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4 ways to make yourself more employable (even before you graduate school)

There are dozens of small things you can do and ways to make yourself more employable, but we’re sure you’d rather be making progress towards your career goals (or scrolling TikTok) so we’ll keep this blog short 😉

Here are – what we believe are the – four most essential ways to make yourself more employable. From gaining work experience to feeling confident, read on to find out more about what employers are looking for.

1. Get work experience

One of the best ways to make yourself more employable is to actually put yourself out there and become part of a workplace. While you’ll pick up important technical skills by doing a course, actually working as part of a team is quite different to the classroom environment.

It can be a physical placement in an office or workplace, or you can seek out a remote virtual work experience or virtual internship. If you haven’t noticed, here at Grandshake we’re pretty passionate about connecting young people with the world of work to give you the skills to thrive. And we really love crafting our free virtual work experiences as they connect you with real mentors. The best thing about virtual work experience is it doesn’t matter whether you live in a city or small country town – you can easily access experience and work towards your future career and gain employable skills.

2. Expand your employable skills

To convince someone to hire you for a job – whether that’s as a casual at your local bakery or as a university graduate - one thing you will likely need is a CV or resume. Your resume is about more than your experience. Yes, you’ll be hired on your personal skills as much as, if not more than, your experience. A potential employer will look at your CV and read between the lines to understand more about who you are, what your values are, your personality and your interests.

You can easily make yourself more appealing on paper to potential employers by seeking out and learning transferable skills. These could include volunteering at somewhere like an animal shelter, to show a future employer about your values or morals. Or you take short courses or microprograms to gain employable skills such as problem solving or communication fundamentals. Using your own time to learn transferable soft skills shows future employers you are eager to learn and understand the value of people skills and being adaptable.  

3. Think about your network (IRL and online)

Some say it’s all about who you know and for those of us not lucky enough to be born into royalty, it might feel like you don’t really know anyone useful 🙃 That doesn’t mean you can’t start building your network to make yourself more employable. 

If you’re still in high school or studying a tertiary course, start thinking about the industry you think you’d like to work in. With the power of Google you can seek out relevant events and find people in the industry you admire or would like to be one day 🤓 You could try attending an event or reaching out to someone. Don’t be afraid to play the role of the eager student – every professional was once in your shoes, and many will give you the time of day to ask a few questions and steer you onto the right path.

When you meet someone new, try to connect with them on LinkedIn or if you get a business card, send a follow up “nice to meet you” email and give them a compliment. Once you graduate or are looking for opportunities, you can reach out to your growing network with an online broadcast or 1-to-1 to let them know you are available. 

4. Be confident

It sounds simple and it is. Confident people are more successful because they believe they can and they follow through 😄

Having self confidence isn’t about knowing everything there is to know. Instead it’s about having faith in yourself to put in the work, putting your hand up to ask questions and being willing to learn new employable skills.

Of course, telling you to “have confidence” to make yourself more employable is easier said than done sometimes. But there are ways you can build on your self-confidence to make you more employable. 

Keep an eye out for our soon-to-be-released free Foundations of Self-Awareness Upskilling Microprogram. In it we discuss self-confidence and the impact it has along with tuning into and managing your emotions. Sign up for our newsletter to hear about when the new micro drops.

Are you new around here? 😄 We just wanted to let you know that all our programs – virtual work experiences and upskilling micros – are totally free, so check them out and let us know what you think. While we have your attention, we’d love to meet you. Be brave and say hi, let us know what future career you’re thinking about or even if you’re not sure yet. 

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Grandshake and Junior Engineers partner to Upskill future digital leaders

Grandshake and Junior Engineers, a one-stop shop for the industry to support young talent development from school to employment.


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