In the previous post on Skills You Can Improve While You Job Search- Part 1, areas such as communication and basic computer skills were discussed. Here are three more areas to focus on to improve your current skill set or to begin building new, transferable skills in your job search.
Industry specific knowledge and skills
Build your skill set in your area of interest, and stay on top of news and improvements in your desired industry. For example, if you’re seeking a position in the culinary world, keep up with foodie blogs and the newest exotic fruits. Find yourself a captive audience to test and critique your food creations so that you are constantly challenged in your craft. If you’re looking for a job in publishing, read often so that you expand your vocabulary as well as your knowledge of authors and styles of writing.
Organization and time management skills
In any workplace, organization and time management are skills that are directly related to your success as an employee. In this area, however, one method of organization may work better for you than for others. Your time as a job seeker is an excellent time to use trial and error to find the systems that work best for you. Begin by keeping track of your contacts, phone calls, and the credentials you have sent through your personal organization system. If there seems to be a flaw, mix it up and try something completely different.
Use the same process for time management. Perhaps you’re a person who needs to work with a tight deadline, or maybe you’re disciplined enough to set aside blocks of time to complete a project. While this particular aspect of the job will vary depending on your position, and the tasks you are expected to complete, it is beneficial to know the environment and time constraints under which you are most productive. Knowing the processes that work best for you will make you adaptable to a new work space and the most efficient employee possible.
These skills don’t die after you leave the university library for the last time. As a job seeker, you know the value of being able to use your resources to research jobs, companies and new opportunities effectively. This skill can always be improved, and will most likely prove itself useful in almost any work environment. Particularly within your industry of interest, do your research ahead of time to know where trustworthy industry news comes from. Use your experience at condensing research into digestible bites that can be fed to other customers or clients in a presentation.
The list can go on and on. Continue to seek out areas where you can improve your current skills and look for holes in your current skill set in order to build upon your qualifications. If you’re having a difficult time, maybe seek the advice of a trusted individual who knows you professionally and personally. In almost all job fields, you’ll find that learning new skills as well as perfecting those you’ve already learned will make you a more competitive candidate and a more effective employee.
What are some skills you’ve improved upon during your job search? Share with us in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by slightly everything
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