Don’t wait till you actually need to start a job search. Job-readiness is about constantly evolving
In an overcrowded field of potential candidates, becoming the inevitable selection for recruiters depends solely on how differentiated you are. You need to be job-ready, which simply means possessing the right skills commensurate to the ever-changing needs of the industry.
In a report, Nasscom has identified 55 new job roles and 155 new-age skills that will be required for the future. Big data and analytics are two major areas opening up and are expected to grow eightfold to $16 billion by 2025. This calls for an increase in the demand for business analysts, solution architects, data integrators, data architects, data analysts and data scientists—careers that didn’t exist a few years ago. That’s why, no matter how long you’ve been in your current job, you must constantly evolve and be ready for the next gig.
Get smart with skilling: Keep upgrading yourself with new but relevant skills. For instance, those in IT could learn new coding languages, or finance experts could earn a PMP certification, or those good with algorithms can take up a certificate course in data science. The possibilities are endless. If you are working, explore the training and development offerings at your organisation. If not, there are many free or affordable learning opportunities that will help add skills to your resume.
Start early: It’s a good idea to make college days a stepping stone to enter the job market. Develop soft skills by participating in group activities, take lead, read up, ask questions, apply concepts on real-time projects, gain recommendations from professors. This groundwork will go a long way in impressing your recruiters, and peers in the corporate world. While in college, look for meaningful internship or part-time jobs to expand your subject knowledge. Don’t be put off by low pay, acquiring knowledge should be your priority.
Stay ahead of the game: Companies are utilising AI, machine learning, analytics for recruiting. Globally, recruiting firms like Pymetrics use neuroscience games and bias-free AI to predictively match people with jobs. Google Hire, a recruiting app, helps distribute jobs, identify and attract candidates, build relationships, and manage the interview process. Many others offer chatbots that automate the process from resume to interview. Keep yourself abreast with information on these.
Become a subject-matter expert: Subscribe to industry magazines and newsletters, stay updated with the latest technologies and software. Track current affairs and markets, make notes, attend seminars and conferences. Use Twitter, LinkedIn to get in touch with your corporate idols and learn from them. Network.
Hit refresh: Document your achievements. Keep your CV updated. Make separate resumes for different types of jobs and industries, using keywords in line with what companies are looking for. Employers look for soft skills like communication, leadership, collaboration, time management. Your body of work must reflect that.
Anurag Gupta is head, Career Education Business (India), NIIT Limited