There are various factors, which will contribute to you finding employment, such as a strong CV, good interview technique and relevant experience. But the first thing to think about is you. Applying for the jobs that best suit you will not only give you satisfaction in the long term, but you’ll be more likely to be able to sell yourself to a potential employer.
Even if you just need a job and don’t have the time or money to be picky, you need to understand yourself before an employer can hope to do so. Your desperation is not what will secure you the job – but your personality might be.
Start by asking yourself what qualities you value in a person? What makes you tick? In day-to-day life, what are you good at? And to answer that, you don’t need to think in terms of ‘official employability skills’, but just normal attributes. For example, are you an introvert or an extrovert, thriving more on your own or in company? Do you barge your way to the front of a queue of traffic, or do you wait at the back? Can you cook the dinner whilst talking to a friend and listening to the news? Can you switch off for long enough to read a book?
Working out who you are in your everyday life will help you work out what you can offer in response to a particular job specification. They may ask for a good team player; someone who is driven or assertive; an efficient multi-tasker; or someone who can absolutely focus – skills that you can recognise in yourself by asking questions like those above.
Once you’ve identified what your strengths and weaknesses are, you’ll be better equipped to write winning applications, and tell the employer with confidence why you are the best candidate for the job.
Whether you’ve just started job hunting, or you’ve been out of work a long time, take the opportunity to stop and think about what you like doing, what you’ve always wanted to do and whether or not you have what it takes to get there. And if you don’t have what it takes, this might be your chance to change that. Perhaps you could consider going back into education, finding an apprenticeship or getting a new qualification.
That’s just the start of the journey back to work, of course. But if the road simply looks too long and treacherous to face alone, there is hope. CAP Job Clubs equip and support you through your return to work, empowering you to communicate your skills and attributes to potential employers. Facing unemployment can be extremely difficult, but you don’t have to face it alone. For more information check out capjobclubs.org or to book your place call 0800 328 0006.
Written by Kimberley Taylor