Here at Brighton and The Paralegal Institute, we talk a lot about improving your employability, because it’s one of our top priorities as educators. Of course, you might be wondering what we mean by “employability.” Simply put, employability is your skill sets and talents that make you a qualified, attractive candidate for employers. It can be difficult for employers to find candidates that are qualified and fit in with the company’s culture, which is why job-seekers with the right skills and certifications are highly sought after.
How Can I Improve My Employability?
There is no one-stop-shop for improving your employability; it’s a process with a few different facets that lead to you becoming a more well-rounded professional. The goal is to have a good assortment of hard and soft skills. Here are a few ways to increase your hard and soft skills so you can be more employable:
Degrees and Certifications
Degrees and certifications fall under the “hard skills” category. They are credible verifications that you have taken courses to learn the technical aspects of your chosen profession. Having at least one degree is a must for any job seeker hoping to stand out from the crowd. More than one degree, or a combination of a degree and certifications, looks impressive on your resume and shows hiring managers that you are dedicated to your field.
If you already have a degree and aren’t interested in pursuing another one, consider taking continuing education and professional development courses. If you are currently employed, check with your company to see if they will help cover the cost of taking these courses, as it is a win-win for both you and the organization you work for.
Being an effective communicator is an extremely valuable “soft skill” that employers don’t often talk about until it becomes a problem within the workplace.
Depending on your industry, you will need to communicate with colleagues, managers, clients, and others. Being a clear, effective, and tactful communicator will make you a strong asset to any company, and smooth the way for you to advance further in your career. You can help improve your communication skills by learning the basics of verbal and non-verbal communication, asking for feedback from your coworkers, and learning how to write professional yet friendly emails.
Motivation and Initiative
Employers like to see candidates who are self-motivated and take initiative in their career paths. One way to show motivation and initiative is by pursuing degrees, certifications, and continuing education courses, as mentioned earlier. This shows that you are serious about your career and want to perform your job to the best of your abilities.
Another way to do this is to seek out opportunities instead of waiting for them to come to you. If you are currently employed, keep asking your manager what other tasks you can do. Build your portfolio and skill set, so you can negotiate a raise or pad out your resume for a new job. Whenever you see an opportunity to show that you are ahead of the curve, take it.
There are, of course, plenty of other aspects to improving your employability. But this is a great, manageable place to start as you strive to grow in your career path and increase your job options and salary ceiling.
Brighton College and The Paralegal Institute offer degrees, certifications, and professional development courses in a variety of programs. Visit www.brightoncollege.edu or www.theparalegalinstitute.edu for more information!