Seven tips to becoming more employable in 2020

Written by: Thea Watson, Marketing Director of Hays UK & I and UK Board member
Published on: 30 Aug 2019

So, if you have realised that the time is right for you to make a change and find a new job, then the following tips will help you achieve your goals. 

1.Think about which skills you will need to achieve your goals 
Upon reflecting on your current skill set, you need to start filling the gaps as to where you have weaknesses. The start of a new year is a great time to do this. Therefore, it is crucial to be able to differentiate between skills and competencies, the former being specific learned abilities, and the latter being knowledge and behaviours that contribute to your success in a job. By appreciating the differences between the two, you’ll gain a greater understanding in focusing on the area’s which will enhance your career goals. 

However, as your career develops. The skill sets in which you will need will develop as time goes on. Therefore, it useful to be continuously reflecting as to where your skills gaps are, and then make a commitment to yourself to continuously upskill –  thereby making learning a lifelong habit for you going forward. 

2. Establish a greater self-awareness to improve your perception 
You as an individual understand yourself better than anyone else on the planet. You know your strengths and weaknesses, but also accept that you’re only human. But crucially you understand how other people perceive you. Therefore, by enhancing your self-awareness you will be in a better position to adjust your behaviour and work on your personal brand. Furthermore, by becoming more aware of your strengths as well as what you might still need to improve upon. This will help you to improve how you are perceived by others – such as a job interview. This will highlight what values are important to you, as well as which job opportunities are more suited to you. 

3. What is your unique selling proposition? 
Firstly, start by asking yourself the following questions. Why should an employer hire you over any other candidate? What is it that you can bring to the table that other candidates can’t? Do you consider yourself to be particularly creative or innovative? 

Therefore, you need to come up with specific examples you can cite with clear evidence to both recruiters and hiring managers. Perhaps your strong leadership skills lead to higher employee retention? Or your creative abilities lead to a reduction in business costs? All these tangible examples tell a compelling career story which highlights notable talent. Furthermore, these types of examples will allow you to distinguish yourself between other candidates, and make you stand out from the competition. 

4. Try to improve your social media activity 
Social media can be an extremely powerful tool when you are searching for a new role and wishing to attract potential employers to you. There’s plenty that you can do across social networks to make yourself a more intriguing prospect for hiring managers, including writing about things you have learnt or sharing other people’s content that is relevant to your line of work. 

As a result, this will be highly influential in shaping how you are perceived, so that employers are more likely to see you as someone employable, rather than someone who isn’t very professional. 

5. Consider what you’re looking for in a new role and new employer 
Ask yourself the question. “What am I looking for in this new job opportunity?” The more you precisely know what you’re looking for, the better you will understand what you are looking for in your job search.  So, before you begin searching ask yourself these following questions. 

  • What salary package are you looking for? 

  • What culture or work environment are you looking for? 

  • What kind of role will develop towards your long-term goals? 

6. Be willing to take risks 
Taking a few calculated risks could benefit your employability in 2020 and beyond. Just imagine how much you could expand your experience and skill set, for example, if you were to switch to a different industry or move to an organisation that is significantly larger or smaller than your current employer. 

7. Maintain a positive mindset when searching for a new job 
A positive mindset will greatly aid in improving how recruiters, hiring managers and interviewers perceive you – thereby potentially bringing you one step closer to that much-desired job offer. Crucially, however, a positive mindset isn’t just good for your wellbeing. It also demonstrates to a prospective employer that you can deal with unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances constructively. This is a skill in and of itself. 

Whatever your career aspirations are in 2020, the steps above will help improve your employability, and ultimately ensure your professional dreams become a reality this year. 

If you’re considering your next step, regardless of the time of year,  get in contact with one of our expert recruitment consultants for a confidential chat about the career options available to you, or alternatively, check out our latest career advice.  

About this author 

Thea is responsible for the UK & I marketing team as well as driving the strategic direction of the marketing function, looking closely at opportunities for growth, positioning in the marketplace and sales support. She was appointed to the Hays UK & I Board in July 2017, following joining the UK business in the summer of 2016. 

Prior to her current role she was the Vice President of Marketing for the Hays Americas business, joining the business in 2012. Under her management she built the marketing function from general support to a strategic driver of sales, establishing a central marketing unit supporting Canada, US and four Latin American countries.