apply” on an online form.
The best thing that you can do to make yourself look employable is to get others to tell that story for you.
If you don’t have a professional network right now, don’t stress. There are tons of sites online that will allow you to meet and connect with professionals who you could get to know.
You might also see whether your university, community college, or trade school has meetups in your area.
These can allow you to meet with people who share important parts of their background with you, and who you can talk with about potential employment opportunities.
Finding a job is not easy work. But taking these key steps to make yourself more employable will get you that much closer to landing your dream job.
I’ve done all the things! Girl, I’ve washed my face. I’ve trashed everything that doesn’t spark joy. I’ve walked the baby steps. I’ve cried. I’ve prayed, but my perfectionism has really held me back.
Perfection Hangover can be crippling. Stop comparing yourself to others and start living your best life! That’s why PH exists! I want to encourage you to take control of your money, your blog, and your business.