By 2020, more than 220 million people around the world were unemployed. That means the global unemployment rate was at 6.5%. In the US, the unemployment rate among college graduates stands at 4% in 2022. Two years ago, this figure stood at 13.3%. These statistics should tell you how competitive the labor market is right now. However, as scarce as jobs may be, your job is somewhere waiting for you to get your act together and boost your chances of getting it. Here are 5 ways you can enhance your employability in 2022 and beyond:
1. Start networking
Building up your professional network will boost your career prospects in so many ways. First, the network you build should have mentors and role models who are well progressed in your preferred career. These are people to ask pertinent questions about your career path. They will advise you on the courses to pursue, the people to contact, the labor markets to consider, and the direction to take in your pursuit of a job.
Secondly, your network should have other job seekers and a few entry-level professionals. These people can be a great source of insight on the dos and don’ts of the current labor market. Fellow job seekers may even recommend you to employers who, for whichever reason, those job seekers can’t work for.
Third, you can create a career-building network by attending industry and professional events. You will meet people in these events who will point you on the right career trajectory or even take you under your wings. The confidence that you gain from interacting with top professionals in these networking events can be incredibly useful in future interviews.
Lastly, part of building your network is creating a profile on LinkedIn. The potential that LinkedIn offers is immense particularly because it is a huge umbrella where employers go to poach talents and job seekers go to showcase their skills and explain their career aspirations. You will meet all kinds of people on this platform; people who will help you keep tabs on current trends in your industry and people who might want to hire you.
If you don’t know where to start when setting up your career-building network, these tips for networking as a young graduate will come in handy.
2. Improve your social and soft skills
These are non-technical skills that aren’t industry-specific. A skill such as communication, for example, will not only help you convince employers but can also improve your performance at work. Your discipline, flexibility, time management, empathy, and conflict resolution, among other abilities, will also come in handy during job interviews. Note that most of these skills aren’t taught in a formal classroom. You have to train yourself and practice being a better, all-around person.
Working as a volunteer in your dream company or a non-profit organization comes with quite a number of benefits. First, you gain valuable experience and insights into how the real world works. Second, it gives you a platform to put your skills into action and test your ideas against the best brains. Third, you will learn new skills that no school in the world can teach. Fourth, when you volunteer for community empowerment programs and other humanitarian initiatives, that earns you favors from people who can either hire you or connect you to a job.
Note: You can volunteer in the form of sharing your expertise on social media, e.g. offering free online tutorials. You never know who would be watching. Besides, sharing your expertise on YouTube can grow to become a job on its own.
4. Take as many online courses as possible
With so many learning resources online, both free and premium, you have no excuse for not growing your skillset and diversifying your resume. There actually are short courses that you can finish and get certified within months.
Start by learning a new language. Multilingualism will not only improve your employability but also your salary bracket. Recruiters in multicultural countries such as the US won’t miss a chance of hiring someone who can communicate fluently in two or more languages. An extra language will also break the glass ceiling and open up opportunities for you in foreign labor markets. Some of the online tools that can help you learn a new language are Busuu and Duolingo.
Other online courses that will make you more employable are:
– Inbound marketing courses. Every business in the world is looking into creative ways of improving its inbound marketing. Having such a qualification on your CV would be a huge boost to any job application. Hubspot Academy offers these courses online, complete with relevant certification.
– Social media strategy courses. The business world has finally discovered the raw power of social media marketing. Knowing your way around social media marketing will really help you stand out to potential employers. You can take a social media course online at Alison Duration.
– There are many online data analysis certifications and courses that you can pursue not only to qualify for data analyst jobs but to also boost your employability in your preferred industry. These courses will teach you everything from Microsoft Excel, Python, SQL, and R.
5. Try your luck with recruitment agencies
Get in touch, register, and network with recruitment agencies- some of them can actually find the right opportunities for you. Send your CV to as many of them as you can. Be bold when making your case but don’t be too pushy. Build a steady and healthy relationship with them. That’s how you will get in their good books.
Make sure that your CV and every application letter you write are clear, concise, and simple. Be patient and sooner or later, something exciting will fall on your lap.