5 Ways to Make Yourself More Marketable
When you’re at the supermarket, which box of cereal do you buy: the one that’s all banged up and looks like it was run over by a truck, or the one that looks like the box in the commercials (assuming they’re both the same type and price)?
I’d put money on the fact that you’d buy the nicer box. Sure, they’ve both got the same cereal inside – but who wants that ugly box when the other one will fit so nicely into the grocery bag and then the cupboard?
When employers need to fill their ranks, they’re not going to pick the sloppy and not-so-new looking employee; they’re going to choose the one that’ll fit nicely into their cupboard.
There are five big things you can do that make you more desirable to employers (read: more marketable) and give yourself a head start on your job hunt. As a staffing professional, I can’t stress it enough – I’ve actually seen people get ahead by doing these things.
In the movie “Fun with Dick and Jane,” Jim Carrey waited months and months to find a job as a CEO to replace the one he lost… and until his lawn got repossessed, he wouldn’t budge. Of course, if you’ve seen the movie, you know better than to get money the way he did (watch the trailer at the end of this post if you haven’t seen it) – but it is a good lesson on how to be flexible.
Are there little things you wouldn’t mind conceding to if the right employer came along? Reevaluate your search periodically and decide if holding out for one particular detail is what’s actually holding you back.
Is there a class that could help you become more marketable? The answer is almost always yes. Whether you take a software application class, a time management course or even something relatively unrelated to your field, every little bit helps.
The fact that you’re willing to learn goes a long way with prospective employers, and they’ll know you’ve been studying up and keeping current because you’re going to add it to your resume.
An important part of the job search is networking. While Facebook, Twitter and all the other websites are great, they’re no match for real, live people. If you come across a job opening that isn’t right for you, but it’s perfect for someone you know, give them a call.
When you’re at a job fair, talk to other candidates. See what trials they’re having and talk about yours – two heads are better than one, and you may be able to help each other. Always carry business cards so your contact information is available to others (you never know who you’ll meet).
Volunteering isn’t only gratifying on a personal level; it can add to your resume, as well. If there’s a local charity you wouldn’t mind helping, call them and volunteer your services. Think veterans’ homes, soup kitchens and community cleanup projects – and again, bring a stack of business cards. You’ll feel good because you’ve helped others, and you can get your name out there as “so-and-so, who’s really good at ___ and is looking for a job.”
Of course, volunteer work is often hard work – which is why it’ll round out your resume nicely.
Fix Your Resume
When was the last time you combed through your resume? Have you done anything since then? Any volunteer work, classes you have taken or temporary jobs you have held should be added to your resume. Remember that every resume needs to be tailored specifically to the requirements of each job you apply for, too.
What activities have you taken part in that can spruce up a resume and help with a job search?
And, like I promised, here’s the “Fun With Dick and Jane” movie trailer (via YouTube).
Blog by NY Staffing Professional
Catherine Palmiere, President
Adam Personnel, Inc.
(212)557-9150 ext. 208