The longer you are out of work, the less marketable you can become. Whether you’re fresh out of college or a seasoned professional, here are 6 ways to stay marketable while searching for your next job opportunity.
1) Define Who You are as a Professional and What You Want
Create a 30 second debut statement that describes you as a professional. Do a self evaluation and make sure that you accept a job that's aligned with your personal values and long term career goals. Try not sell yourself short of what you want just to survive. I know the bills have to get paid, but career satisfaction is important too!
2) Create a Value Proposition
Make a list of achievements, strengths and why are you are valuable to your industry. Share this on your LinkedIN profile. Be confident in what you have to offer and know your worth.
3) Do Contract Work
Do not be afraid of contract work! It's a great way to keep your skills current, obtain a higher pay rate for short term work and also a way to learn new skills that can open a door to another opportunity. Early in my career, I wanted to move out of staffing into corporate recruiting. When I got laid off from my staffing job, I accepted a contract position as a way to gain experience as a corporate recruiter. Eventually, that experience lead to a full time job as a corporate recruiter with another company.
Volunteer your time using your skill sets and share your expertise. This also gives you the opportunity to network and build relationships. You never know who you might meet or who is watching as you give back to your community. Make sure to get a LinkedIn recommendation from the organization you volunteered your time with. Volunteering my expertise to an organization is how I made the transition from HR to accepting a job opportunity as a Career Coach.
5) Expand Your Learning
Take a class to learn a new skill that will enhance your marketability in your industry. You can use online training courses like lynda.com or udemy.com. Post your completed courses on your LinkedIn profile, it shows potential employers what you've been doing with your time while job searching.
6) Understand Your Local Market
Use salary.com to research your local market for salary ranges of the positions you are seeking. You can also check out the reputation of a potential employer on Glassdoor.com this website shares what current and former employers are saying about the company's reputation, history, salaries, company culture and individual experiences. Understanding your job market can better prepare you for salary negotiation of job offer when the time arrives.
Job searching can become a stressful task. However, you can make it work for you if you are willing to think outside the box to stay current in your industry.