How to Prepare for the Jobs Available Today

By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill, Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina

Perhaps a job hunter’s biggest challenge lies in ensuring they have skills employers want and a personal network to help them market those skills to a new employer or industry. If you’ve decided to move from your past work to try something new, what’s your next step?

With high national unemployment, it’s an employer’s market. You’ll be competing with many other applicants and need to up your game by marketing yourself. You can no longer send your résumé and application and expect a call. Even with a great résumé, you’ll likely be one among hundreds of applicants. What will help you stand out?

Here are a couple of things you can do to get an edge:

First, take online courses to upskill and prove you are a serious candidate. Demonstrate quantifiable accomplishments on your résumé. Show you are good the work the employer does.

Second, network, network, network! Build relationships with people in the industry you’d like to work. Ensure they think of you when they learn of job openings and be willing to make a call or email to the employer on your behalf. Recruiters often spend only seconds scanning résumés and applications. A personal connection can get the recruiter to review your application more closely. From there, it’s up to you to demonstrate that you’re the best candidate for the role.

If you need help preparing, Goodwill can help. Many local Goodwill organizations are providing online training, live virtual classes, and virtual career development services by phone or video conference, all at no cost to you. To learn about the career services available in your area, visit the Goodwill Locator. Click the Filter option and select Headquarters only. Then, enter your ZIP or Postal code and click the magnifying glass or hit Enter to find your local Goodwill’s website, social media channels or phone number for localized information.