We know you look amazing IRL, but what about on paper? Surrounded by savants and baby brain geniuses, it can be hard to stand out by your resumé alone. If you’re planning on jumping ship, you gotta get that piece o’ paper on lock.
Let it be known that for this article I’m going to assume you’re not making any massive mistakes. And if you are using comic sans as your font du jour or list an email as ~unprofessional~ as email@example.com, here’s a suggestion: maybe… don’t?
This is more for those whose resumé avoids all the usual pitfalls (read: wasn’t written in five minutes), but still doesn’t seem to be hitting the spot.
That’s where upskilling comes in: those bonus abilities make a real difference when employers are splitting hairs in a pool of talent-heavy applicants.
With that in mind, here are a few pretty easy things to get you started. Best of all, any cash you spend on a class or course is more than likely 100% tax deductible, (though, of course, please double-check the ATO’s guide to make sure). In the words of Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan, let’s Get Krack!n.
FINALLY LEARN PHOTOSHOP
Regardless of what industry you’re in, it’s almost always handy to have a photoshop whizz on-hand: there’s always going to come a time when the business needs a quick edit or mock-up of something. It’s an easy way to become the MVP of a team, and besides, isn’t it one of your unfulfilled resolutions from 2006?
Plus, with even the most rudimentary skills from a quick course, you’ll be able to build up your MySpace, Bebo and slash fiction Tumblr in no time. And that’s a true career goal.
NEED 4 SPEED-READ
Once an in-vogue trend, speed-reading has fallen from the heights of the 1960s-70s, when it a must-have skill for US Presidents (Kennedy, Nixon and Carter were all eye-zoomers, as it’s almost most definitely not called). Still, it remains incredibly useful – if you can master it.
Generally, most of us normies read around 200wpm. That means you’re probably going to take four to five minutes to read this, granted that you’re not just scrolling through for the sub-headlines, which intentionally aren’t 100% informative, suckers.
But say you were a regular eye-whirler: you’d see all I have to offer in just one min, max. Just think of what you could do with all that extra time.
Of course, that doesn’t mean a single thing if you’re not absorbing what you read.
How can you make it work? Well there’s a lot of contentious viewpoints out there, (and The Guardian has a pretty excellent summary of all the different strands of thought) but generally speaking, one main focus is to erase sub-vocalisation, that internal reading voice out that lets us hear words as we read them.
It’s an integral part of comprehension, but apps like Acceleread and Chrome extensions like Spreed try and un-train your brain’s subvocal tendencies while making sure you still make sense of what’s on the page.
Try them out, and see what you think: while a lot of people might think it’s bull, some swear by it. At the very least, it’s eye-raising on a resumé.
On the other end of things are more concrete certificates and qualifications, foundational blocks to any resumé.
There’s your 101s of course: if you keep getting thrown off by criteria you can’t currently match, then there’s always a potentially easy fix. Plenty of jobs, for example, crave technical experience. You can either writhe around while teaching yourself programs like Adobe suite or MYOB, or you could just take a course.
Lacking direct experience in management? Without the space on your resumé to explain all the ways you lead in a day-to-day, a short course in leadership skills is a nice shorthand to get you through the door.
BECOME A FUTURE HERO
Employers love a reliable employee, and nothing says reliable more than “I can save lives in an emergency”. It feels a little silly to spruik a First Aid Certificate or learning CPR as good for your career, given that they’re both things all humans, ideally, should do.
But they’re not. Which makes it a super valuable thing to have on your resumé: it speaks not only to your ability to save lives (as if that wasn’t enough), but also to your character.
Now go out there and power up.
We’re all about bettering ourselves and moving forward in our careers and lives in 2K18. Feeling the momentum? TAFE NSW’s enrolment week is from 15th-20th Jan, so pop down to a TAFE NSW campus and get moving with over 1,200 courses on offer, from degrees to certificates, short term classes and online studies.