5 Key Ways to Expand Your Skill Set
- February 2, 2017
- Laura Slingo
Ready to start looking for your first ever ‘proper’ job? Before taking the leap to look for the first stepping stone in your career, consider spending a few weeks or months expanding your skill set. This will help round out your CV to make you a strong applicant, and may even ignite your passion for a position you’d never even considered. So, here are five key ways to expand your skill set to ensure your job search gets off to a great start.
Learn someone else’s job
If you’re at university it can be quite difficult to find time to squeeze in a part-time job, or even an official week of work experience. However, there are plenty of benefits to peering over your lecturers’ shoulders every now and again, and finding out what they’re doing day-to-day. You might not be interested in teaching, but plenty of lecturers’ professional duties fall outside of their teaching career. Spend a few minutes after class chatting with them to learn a bit more about their career—if you think their additional responsibilities sound interesting and exciting, perhaps you could offer to lend a hand with upcoming projects, or tasks about their office now and again.
Spend a few minutes after class chatting with them to learn a bit more about their career—if you think their additional responsibilities sound interesting and exciting, perhaps you could offer to lend a hand with upcoming projects, or tasks about their office now and again. Shadowing your lecturer, or any member of staff at your university, is an easy way to get some experience in a new field, giving you a whole new set of skills for your CV!
Take a training course
Another strong way to expand your skill set is by taking a training course. We understand that taking an additional course alongside your degree is a tall order, but many online courses can be completed at your own pace. Perhaps you could focus on this extra training in between your mass of deadlines? Don’t feel that the training course has to directly relate to your degree. While it could be advantageous taking a course that complements your degree, you should also consider a course that offers desirable skills
Don’t feel that the training course has to directly relate to your degree. While it could be advantageous taking a course that complements your degree, you should also consider a course that offers all-round desirable skills.
It’s worth noting that courses vary in price and can be anywhere from £20 to £200 and beyond. As a student, make sure you keep an eye out for special discounts, or if you’re well and truly into your overdraft, take to YouTube tutorials instead.
Volunteering is a great way to expand your skill set, but like training courses, you need to be able to dedicate time to the cause. However, the benefits often outweigh the costs.
Volunteering not only exhibits values of dedication to your future employers, but also offers plenty of opportunities to pick up essential transferable skills and experiences, valuable for any workplace setting. You’re also likely to create a strong network of connections that could help direct you to career opportunities when the time comes.
Attend career fairs and networking events
It’s likely that your university will put on a handful of career fairs and networking events every year. It’s also likely that you and your friends won’t quite make the effort to attend them unless they’re compulsory. Sound familiar?
We actively encourage anyone looking to advance their career to attend these types of events because they’re not just about looking for your next career move. Events of these sorts offer the chance to develop your public speaking skills, and prompt you to take initiative and be proactive. These are essential skills in the professional world which employers are looking for in a candidate, so you’ll benefit hugely by dedicating a small portion of your time to networking.
You should now feel suitably prepped on how to expand your skill set to ensure your CV is bursting with key skills, sure to impress recruiters. Don’t fret if you can’t find the time to explore all of these tips before the end of university—you have plenty of time during the summer. After all, there should be no rush in finding a job that suits you.
About the author: Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers, and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.