POSTED BY SUDY BHARADWAJ ON OCT 25, 2012 IN BLOG | 5 COMMENTS
Sometimes the only thing standing in the way of finding a job is work experience. It’s an age-old job search Catch-22: to get a job, you need experience, but to get experience, you need a job. But when a tough job market and recovering economy make it hard to get that experience, where does that leave a frustrated job seeker?
The key here is to think creatively — there are more ways to get work experience and build your skill set than on-the-job learning. Here are four ways job seekers can add skills and experience to their resume while finding a job:
1. Volunteer opportunities
So you can’t get a paying job, but need experience? Think about ditching the paycheck (we know, easier said than done). Finding a job volunteering is often much easier than scoring a paid job, but can get you the same hands-on experience that employers are looking for. Reach out to organizations in your desired industry and ask if you can help in any way. Volunteer work absolutely counts on your resume; plus, this is a great opportunity to build your skills and build your network.
2. Transferable skills
Focus on building transferable skills. Transferable skills are those that can be used in a variety of situations, industries, and jobs. These skills can come from school, hobbies, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, life experiences, and past jobs. You likely have a whole wheelhouse of transferrable skills that you may not realize; now is the time to identify them and find out where and when they may be useful. If you have a solid set of transferable skills, you are likely to be valued by a larger pool of people – including many potential employers, which makes finding a job easier.
While continuing education is not for everyone, in some industries this can be a great way to build your skills and get the experience employers want. Consider going back to school for a postgraduate degree if it is beneficial to your desired industry. Alternatively, you can take relevant classes at a local university or attend applicable seminars and conferences. Not only will these types of continuing education opportunities build your resume, but they will keep you at the forefront of your industry and up-to-date on emerging trends. Talk about employable!
4. Freelance work
Freelancing can not only supplement your income while you’re job searching (score!), but can give you relevant, on-the-job experience and build your skills. Plus, freelancing can help you establish yourself as a thought leader and “go-to” person in your industry. Check out our recent blog for great tips on how to find freelance jobs while looking for work.
How do you build your resume while looking for a job? Share with us!
(Photo Courtesy of Express Racine; Flickr)
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