Blog - May 2018

A guide to becoming more employable

Education is said to be a powerful tool that can be used to change the world. Here at ABE we couldn’t agree more, and it is indeed our passion for equal education that underpins our mission to enable people to realise their potential everywhere.

Although we recognise the great importance in being educated, we understand that, with over 500,000 people graduating each year, there is a demand from employers, for today’s modern business person to be able to offer more added value. 

It’s time for you to give yourself the best chance possible; follow this useful guide to help you stand out in the crowded job market.

1. Enhance your CV

A poorly written CV could be what is standing between you and your dream job. It is important to ensure your CV is a true, and professional reflection of both your work and educational experience. It is quite possible your potential employer will use it to assess your initial suitability for the job role.

Your CV is your opportunity to sell yourself so make it count.

 Avoid grammatical errors by thoroughly proofreading your work, or getting someone else to check it for you

Ensure you tailor your CV to suit the role you are applying for -  you need to demonstrate how, and why you are the right person for the job, so it is best to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach

Turn tasks into accomplishments – rather than listing all the job duties from your previous role, demonstrate what you learnt from them, and how your work was beneficial to the organisation:

e.g. Turn – ‘Experience managing a team of five in market research and working with customer segments’

         To – ‘Enhanced my leadership skills through, my confident management of market research projects. This resulted in a better understanding of our customer segments; allowing us to strengthen our affiliate marketing programme and increase target retention’.

2. Get advice

Getting good advice may be more accessible than you think. Asking questions to a range of people; family, friends, employers colleagues, and lecturers, will allow you to get varied perspectives on the working world.

Finding a mentor can be another great way to get good insight into your potential industry. Many mentors can provide you with opportunities to network and can be well connected across a range of industries, so remain open to their advice.

You should also consider visiting a careers advisor who can help you make more informed choices when it comes to your future career decisions.

3. Expand your skillset

It is a good idea to take some time to evaluate your current skillset; consider your strengths, and weaknesses, and how these can be improved. Possessing skills that are in demand will automatically increase your chances of employment.

Studying short courses can give you the competitive edge you’re looking for. They provide a great way to fill in gaps in your knowledge and develop skills that will help you thrive in the workplace. To find out more about how you can update your skillset click here.

4. Volunteering and work placements

Volunteering and work placements will enable you to develop your skills in a real working environment. Your can gain industry specific knowledge that is highly valued by many employers, and may be exposed to opportunities to build relationships that could lead to more permanent employment further on in your career.  

5. Prepare, prepare, prepare!

Where applying for jobs is concerned, the phrase ‘preparation is key’ could not be truer. You should always take the time to carefully prepare before starting a job application.

Do your research - find out information about the company and stay up to date on current industry trends

Read through the job description and make sure that your cv and application answers highlight where your skills meet the job specification

Making yourself more employable requires investment in yourself. Including these five steps in your job search process will make the world of a difference. We wish you every success in securing your dream job.

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Male and female good employees being praised by their colleagues for their hard work

Top tips on how to make a good impression in your new job role

Congratulations, you’ve made a good enough impression on the hiring manager and just secured your dream job. The hard work does not stop there though – it’s just as important to make a good impression once you start role. Always remember; the first week of a new job is crucial in setting the tone for the rest of your time there.

Here are our top 5 useful tips to help you make a great first impression in your new job:

1. Be Punctual

Punctuality is not a courtesy; it is a must within the workplace. It doesn’t matter how smart, capable and competent you are. If you’re habitually late, be it to work or on deadlines, you run the risk of undermining your professional reputation.

A few minutes here and there may not seem like a lot but, if you’re doing this constantly, the time will add up, which can in turn, affect your work productivity, and cost your company money.

Making an extra effort to be on time can help to calm those new starter nerves and will show your employer that you respect other people’s time.

Your employers are human and understand that sometimes things happen. If you ever do find that you are running late, ensure you alert your workplace to the delay as soon as you can. Remember to always be apologetic and provide your employer with an estimated arrival time where possible.

2. Dress the Part

It is important to pay attention to the dress code at your job to ensure you look the part. This does not mean you have to spend a fortune on clothes, instead take a moment to ensure you are well put together. When picking out your next work outfit you should keep in mind these three things; make sure you are well groomed, your clothes are neat and unwrinkled, and that you are following your company’s dress code.

3. Ask for Help

Many people shy away from asking for help within a new job role because they feel they will look like they don’t know what they’re doing. If this is you, fear not! It’s ok to not know everything, after all you are the new hire.

Asking your colleagues questions can be a great way to show them that you’re a taking a keen interest in your new role. Taking the time to speak with them is likely to help you gain a better understanding of how things work within the company and could reduce the risk of you performing a task wrong, and possibly having to redo it later.

Remember to be a sponge Asking questions is great, but it is important to listen, and soak up the information that is being given to you; pay attention to the answers and write down anything important.

4. Be Receptive to Guidance

It is important to go into your new job role with an open mindset. Understandably you may be used to doing things in a certain way, however it is important to embrace change, and take the time to learn the way things are done within your new place of work.

Once you have given yourself time to get to know the new systems, you may even find that you end up preferring them. Allowing this learning period also means that if need be, you can make more informed decisions when providing constructive feedback to your employers on the current processes.

5. Be Willing to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Starting a new job can mean more responsibility, a different working environment and a lot of new processes to learn; all of which can be very overwhelming. You may find yourself pushed to new limits that require you to perform tasks that are typically out of your comfort zone, and feel you’d much rather tackle the jobs that don’t require too much of you.

Rather than be tempted to play it safe, you should embrace the elements of your job role that push you to step outside of your box. Being able to take risks is seen by many business leaders as a skill critical to career success. Try starting off small; from pitching in on tasks you would usually shy away from, or sharing new company ideas with your colleagues, and allow the likelihood of your significant career success to increase. 

We hope you find these tips to be useful in your journey to becoming a future business leader.

We wish you every success in your new and current role and would love for you to share any tips you have for making that perfect first impression.

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Writing out top tips to make a good first impression