Go-getters continually grow and strengthen their skill set in an effort to expand their knowledge, succeed, and move up their career ladder. Sounds straight-forward and easy, right? No, this is easier said than done! It takes careful thought, planning, time, and effort. Here are some simple but effective tips to help move you closer to your career goals and aspirations:
- Research and identify in-demand skills for your occupation. Identify which skills the employers in your field value the most. You can do this by reading job descriptions, speaking to someone in that industry, or analyzing what skills the top performers in your industry possess and excel at. It’s a bit of detective work, but it’s worth it!
- Create a professional development plan. This includes your professional goals, the skills you want to learn, and how you plan to achieve them. By having a plan to follow, you greatly increase your chances of following through with it.
- Attend workshops, webinars and networking events. Spending some time going to workshops, participating in webinars, or watching online tutorials are great ways to work on your skills. Networking events will help you to build your contact list and could potentially open up doors for future job opportunities!
- Go to school or extend your education with online classes. Check with local colleges and adult education programs to see if they offer courses or seminars to help employees upgrade their knowledge and skills. You can also look into certificate programs and online courses to revamp your skill set quickly.
- Develop both hard and soft skills. While it’s vital that you remain current with your job-specific skills that you learned in education or training (hard skills), there is always room to improve your soft skills as well. Soft skills include things like communication, team work, and organization and they are becoming more and more important to employers all the time!
Aside from personal skills and experience, another very important aspect of job searching is the quality of your cover letters, resumes, and interview skills. You only have one chance to make a good first impression, so make sure you do a bit of research on the specific job opportunity to know which skills you should highlight. The closer a match you are, the better your chances are of getting hired! Here are some top tips to amp up your cover letter, resume and interview skills:
- For cover letters: Include a short beginning paragraph where you refer to 2-4 top priority skills or related experiences that match their job description. An example would be “My strong mathematics skills, customer service orientation, attentiveness to detail, and ability to work with precision make this job an excellent fit for me”. Explain those skills a little further in later paragraphs.
- For resumes: Review and tweak your resume for each specific job you’re applying for. Put your closest matching skills and experience first. You can use relevant headings like “Writing Experience” or “Event Planning Experience” to catch the reader’s attention.
- For interviews: Make sure you are prepared with explanations of your top skills and experiences relative to the job. You should give evidence and examples of how you’ve successfully applied those skills in past situations.
Growing and improving your skill set should be a lifelong process! The hunger for constant improvement will pay dividends in both your professional and personal life. If you need help identifying what skills should be worked on, or how to highlight your best skills, contact us at 204-727-0008.
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