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Improving Your Qualifications and Experience To Boost Your Job Search Prospects

Published: Friday 22nd May 2015

Female taking a interview on laptop

It’s far better to take control over your career by pro-actively making yourself more attractive to employers – and get the job you want – by enhancing your education and experience.

Here are a few tips from us to help you do just that.

Education

Whether you’re looking for a promotion, a new challenge or a change of career, it makes sense to add some extra qualifications to your armoury.

The obvious reason for embarking on additional studies is to meet the educational criteria for a specific post, but it’s far from the only reason why you should do it. Employers will almost always look favourably upon someone who has voluntarily undertaken a course of study, for the simple reason that it shows a commitment to bettering oneself. And wrapped up in that commitment is enthusiasm, determination, drive and a willingness to learn – qualities that are sure to sit well with any employer.

Of course, some people will find it easier than others to find the necessary time to undertake a course. Indeed, a full-time or part-time course is not an option for all of us. However, many colleges and course providers offer alternatives to fit around work and family commitments, such as distance learning and evening and weekend courses.

When choosing a course, it’s important to compare the benefits that will you will receive from the course against the cost of it.  There are lots of course providers to choose from, and shopping around for the best value course is no less sensible than doing the same thing for your utilities or car insurance provider. 

The Indirect Approach To Gaining Experience

Trying to obtain a job that requires skills that you don’t have can seem like a Catch-22 situation: to get the job, you need certain skills, but you need the job in order to acquire those skills.

In reality, the situation isn’t quite as clear-cut as that. Gaining new skills can be tricky – especially if you’ve reached a certain stage in your career – but there are a couple of ways to tackle the skills conundrum.

By taking the indirect approach you are not apply for a job without possessing the necessary skills and experience needed; as chances are you’d be unsuccessful. The alternative is to look at jobs catered to your existing skill set and experience, but which offer the opportunity to develop those skills and experience – to move up to the job you really want.  The indirect approach may mean moving sideways in order to move forward, but learning to take a more strategic view of your career is never a bad thing.

Voluntary Work

Carrying out voluntary work offers the prospect of enhancing your credentials to an employer as well as performing a valuable public service.

Firstly, it offers you the opportunity to meet other people and add them to your network. It may not necessarily offer immediate benefits but who is to say that it won’t do so a little further down the line.

It may be that you don’t have much working experience or that you’re looking to pursue a career in a post that calls for experience that you don’t currently possess. If so, voluntary work can provide with the experience you’re looking for.  Of course, it can also help to enhance skills that you already have, by enabling you to utilise them in a different environment.

The prospect of working in a particular job or sector might look wonderful from a distance, but the reality might not be so attractive. Voluntary work can offer you a risk-free opportunity to ‘try before you buy’.  And if you should find that you don’t, after all, much care for a particular role or type of work, then you’re free to find something that’s a better fit for you, and without incurring any financial risk in the process.

For more interview tips and to find roles in your local area, why not try our Zoek App. For faster, smarter recruiting Zoek is the job search app that lets the jobs come to you. Available to download for free on iOS or Android.

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