The working world continues to become more competitive, and each year a new group of hopeful graduates enter their respective industries with big dreams for their futures. The reality is, however, that competition is tough and expectations are high.
These days companies are looking for unicorns: multi-talented overachievers with a go-getter attitude, which is no longer an unrealistic request. In recent times people have gained endless access to online learning opportunities, not only locally but also internationally. According to the World Economic Forum, the overall online education market is projected to reach $350 Billion by 2025. The truth is that the bare minimum is no longer good enough. So, how do you make yourself more attractive to potential employers by giving your CV a competitive edge?
Carmen Schaefer, Head of Academics at the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business, shares her five tips on how to increase your employability, solidifying your position as the preferred candidate when that dream job presents itself.
1) Never stop learning
“Be a sponge – make the most of every opportunity made available to you, learn new skills, gain more experience, or further your education. We live in a fast-paced environment where things are constantly evolving, so it is vital to stay up to date and be ahead of the curve. Short online courses are a great way to do this, as they allow you to study in your own time and at your own pace, making it possible to maintain a stable job and steady income while learning,” says Schaefer.
Listing courses on your CV shows that you are ambitious and willing to learn, which is an extremely attractive quality to recruiters. With a base education in a broad degree, further studies will allow you to specialise in areas of interest.
2) Build a network
We often hear the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, this statement rings true when looking for a job. It is important to build a strong network within an industry, not only is this a great way to keep up to date with news and happenings, but it can also be helpful when it comes to looking for a new job opportunity.
“I advise staying in touch with lecturers and classmates from college, attend events, network and keep in contact with old colleagues. LinkedIn has also become a great tool to use when building an online network, one never knows when these relationships could come in handy,” Schaefer continues.
3) Be future-focused
Be forward-thinking by staying up to date with trends and industry news. This shows that you have knowledge of the landscape and take interest in your line of work. It is important to be aware of how things could evolve in the future in order to build new skills and stay relevant. This could be as simple as reading the news every day, although sometimes a short course on an unfamiliar topic can create that edge that sets one candidate apart from the other.
4) Think outside of the box
Don’t be afraid to be different, adding something personal or quirky to a CV makes it stand out from the crowd. Remember that employers are often hiring based on personality, they are looking for someone who they want to be around and that they feel will bring something new to the dynamics. Find out as much about the culture and employees of a company you are applying to – even if you visit beforehand to do a quick sense check.
5) Do your research
When deciding where to study – whether straight from school, or when growing your skill set in your career – try to gain insight into the employability of past students from the institutions that you are considering. This will give you some idea of how attractive qualifications from various options are to potential employers within your industry. If these records are not available to the public, LinkedIn can be used as an alternative research platform. By visiting the educator’s page it is easy to check where their alumni are employed. Stalk people or careers you admire and see what and where these people studied.
“In 2020, Honoris United conducted a survey into the employability of Red & Yellow students, and the study found that an impressive 87% of graduates were employed at the time that the research was conducted in June 2021,” concludes Schaefer.
Red & Yellow offers a variety of online short courses and qualifications designed to give its students a competitive edge in the modern world. To find out more about how to apply to the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business, go to https://www.redandyellow.co.za/.
NOTES TO EDITOR: Red & Yellow School of Creative Business.
Red & Yellow Creative School of Business is a CHE-accredited private higher education institution headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. It is an established cornerstone of the South African marketing, advertising, design and business industries, teaching its students to think creatively and equipping them with the critical commercial and 4IR skills that they need to thrive in a digital world.
Established in 1994, the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business offers degrees, advanced diplomas and certificates in marketing and commerce, digital marketing, user-centred design, graphic design and art direction, copywriting, digital content creation, as well as business and corporate offerings. The school also offers a range of popular online short courses and national certificates, and its highly regarded corporate training team works with some of Africa’s most well-known companies to deliver innovative, customised programmes focused around 21st century skills.
Red & Yellow has deep, longstanding ties with industry and works with leading brands and agencies throughout Africa to ensure its students and alumni are always world-class and work-ready. Its students are regular nominees and winners at local and international awards ceremonies, including the Loeries, Pendorings and D&ADs.
The school’s alumni include business leaders who have achieved remarkable career success, across the continent and internationally, such as Jason Harrison and Faheem Chaudry of M&C Saatchi Abel; Veli Ngubane at Avatar; Dorcas Onyango at Coca Cola; and Steph van Niekerk at Grey JHB, ranked as South Africa’s No. 1 Creative Director and No. 1 Copywriter in 2019.
In addition, Red & Yellow is a member of Honoris United Universities, the pan-African private higher education network focused on educating the next generation of African leaders and entrepreneurs with industry-ready skills.
For more information, please visit www.redandyellow.co.za