The economy is alive and well in America.
The unemployment rate is low and the stock market is high. However, that doesn’t mean that every qualified professional has a job and it doesn’t mean that everyone is happy where they’re are at.
There’s no time like the present to hone your skills, build your resume and make yourself marketable for your next job, whether it’s the ideal position or a temporary gig to tide you over until you find your dream job.
This post is the first of a two-part series covering practical ways that you can boost your market value.
#1 Commit to Volunteering
It’s hard for a hiring manager not to like the fact that you sacrifice your time for a cause you believe in. It exhibits selflessness and commitment volunteer work is often devoid of glamorous trappings.
Gene Caballero, founder of Uber-style lawn service GreenPal, says the benefits of volunteering go beyond the satisfaction that comes from giving your time and energy.
“This can have positive effects on the growing of your network and also looks great on a resume,” Caballero said. “Since these are normally free gigs, you can be selective and volunteer in the vertical of your degree, the industry that you want to pursue, or for a cause that you feel strongly about.”
#2 Expand Your Network
You might bemoan networking for all the small talk, elevator pitches and cocktails it requires but it’s worth it, said growth marketer and social strategist Crystal McFerran.
LinkedIn is the de facto place to start. Find groups related to your professional expertise and interest. Participate in discussions. In most cases, the more valuable the insight you offer with your comments, the higher the chance that fellow professionals will look at your profile.
Don’t be afraid to join face-to-face professional networks in your area, either. Do a quick Google search for groups that meet near you, or head to Reddit to ask for tips on professional/networking groups that are worth your time.
#3 Post a Video on Your LinkedIn Page
McFerran was looking for new opportunities when we created this post. One of the key choices she made to increase her hireability was creating a video for her LinkedIn page.
The video detailed her qualifications and which types of jobs she was looking for. It also included a call to action in which she asked interested employers to send her a message. The video was brief: 44 seconds.
“Step outside your comfort zone and post a video on LinkedIn! Most resumes are never viewed, so this provides a great opportunity to leverage your network,” she said. “Share a very brief overview of what you’re looking for. I’ve been on both sides – a recruiter and a job seeker –and I can tell you, nothing I’ve ever done has been more effective than this.”
At the time of publishing, LinkedIn users viewed the video more than 330,000 times and left more than 90 comments, many of which included, McFerran said, “introductions, interviews and offers.”
#4 Clean Up Your Social Media
Yes, your future employer is going to look at your social media accounts to get a sense of who you are outside of their interactions with you.
Dana Case, director of operations at MyCorporation, recommends doing a sweep of your social media and deleting any questionable material that might make your employer question your professionalism or self-control.
“Conduct a social media audit. Delete posts that show you in a less than flattering light: i.e. swearing, getting extremely drunk, anything that could be looked at as inappropriate or controversial,” Case said.
#5 Clean Up Your Appearance
One thing you might not anticipate is that your body and your style have changed since last time you went through rounds of job interviews.
What was acceptable for professionals back then may no longer be acceptable. And, trends and styles aside, you can never go wrong with a clean-cut appearance, Case told us.
So, go through your wardrobe and figure out what you need to refresh. Head to the salon or barbershop and get cleaned up.
“Invest in a great interview outfit and shoes,” Case said. “Groom yourself. Your dream interview could be tomorrow, and you might be overdue for a hair trim or getting your nails done!”
Part Two: More Advice for Making Yourself a More Polished Hire
In the second post in this series, we continue with more tips about what you can do to increase your chances of getting hired. Click here to read more.