If you were laid off or furloughed from your job because of the pandemic, you aren’t alone. Millions of people in America are out of work. And that means if you’re looking for a job now, you may have to compete against more applicants than you did before. That doesn’t mean you won’t get hired. You just need to know how to showcase your skills. Here’s how to stand out in a competitive job market:
1. Gain Relevant Work Experience
Do you have the skills and experience to succeed in this job? That’s the first consideration your future employer takes into account when they decide whether or not to hire you. And if this is your first professional position or if you’re in the midst of a career switch, having that relevant experience can be a challenge. But not an insurmountable one.
If you had an externship during your career training, that’s experience! Highlight it on your resume. You can also gain experience by volunteering in the profession you hope to enter. Look for volunteer opportunities on job boards or reach out to local businesses to see if they would welcome a helper.
2. Showcase Your Marketable Job Skills
Do you possess qualities and skills an employer would find valuable? Of course you do! It can be easy to forget about marketable skills that don’t focus on relevant work experience. But these are the kinds of skills that are important in any job. They include skills like the ability to solve problems, communicate clearly, work well with people, or multitask. Think about skills you have that might transfer well to a new position. For example, if you’ve worked in retail or food service, you probably have great people skills. Highlight the experience on your resume and in an interview and explain how it would fit with your new role.
3. Network, Network, Network with Other Professionals
It’s more important than ever to have a wide network. The more people who can say you’d make a great employee, the more likely an employer will give you a try. Look for events in your area that encourage networking such as job fairs and conventions. Reach out to industry professionals, or even people at the company you’d like to work for, and introduce yourself via email or over the phone. Get active on the right social media platforms and act professionally.
4. Create a LinkedIn Profile to Find Job Opportunities
One of the best social media platforms for professional networking is LinkedIn. Create your profile and pay attention to people in your field. Ask your connections to connect you to theirs. Like and share relevant articles and videos. You can also search for jobs on LinkedIn, and with an online presence, you make it easier for employers to find you. Set job alerts so you know when something matches your experience. You can also follow the companies you’d like to work for and connect with their employees. Pro tip: Look at the profiles of industry employees and see what skills and training they have. This will tell you what similar employers will want to see on your resume.
5. Join a Professional Association
Professional associations, like the Automotive Service Association or the Association of Information Technology Professionals, could look good on your resume. Your affiliation with them shows that you continue to develop as a professional. Association memberships also give you access to specialized trainings and networking events, as well as information on the latest industry trends. And it could help you find job opportunities. Many associations have job boards that are exclusive to their members, and some companies will use associations to actively recruit.
6. Continue Your Education with Career Training
To really stand out from the crowd, continue your education with training. At Porter and Chester Institute, we offer a variety of career training programs in Connecticut and Massachusetts that can set you on the path to a new and exciting career. Fill out the form for more information.