career opportunitiesIn today’s job market, it is important that you do everything you can to expand your career opportunities.  As as hiring manager, I know how challenging the competition is and the lengths that potential employees are going to in order to land their dream job.  Here 5 steps you can take to compete with your peers.

  1.  Create a Killer Resume

It is important that you periodically update your resume.  This will help you remember important things that you have done within your current positions.  It really helps if you can provide specific metrics.  If you have saved the company money through test automation, you should quantify those numbers.  In addition to keeping your resume current, it is critical to have an outstanding design.  After all, you need to be able to separate yourself from the competition.  I believe it is worth it to pay someone to update your resume, it will pay off in multiple dividends when you land your next job.  This is the first step that I recommend in expanding your career opportunities.

2.  Build Your Network

It is critical that you spend significant time building your network.  LinkedIn makes it relatively easy to stay connected with your network.  I recommend keeping your network current.  You never know when you see a dream job where one of your network connections works.  It makes it a lot easier to get the initial interview, when you have an internal connection.  You also need to do a good job if you have worked somewhere previously, so they can provide a credible reference.  Nobody wants to recommend someone who has the potential to damage your reputation at the company where they currently work.  Facts indicate that having a strong network will greatly increase your chances of landing your next job.  This is the second step that I recommend in expanding your career opportunities.

3.  Increase Your Skills

As career opportunities increase, it is important to keep your skills updated.  Chances are when you move to a new job, you will need to learn new skills.  Those skills can be soft skills such as presentations or management or they can be technical skills such as learning a new application such as PowerPoint or Visio.  For technical skills there are many online training options available such as: Lynda, Udemy, and Coursera.

4.  Get More Education

There are many jobs which require certain degrees.  If you are looking for a job in counseling, it will often require at least a masters degree.  If you are planning on being a professor, they will require a doctorate.  If you are in business, an MBA will be preferred.  While in some jobs it may not be required, it will certainly be a plus and will increase your chances to boost your career opportunities.  As a hiring manager, since I have multiple degrees, I will lean towards someone who has advanced degrees since I know the amount of money, time, and effort that is involved.

5. Get Technical Certifications

If you are in IT, I get asked this question a lot.  Is a software test certification worthwhile.  My answer is simply yes.  I have two ISTQB software testing certifications, and I am glad I have them.  While it is often not required, it does help.  It takes money, time, and effort to get them, but they do help.  Not only does it separate me from the competition, it increases my knowledge on software testing.

I hope these steps will greatly increase your chances at your next career opportunities.

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