Under the current national lockdown, a vast number of individuals are either working from home, on furlough from their current job or regrettably out of work and searching for a new opportunity. So if you’ve found that you have some spare time at your disposal, why let it go to waste? Now is the opportune moment to develop your skills and increase your productivity, so here we give you our top 5 ways you can improve your employability from the comfort of your own home.
DO SOME ONLINE COURSES.
Whether you want to master Microsoft Excel, earn a certificate in construction, learn key legislation in the manufacturing industry or broaden your general knowledge, there’s a plethora of online courses available, ranging from paid degrees to free short courses. Platforms like Udemy
are a good place to start your search. Not only do online courses sometimes give you the accreditation you need to start a career in a new field, they show employers that you’re committed, proactive and keen to learn.
DEVELOP YOUR SOFT SKILLS.
With a dramatic increase in job seekers as a result of redundancies, many employers are likely to start looking at candidates’ soft skills as well as their experience in order to narrow down their options. The interview process is no longer just centred on where you’ve worked, what you’ve studied and who you know, so being able to demonstrate skills like teamwork, adaptability, strong communication, organisation, initiative and management will increase your hiring potential.
These soft skills can also be developed with online courses, and there are many out there like Google Digital Garage
for example, that cover things like verbal and non-verbal communication, critical thinking, listening, story-telling and presenting abilities. But there are also simple day-to-day things you can do like reading or structuring your “work from home” days.
Reading regularly (whether it be fiction or non-fiction), can improve memory, expand vocabulary, encourage creative thinking and develop empathy. A study by Kingston University, London
found that by reading, appreciating and understanding the complex emotions of characters/subjects, you will be better able to appreciate the emotions of others. Each of these contribute to desirable soft skills that can boost your potential.
By carefully structuring or planning your days while working from home you can boost productivity, work efficiently and avoid burnout. Once you start to get into a successful routine, you may find that the habit of being organised and timely sticks with you, and having great organisational skills will impress employers and carry you through a number of different roles.
In need of some CV pointers, career advice or a brush up on your interview techniques? Take a look at our handy free guides and top tips videos here.
While physically attending networking events may not be on the cards for a while, the online networking and webinar market has exploded and better yet, many of these are free. Eventbrite
is just one of the many platforms that offer a host of online events, and of course, LinkedIn is an indisposable tool for networking.
Networking allows you to make useful connections that may open opportunities and advance your career. It boosts confidence, it gives you a more in depth look at different industries and it teaches you how to communicate with individuals in different jobs and seniorities.
TAKE ON A PROJECT.
It’s important to bear in mind that employers aren’t just hiring a bunch of skills, they’re hiring a person. Often they like to hear about personal achievements or see projects that candidates have completed as it contributes to your character and suggests a little more about what you’re like to work with. It can also demonstrate a creative edge that other candidates may lack, so with some time to spare at home, why not work on something that will make your CV stand out against the rest?
WORK ON YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE.
It’s believed that around 70% of employers screen their candidates’ social media profiles before inviting them to an interview or offering them a job, so do an audit of your pages by searching your name on Google. If you think any of your pages might portray you in a negative way, consider removing some content or making your pages private. Social media has quickly become a power-tool when it comes to job hunting, so why not use it to your advantage and show off your admirable interests, skills, achievements, life stories and ideas. Think of your public social media pages as your very own personal portfolio, and show your perusing employers just why you’re the one to hire.
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