3 Skills You Can Improve While You Job Search- Part 1

Learning doesn’t end simply because you’re no longer in school. Throughout your job search, you can continue to hone your transferable skills, or the skills that are relevant to jobs in multiple fields. As a job seeker in a generation of fellow seekers- who will likely change jobs 5 to 7 times in their lives- what can you do to improve your existing skills and learn new ones? Here are three skill areas to consider that could make you a competitive candidate for many kinds of jobs in your job search.

Computer Skills
This includes not only basic operating skills, but continuing your education about programs you may use every day in a typical office like Word, Excel and Outlook. Printed resources exist to help with this, such as the Word 2010 Bible, and the For Dummies series. There are also online tools with tutorials and step-by-step programs to teach you the myriad features of programs such as Excel. Most likely, there are also training sessions taught by professionals in your community to help you grow these skills. Check with your local library or local professional groups.

Social Media Skills
Especially in relation to social media, it is pivotal that you know how to generate content as well as consume it. Most people know how to create content on Facebook and Instagram because that’s become part of our everyday lives. However, consider how active you are through other avenues of social media. Could you run a blog, or participate actively in a blog that relates to your industry or personal interests? Could you moderate a group on LinkedIn or create a group page on Facebook for an organization of like-minded professionals?

People Skills

Effectively connecting with other professionals in your field or outside your current industry is always an advantage for forward movement throughout your job search. With this in mind, there are many ways in which you can successfully connect with people in order to take them from acquaintances to professional contacts. One way is by broadening your communication skills. Learn how to craft a professional email to request information about a company or inquire about an opening; be active on social media such as LinkedIn where other professionals connect through industry-specific professional groups.

Another way is by perfecting existing skills and returning to tried and true methods of communication: hone your face-to-face contact skills by scheduling a coffee or lunch meeting with a networking contact or attending a networking event with the intent of meeting new people. Make regular phone calls to connect with potential employers or hiring managers. If you’ve signed up with an employment agency, keep your file with them active by regularly phoning to check on any new openings. The fact that you can comfortably connect with people through almost any avenue of communication will make you a well-rounded potential employee.

Check back next week for part two and for three more skills you can work on improving in your job search!

What are some skills you focus on improving during your job search? Let us know about it in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by slightly everything

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About Kailyn Baum

Kailyn is a recent college graduate with degrees in English and Political Science. She is currently working in the publishing industry, where she loves the fact that she is paid to immerse herself in talking and thinking about books all day long. When she isn’t working, she enjoys reading, cooking, line-dancing, and writing short stories and poetry. Her sincerest hope for contributing to Spark Hire’s job seeker blog is to provide job seekers of all ages with the tools and sense of humor necessary to stay calm and carry on.