It is important to have a realistic view of your marketability as a job seeker. Employers are looking for people with specific experiences, skills, and education. In this video you will learn how to determine your educational/skill needs, how to find appropriate classes, and how to add coursework information to resumes and job applications.
- After a layoff, a lot of things are up in the air. How will you find a new job? Will you have to change careers or industries? And, what if you don't have enough experience or the right skills? In this video, we'll go over how to determine your educational and skill needs, how to find the right classes and coursework to take, and where to put coursework on application materials. The first hurdle is determining the knowledge that will help you find a new job. There may be a gap in your resume between what you've been doing for work, and the types of skills employers want.
So, let's figure out the gaps in your skills, and how you can fill them. It's time to do some comparisons. Go to any job search website, and do a search for jobs you'd like to be hired for, then read the job descriptions, and pay particular attention to the skills and educational requirements. What things are most often listed, and which of those do you not currently have? Here are some of the most common things to look out for, certifications, degrees, and licensing, software or computer programs, and specific types of knowledge.
Make a list of the ones that you need, and then rank order them, so that the most common ones are at the top. This is your blueprint to building the most important skills you need to land your next job. Then, figure out where to take classes for those skills. You probably already know that the internet makes skill-building faster and easier than ever. Online coursework is one of the best ways to add new skills to your resume quickly. So, research and evaluate online learning sites to find the right options for you. Most sites charge for courses, but the quality and depth of that knowledge is typically worth the cost, and prices are far lower than what you'd pay for a college course, and don't forget, the expenses you incur as part of your job search are tax deductible.
Another way to learn new things is with services that offer MOOCs, which stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These allow you to watch free courses from colleges and universities. Coursera and iTunesU are two popular options for finding MOOCs. If you'd like to build skills offline with real-life instructors, there are several options. The U.S. Department of Labor organizes training opportunities at 2,500 facilities, called American Job Centers, in all 50 states.
They offer workshops, free computer access, and training. Community colleges also offer a relatively inexpensive way to complete college degrees and certificates, and colleges and universities, both public and private, offer options for people in need of coursework and degrees. Now, let's fast forward a little bit. Once you've taken classes, and added to your skillset, how do you demonstrate that on your applications? There are a few ways to do it. The education section of your resume is an obvious choice.
You can create a subsection for coursework recently completed. This shows that you've been putting in the hard work to build your skills. The summary of qualifications section at the top of your resume is also a really good choice. Write something like, recently completed courses, and then list the ones you've taken. Or, if you're currently taking them, say exactly that, currently enrolled in X, Y, and Z courses to increase knowledge of A, B, and C. And, don't forget your LinkedIn profile, there's a special section called skills and endorsements where you can add new skills by keyword.
With so many options for learning or improving your skills, there's really no excuse. Start by comparing job descriptions to your current skills to find those gaps. Then, consider which style of learning you're comfortable with, and whether or not you need certificates, degrees, or simple coursework, and once you've completed or enrolled in courses, add them to your resume and LinkedIn profile. Taking new classes and learning new things shows employers that you're a continuous learner, someone who wants to improve their knowledge, and contribute at a higher level, and that's exactly what employers are looking for.
- Dealing with job loss
- Taking classes and building skills
- Volunteering to fill resume gaps
- Searching and applying for jobs
- Writing a better resume and cover letter
- Interviewing for your first job after a layoff