There’s a gap between your experience and what the hiring company wants, and you know it.
You’ll almost never find a perfect fit between who you are and the wish list any company puts out there. So how do you close the gap?
Education is one powerful way, and no, I’m not talking about going out and getting a full-on college degree. Even if you’re between positions and keeping your spending to a minimum, there’s bound to be some cost-effective options available to you.
First off, you have to be very clear on the type of career opportunity you’re after. Then start looking for common skills in the job descriptions for that field – ones you may not have in your toolkit. Yet.
Now, jump right in, start working on the new skill you need, and make sure you put it on your resume! Don’t worry that you haven’t mastered it by the time you head into an interview. When it comes up, turn it into a positive by saying something like:
“I know this skill is important to the position, and so I’ve started doing X, Y, and Z to master it.”
Doing this shows you’re a self-starter, you invest in your career path, and you’ve been paying attention to the company’s needs. And that makes you stand out from the crowd.
But how to get started? A few ideas for you:
1. Go to your network.
Does someone you know already have the skills you need? Ask that person how to get up to speed fast.
2. Google it.
Whatever the skill is, type it in a search along with words like “tips,” “articles,” “tutorials,” “guide,” or “class.” Throwing a “free” in the search terms is okay, but could rule out some low-cost options in your results.
3. Check with your local technical, vocational, or community college.
These often offer very affordable classes. Just be sure to check their accreditation, so you know they’re not a fly-by-night operation.
4. Your local library.
The fine folks there can point you to other adult education resources in your area.
And finally, don’t look at the cost of education, in money or time. Look at it this way: If a $100 class could help you land a job paying just $5,000 more than your last position, that’d be worth the investment, right? You bet.
And that’s a conservative number. What if taking a class could help land you $25,000 or more a year? Right. You’re a fast learner. 😉 Now go hit the books!
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