When it comes to screening potential employees, companies put a premium on a good college education. While a degree looks good on a resume, it is a candidate’s work experience that will set him apart from his competitors.  Employers look favourably at applicants who already gained useful knowledge and honed their skills in the industry they chose to work in.

An individual who wishes to change careers can also use his past job accomplishments to his advantage. In this article, we discuss ways on how to leverage your work experience when looking for a new job.

1. Do an Initial Hard Sell 

A candidate can enhance his job application by creating a summary of his qualifications. Create a hard-hitting introduction packed with your most relevant skills, knowledge, and accomplishments.  

Provide a headline that includes your job target and the main benefits a company can get when they hire you. Include a list of your top 5 most marketable credentials, and make sure that they match your targeted job.

Mention each promotion to show career progression. Instead of listing down your positions under one heading, create individual descriptions for each one. The qualification summary will give your future employer an overview of your potential your and possible contributions to the company.

2. Highlight Your Accomplishments 

A resume should not only show an applicant’s work history, but also highlight his accomplishments. Instead of merely listing past duties and responsibilities, an applicant should include information on how certain tasks were accomplished and how they benefited the company’s objectives.

A candidate’s past accomplishments prove to his future employer that he’s capable of handling a multitude of tasks that will help in meeting the company’s goals.

3. Use Your Connections 

Work experience also allows an individual to build his own network. The longer the individual serves in his chosen industry, the greater the quality of his connections.

A candidate can use the relationship he was able to develop over the years as leverage to be in good standing with his future employer. These connections can be a great asset to the company because they can be used for a variety of purposes. 

An applicant can also make use of his business connections to help him stay ahead of the employment scene. Sometimes, a company would only advertise a job vacancy internally. An applicant can easily tap into his network of people to alert him of such opportunities.

4. Upgrade Your Skills 

One downside of being employed in the same job for long periods of time is that your prospective employer may view your skills to be obsolete or to have stagnated.

This can be remedied through professional development. In between job hunts, a candidate must take the opportunity to learn new things and be abreast with the latest trends in their industry.

Many employers value applicants who have had their skills recognised. A number of online institutes offer Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL programs, where a candidate can have his skills and previous work experiences assessed.

A job seeker’s resume should also be filled with trainings, workshops, and certifications related to the industry he’s working in. This shows the employer that an applicant places importance in upgrading his skills in order keep up with the changing demands of his job.   

Recruiting new employees incurs additional costs, and this is why most companies are encouraging long-term tenures within their organisation.

An applicant can leverage his work experience to show that he’s capable of accomplishing important tasks and that he has the initiative to continuously improve his skills.

A candidate’s solid work history also proves that he’s in it for the long haul and that he’s worth the investment.

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