January 31, 2013

ways to boost your CV while looking for work

Today's guest post is written by Marie Warren and reminded me that we should never be passive in our career planning. Whether you are actively looking for a new position or not, it's always a good idea to keep your professional development alive and consider other ways of broadening your skill set and experience. Thanks for these great ideas Marie!

Recent economic instability has driven unemployment up, forcing a large number of workers to reconsider their prerogatives and qualifications as they look to maintain a strong profile even amid high unemployment statistics. This is a crucial way to remain active and involved during periods of unemployment and, if done right, boosting a CV while looking for work can actually lead to much better employment prospects and outcomes as economic conditions improve. There are a few crucial ways that a standard resumé can be made over, improved, and turned into something far more marketable for a wide range of employers.

Consider Volunteer Work
While it's true that volunteer work won't pay the bills, it will pay dividends for workers who are looking to polish their skills and network with like-minded professions. Whether it's volunteering as a party planner, as a musician, or even as the manager of a local organisation, these experiences make for great resumé boosters. Their volunteer nature will only elevate their stature, and the networking opportunities they afford could be the difference between landing a job or continuing as an unemployed worker.

Pursue Professional Development -- or a Career Change -- via Higher Education
Education is one of the key ways to stem the tide of rising unemployment numbers. Workers who are driven to head back to a university can pursue either a more advanced degree in their current field, making themselves a more desirable hire, or they can pursue an entirely new career via a different degree program entirely. Given the rise of things like high-tech jobs and so-called "green collar" jobs in eco-friendly industries, this is a great way to learn new skills, train for a changing workforce, and end a period of unemployment with a rewarding new career.

Turn a Hobby into a Profitable Position
The digital economy of the 21st century has made it possible for the entire workforce to be revolutionised in terms of where it's centred, who drives it, and which skills are most marketable. With wide proliferation of the Internet and an increasingly all-online marketplace, it's actually possible for unemployed professionals to turn one of their favourite hobbies into a marketable business. Whether that means writing for profit, producing and selling craft items, or even turning a love of fitness into a personal training enterprise, it's possible to defeat unemployment with personal interests.

Best of all, these opportunities are self-managed, leaving behind corporate structures and office settings. They can later boost a resumé and lead to a great position with companies who value self-starters, entrepreneurs, and proven managers of both time and resources.

Leverage the Power of Social Networking to Boost Marketability
Just over a decade ago, a resumé was largely a static, printed document, and nothing more. In the present decade, that could not be less true. The proliferation of social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, and especially LinkedIn, have digitised the resumé and taken applicant profiles firmly into the Internet age. If an unemployed professional is looking for nearby employment opportunities, one of the first things they should do is turn their resumé into a digital profile on a site like LinkedIn. Their skills will immediately be offered up to those in related industries, and networking will become a breeze.

That ability to network will introduce the unemployed worker to volunteer opportunities, local social groups, and even potential employers. As they build these relationships and compile new experiences, both their online and offline resumés will become more marketable and notable among those doing all of the hiring in today's rough economy. That means more potential positions and an easier time at interviews for connected professionals.

Seek an Apprenticeship to Boost Skills
One of the worst things an unemployed professional can do is to simply sit at home and let their skills "stagnate." Even as full-time positions become harder to find, there are plenty of apprenticeships available that can help teach new skills, keep existing ones fresh, and show employers that merely accepting the fate of unemployment was never an option. These positions give workers an added boost for their CVs upon seeking new employment and, perhaps best of all, they keep workers busy when they might otherwise find themselves stuck at home, searching endlessly for positions, and becoming quite miserable with their situation.

Lots of Great Ways to Keep a CV Competitive During Unemployment
A large number of unemployed workers view unemployment as a major setback, and something they'll find extremely difficult to recover from. That simply does not need to be the case. Instead of merely accepting unemployment as a setback, workers should remain proactive and view it as an opportunity: An opportunity to pursue additional education or a career change, to volunteer for local organisations, or to start their own business and boost their own skills. With the right attitude, and the right pursuit of CV-boosting opportunities, workers can enjoy only a brief period of unemployment before a new, and more rewarding, professional career.

Marie is a avid careers adviser and keen blogger who works for an online recruitment agency - 

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