If you're like most people in today's job market, you probably really appreciate the fact that the economy is in pretty good shape right now. However, you probably also know that because this condition can quickly change, you could be facing a tough job market at any point in the future. If you're smart, you're already asking yourself what you can do now to increase your marketability in the current job market as well as that of the future. Fortunately, strategies are available that are designed to make you as appealing as possible to potential employers. Following are three of them.
Polish Your Online Profile
Ask yourself this -- if you were to suddenly lose your job, would you feel comfortable sending out resumes knowing that potential employers will most likely look through your social media prior to making a decision about whether to call you for an interview? If not, it might be time to lose those photographs of you and your college friends drinking beer and other material that may not portray you in a professional light. It's best to give your social media a makeover before it needs one rather than scramble to polish it up at the last minute when beginning a new job search.
Some people choose to maintain separate Facebook accounts -- one for professional contacts and the other for family and friends. It's probably best to err on the side of caution with this approach, however, and keep your posts circumspect as possible even if your page is completely private because things have a way of getting out.
Join a Professional Association
Joining a professional association provides an excellent way to keep your finger on the pulse of your chosen career field. You'll be able to network with others in your particular area of expertise, allowing you to learn about possible job openings before they're posted and giving your the chance to impress key players in other companies. Getting the most out of membership in the association by attending as many meetings and events as possible helps keep you visible.
Most professional associations support charitable organizations in their local communities. Participating in events and fundraising drives shows that you're a good citizen who cares about others.
Take Online Classes
Staying relevant in today's job market means keeping pace with industry changes, and online classes offer an excellent way to accomplish this goal. Online classes are available for all subjects, so you should have no difficulty in finding ones that are applicable to your career field. Also, it couldn't hurt to ask your employer for recommendations for courses. This kills the proverbial two birds with one stone -- you'll get advice on which classes are most valuable to your employer, and you'll have demonstrated to your employer that you are interested and engaged in your chosen career.
Taking online classes is also an excellent way to test the waters if you sense that a career change may be in your future. Unlike the generations of your parents and grandparents, who chose a career path and stuck with it for life, younger people are frequently switching gears as job markets evolve, and with technology continuing to develop at a rapid pace, there may be job categories ten years from now that are unheard of today. Receiving ongoing education helps put you ahead of the game as industry demands change.
Online classes are great choices for working professionals because you won't have to schlep course materials to and from a brick-and-mortar classroom, and you'll be able to fit your study time into your established schedule. Reach out to schools like the Southwest Technical College for more information.