New Idea: 5 ways to jazz up your resume - Michelle Gibbings

Michelle was invited by New Idea to share ways you can jazz up your CV to help you return to the workforce. Read her 5 tips in this article.

Maybe the pandemic has affected your industry, or perhaps you’ve been out of the workforce to raise a family. When a person is looking for work, one of the first things they will do as they seek a new job is to update their résumé or LinkedIn profile. Both tools play a critical role in the job-hunting process, and there are great ways to build up your profile, so take note of workplace expert Michelle Gibbings’ tips to put your best self forward.

Do a skills audit
This process starts by doing a skills audit to identify the range of technical, functional and behavioural skills you have. Don’t limit yourself. Skills learnt on the job through voluntary work can be just as valuable as paid work.

For example, participating on a school board, running a fundraising campaign or mentoring students all involve a range of specific technical skills, as well as leadership, marketing or stakeholder management capabilities.

Skills, such as these, are worth highlighting. Having a detailed understanding helps you to effectively articulate and outline the value you can bring to a role. Be specific. Detail how said skills have (in the past), and can (in the future) help an organisation be successful. Your CV and LinkedIn profile are marketing tools, so sell yourself.

Focus on adaptation
Getting back into the job market requires a level of adaption, so it helps to look at your own skills with a different perspective. You want to identity which of your skills are the most relevant for future jobs. There are three categories:

  • Transferable skills – those directly applicable in another industry or occupation.
  • Adaptable skills – usable in another industry or occupation once they have been modified in some way.
  • Replaceable skills – likely to be industry or occupation-specific, and therefore not as useful when leaping to another job or career.

Target your market
CVs are never one size fits all. It’s essential to tailor your CV to the type of position, organisation and industry you are targeting. The more specific you can be about your skills and how they match what the organisation is looking for, the better. Look at those transferable and adaptable skills, and how they best suit the job you’re applying for.

Network, network, network
Your résumé and LinkedIn profile are great, but don’t forget about your network – friends, former colleagues or family members play a crucial role in helping you get back into the job market. Talk to them about your interests and skills. Find out if they know of opportunities, and where they can make an introduction for you.

Many jobs are unadvertised, so networking is crucial not just to land a new job, but also to help identify what roles are available.

Get learning
Staying relevant in your sector, industry or profession is important because what’s needed in the market shifts as the external environment changes.

Now is the perfect time to assess where you want to go next, and what skills you need to acquire or improve. Elevating those skills may involve watching YouTube videos to master technical skills, enrolling in free online classes and subscribing to online news to broaden your knowledge. You might want to complete a short course, which will enhance your résumé or LinkedIn profile.

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