By Louise Loxton - Head of Department, Employer Relationships

Go Back

A painter and decorator holding a paint roller

Are you work ready for 2018?

Your blog on the whats, whys and hows of amazing Employability.

The start of a new year is a good time to review your career aspirations and think about any skills or abilities you might need to improve or build on, in order to reach your goals. Below you will find some ideas of how you can make yourself more work-ready in 2018.   

Update your CV 

It’s important to have an up-to-date CV, should you be required to send one to a potential employer at short notice. Check that your information is current and any recent achievements or experience have been recorded. Then, check for accuracy: If an employer finds typing or language mistakes in your CV, it makes a bad first impression and you might not get an interview, so always ask another person to read through it.

Do some work experience 

Having real experience of the world of work will make you stand out against other candidates. It shows you are interested in your chosen field and it helps you to make some professional contacts you might need in the future. You will learn new things and get a chance to practise your employability skills in realistic situations. And it’s not just good for job applications: Universities are also placing more emphasis on potential students having done some real work experience before applying. 

Do some volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to give something back to the community and help people in need, whilst building your employability skills. Charities and social enterprises are grateful for whatever time you can give and offer induction training and even in-house training on relevant subjects – all good for your CV. 

Keep up to-date with the latest developments in your chosen field or industry 

Employers are looking for well-informed candidates with a genuine interest in the industry or organization they are applying to. Have a look at trade journals in your local library or subscribe to a newsletter within your chosen field. If you are on Linked In, follow the companies you are interested in and check their websites regularly for new developments. 

Meet with a Careers Advisor

Make an appointment to see a Careers advisor, either at your college, or via the National Careers Service. They can give you impartial advice on the options available for you and help you map out some steps to take to find the career you want. 

Find a mentor or make a date to meet with the one you already have 

If you haven’t got a mentor, start looking for one now. Think about a professional person you know who can give you advice on themes such as goal-setting, further qualifications, networking and skills development. You could also find a mentor via any hobbies or interests you have, such as other club members or people who run associations you belong to. 

Enrol on a new course

It’s always beneficial to learn something new (and meet new people at the same time!). For example, you’ll find information on a variety of FE and HE courses starting this month on the Manchester College website. Take time to research online if you have specific needs – a lot of charities and community centres also offer computer skills training or language training courses to boost your employability.

Apart from the employability factors mentioned above, work-readiness also involves practical issues such as having a support network in place to help with childcare should you need it, or being able to travel to a place of work. Maintaining good health is also important. So make sure you look at ‘the bigger picture’ and make any changes or adjustments that are necessary now. Then, once you get that job, you can keep it and enjoy it. 

Good luck!