The decisions you make and the path you choose during and after your education all contribute to your career prospects. So, if you’ve dedicated your time to networking in college or invested money and time in a certification, all will yield fruit in the form of opportunities.
But it doesn’t stop here. You can boost your career prospects at any point in time. In fact, it is important that you keep upgrading your skillset to stay relevant to the ever-changing industry. This article provides 5 tips that will help you stay updated and boost your career prospects in a competitive job market.
1. Apply for Jobs with a Customized Cover Letter
If you’re not getting any interview calls despite having applied at many places, you might want to take a step back and analyze your application.
When you’re looking for jobs, you will come across many kinds of job posts. Some of them clearly mention the skills and experience required. Others are generic and don’t reveal much about the position. Websites like the Job Post have job postings that include details pertaining to the type of candidate the employer is looking for and comprehensive job descriptions. To secure an interview, don’t apply with a generic resume. You need to mention your work experience relevant to the job you’re applying for.
For example, if you’re just kicking off your job search and a job post says someone with a knack for creativity is needed, show them how you creatively dealt with a project on your internship. Or you could mention course projects that you completed with an out-of-the-box idea.
2. Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Updated
LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with individuals belonging to the industry you’re looking to work in. Even if you’re a working professional, keeping your LinkedIn updated is important to showcase your skills to your network for better opportunities in the future.
You should keep your LinkedIn profile updated by adding the projects you’re working on and the experiences you’ve gathered.
3. Establish Your Repute on LinkedIn
Another great way to build a reputation on LinkedIn is to start writing, especially if you’re a professional. Share work tips with others, experiences, and insights to build a followership. Only 1% of the audience on LinkedIn creates content. And those who do get weekly 9 billion impressions! So, when you start developing content on LinkedIn, you will get opportunities like never before. But you must ensure that the information you’re adding is verified and that you aren’t plagiarizing content.
If you don’t want to write long-form content or blogs or don’t have the knowledge and expertise to do so, you could start by sharing your opinion on the latest industry news. For example, if you’re working in the oil and gas sector or are interested in working there as a student, you could share your stance and analysis about new regulations. By doing this, you will come across as an experienced person. If you’re a student, people from the industry will see you as someone who is keen on acquiring knowledge and has the aptitude needed to work in the industry. But to ensure your content reaches the right audiences, connect with people on LinkedIn who are working in the industry.
4. Skill Up Through Online Platforms
If you’re a sales professional, there’s nothing wrong with learning coding or upskilling in the data field. In fact, data analytics is now becoming one of the most important skills across different job domains. Data is the new oil, and job seekers in the future will have to learn how to deal with these numbers if they are to progress in their careers.
A great way to get familiar with data analysis techniques is to subscribe to online learning platforms. Udemy, Data Camp, and Coursera are popular platforms with valuable courses. Suppose you are interested in graphic designing or video editing. In that case, you can change your career path by learning the skill first, then practicing it till you develop a portfolio that you can show.
Make sure you share the courses you’ve completed on LinkedIn so industry specialists and headhunters can reach out to you if you fit their criteria.
5. Start with an Internship
Remember the movie ‘The Intern’? If you think about it, the movie teaches us a lot about life and how it’s never too late to start fresh. If you’ve graduated and are looking for a job, don’t pass on the opportunity to volunteer or work as an intern in an organization. The work might not pay or pay very less, but you’ll get a great chance to get to know about the industry, the standards, the work processes, and network with the employees. Who knows, the company might consider you for a full-time role after your internship.
You can even restart your career with an internship. If you’ve taken a hiatus, there’s no shame in starting off as an intern. You could even start as an intern if you want to switch your career path. For example, if you’re an engineer and have always wanted to work in sales, a sales internship in an organization where you’re not just fetching coffee for the bosses can add much value to your resume and get you the much-needed experience for starting your career.
When you’re looking to boost your career prospects, you will find generic advice like improving your soft skills, aligning your goals, and staying organized. While these parts are important, they are not specifically important to your professional life. It is important to upskill, stay active on professional platforms, and apply for jobs by highlighting the right skills to stay ahead of others.
When you gain experience, soft skills and organizational capabilities come along with it. Ensure you’re not running away from hard work if you want to boost your career. With this mindset, in the end, all will be well!