When you’re applying for jobs, you know that you need to stand out. The competition is tough, and normally you’re up against people with very similar qualifications and experience to yours. So, you need something that sets you apart. Something that makes you more than just a tick in the box. Something that makes you a valuable asset to any company.
Sometimes, these ‘extras’ need to be earned through your work. They might be winning awards on projects, getting glowing recommendations, or winning more business. But there are lots of things you can do yourself and in your own time, to help you stand out from the crowd.
Take a training course
You can never be too well-learned. And in some professionals, staying ahead of the game is vital. For example, if you work in digital, you can’t be playing catch up. You need to know what’s coming before anyone else does. So, show that you’re passionate, educated and qualified by taking extra courses. If your profession doesn’t lend itself to courses, then why not see what other training you can book onto? You could expand your knowledge of business in general, by enrolling on a business studies course. Or you could try something new, like courses on marketing or social media. Having extra qualifications that work side-by-side to your main vocation is a great way of showing that you’re willing to learn, and will go the extra mile. Plus, it’s just another skill you can bring to a company. This article has some great ideas for how to learn new skills.
Be health and safety savvy
Nearly all businesses are required to have health and safety representatives. And this usually means a financial outlay to the company, as it has to pay for training and qualification. So, why not make life easier for your future employers, and come ready prepared with your own health and safety training. It’s easy to find this sort of thing: for example, online CPR certification is a surefire way to help you stand out in the crowd, yet it’s not a huge commitment as you can do it online. You can find out more about health and safety in this post, one we wrote a while back.
Volunteer for local businesses or charities
If there’s something you want to put on your resume, but you can’t do it at work, then why not offer this skill on a voluntary basis? It’s a win-win situation: you get the required skills and experience, and a company or charity can benefit from your hard work for free. If you can demonstrate that you’ve used a particular skill, that wouldn’t normally sit within your job remit, you’re showing that you’re flexible and able to take on different duties. Plus, volunteering always looks good on your resume! You can find out more information on getting into volunteering here.
Make it look good
You can add all sorts of impressive things to your resume, but if it’s not easy to read, potential employers won’t care. Think of it like a present: you want to give something really good, but to get it to that person, you need to package it properly. If you sent a parcel without an address, it’d never reach its destination. Likewise, if you create a resume that’s hard to read, messy and too long, people won’t spend the time trying to decipher it. To make it even easier, you could add a personal statement to the top: just a few lines summarising who you are, what your key skills are, and possibly what you’re looking for. For more tips on formatting your resume, read this guide.
Learn a new language
Now, this won’t happen overnight! But if you can start learning a language, you’ll soon find yourself in high demand. With the rise of digital, businesses are becoming global very quickly. And if you can help a business attract a wider market, you become an invaluable asset. You might not be fluent, but the fact you’re willing to learn and can converse in another person’s native language is a huge bonus.
Remember one key point about your resume: show, don’t tell. And when you ‘show’, giving numbers will make it even more powerful. So, instead of describing a situation, explain it with figures. Give the details – how many people were you up against in a competition that you won? How many pitches have you worked on and how many have you been successful with? Anyone can say ‘I’ve done lots of bids’, but if you can say you’ve worked on seven bids a month for the last four years – it means a lot more to your audience.
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Good luck in your search,