According to economist Xhanti Payi, the world of work is rapidly changing; companies are no longer focussing on candidates whose CVs show work experience gained from long-term jobs, but rather the varied experiences candidates have opened themselves up to.
“What is more important now, is showing the employee you have been working,” Payi adds.
Waiting for ‘that phone call’ confirming a new job or interview date can be a job in itself, but you can’t exactly add that onto your work experience, can you? Here’s how we suggest you start putting yourself out there.
Gaining experience comes in varied forms, whether it is through volunteering at an organization, your local church or starting a small project, this can be done through identifying opportunities or problems in your communities and finding innovative ways to solve for them. It is important to have some form of activity that will work towards your benefit; it might not be the ‘perfect’ start but it is a start-nonetheless. Starting indicates “initiative” and “self-starter” to any potential employer that might be calling you. In this regard, taking advantage of opportunities (small or big) that can build on your experiences is a great start.
Take any Gigs
Gigs can be formal or informal, and some might be paying and some not. By opening yourself to opportunities, you are already putting yourself out there and developing your networks.
How do you position yourself for the right gigs?
Word of mouth goes a long way here. Within the gig economy, social media is king! Many of the vacancies will be posted via Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, a lot of these vacancies usually need to be filled immediately. Although the timing is critical, these adverts still need to be taken seriously and treated like any traditional vacancy alerts. If you are asked to fill out information for the job, do it as best you can because recruiters will only take entries that have been thoroughly filled out. This tells them whether someone is a serious candidate or not.
Prepare a Master CV
When sending a CV to a recruiter or HR, always make sure you have a master CV that you can edit to add relevant information for the job you are applying for. Remember, you are not the only applicant for the position and sometimes having a short, well-organized CV makes a huge difference.
Improving and adding on to your skills and education is critical in the agile world of work that we are in. Various jobs such as those in social media, marketing or tourism require you to have digital skills. You can upskill yourself in the comfort of your home through platforms like Google’s Digital Skills for Africa, for example. The best part is that you can include these achievements on your CV, as well as attach proof of completion (which is usually a certificate you will receive once a course is completed) to your applications.