IMPROVE YOUR EMPLOYABILITY – AN OUTLINE TO GET YOU STARTED

Sarah is a student.

At the beginning of her degree, she believes she has plenty of time before she needs to worry about how she’ll find a job, for now, she will focus on her studies and work hard to get the best degree she can. Sarah knows that when she’s finished her course she’ll have a degree, and this qualification will be all she needs to get her a job, right?

But we saw, in my previous article, Part 1, this isn’t true.

I told you about my experience, and published employment figures agree; an increasing number of graduates can’t get the jobs they are qualified for. This is why I believe undergraduates should each have an experienced “Careers & Employability Coach”.

In this article, I’ll show what my employability strategy looks like, giving you the steps to follow your own employability coaching.

We’ll see how it could help Sarah.

British Computer Society

My Employability Strategy Outline

Here are the practical steps I take my students and clients through, right from the start of their programme to graduation; this has yielded success for those who have now taken up roles in finance, IT, government and other sectors.

1)   We’ll start with an initial consultation during which a student decides their plans for life after graduation.

Sarah, for example, has established that she wants to work as a business analyst.

2)   I’ll follow this by drawing up an employability plan, or strategy, for the duration of the client’s course.

3)   We’ll establish appropriate training for the client; in Sarah’s case, she’ll take a Business Analysis short training course (on her preferred schedule). She’ll be learning to use, and ultimately master, the software tools used in her target role.

4)     For the next step, I’ll show the student how to join small job referral networks which will lead to job opportunities later.

5)   I’ll then show the student how to build professional relationships with practitioners in her field. This will include advice on how to put together email ‘connection’ requests.

6)   Next, we’ll cover methods to keep adding value for the people with whom you’re building a professional relationship. I’ll explain my ten ways to add value to a professional network regularly, ensuring you don’t come across as a redundant member, ‘taker’ or ‘exploiter’.

Sarah is learning how she will make, and nurture, a network who will support her once she is ready to take up her role as a Business Analyst.

7)     I’ll show my client how to seek – and get – practical work or project experience. This may be a placement or internship or volunteering in an appropriate business. In our example, Sarah will look to gain useful experience as a business analyst.

business analyst

NOTE:  Work experience is always critical, this will differentiate you massively from those without experience when applying for a job!

8)     At this point, I encourage the candidate to gain appropriate professional certifications for the role they wish to pursue. In Sarah’s situation, a business analysis certification exam (such as the British Computer Society’s) would be perfect. This significantly increases the client’s credibility.

9) Now, the candidate is ready to apply for jobs (even if she hasn’t yet received certification).

I will help with:

+      How to write a winning CV and cover letter.

My focus here is on the concept that every CV bullet point should include reference to specific “transferable skills”, “technical knowledge” and “quantifiable results”.

+      How to raise a LinkedIn profile to a professional level, and how to use shared connections to optimise one’s job referral networks.

+      How to set up job alerts on Google.

+      How to use keywords from a job description to tweak every CV bullet point whenever you’re applying for a new position, so it can pass the jobs applicant tracking system (with advice on how to determine what the keywords are).

+      How to follow up your applications.

+      Interview preparations and post-interview analysis.

+      Provision of examples and templates to amend to suit the candidate’s situation.

10) Teach candidates how to write brief commercial research papers, in fields of which they have little or no experience. This skill alone would demonstrate to prospective employers the applicants’ potential for insights and problem-solving.

11)  I advise on how to build and keep building, a CV over time while in the university.

12)  I show how to access the ‘hidden job market’ (which now represents around 80% of all available jobs).

13)  I’ll follow these lessons by teaching the eight salary negotiation skills, a vital practical strategy to increase one’s first salary by 5 to 15%.

14)  Finally, I’ll show other post-employment tips, such as negotiation skills to help you gain promotions faster than others. These keep my clients at the top of their game.

Next time…

In the last of these three posts, I’ll show you some examples of high-paying, prestigious job roles which offer much higher personal growth opportunities compared to other average roles.

Whether you have questions about this article, or just can’t wait to find out more…

P.S: Watch out for:

 ─ What are transferable skills; technical knowledge/experience; and quantified results?

─ 10 Ways you can add value to those you’re trying to network with

Please, tell me how the ‘careers & employability unit’ of your university helped you. If you had no significant help, I’ve shared effective strategies here and in PARTS 1 and 3 of this discourse where the upcoming ones can follow and benefit more.

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Hi, my name is Ita John. I train people to get good-paying jobs quicker. I use an empirical methodology and framework I developed that is based on 14 KEY themes and actions to take. I’ve got 100% job placement success so far. Ignore these 14 themes; you’ll struggle longer than necessary in getting a good-paying job.

PM to have a FREE one-hour session with me on how you can find a job anywhere in the world:itajjohn@gmail.com;+447716508624