Many business owners are concerned about the impacts of the skills gap and talent shortage, so they are zeroing in on trainability in the hiring process. In fact, according to a recent LinkedIn Learning Report, 64% of L&D pros globally agree that L&D shifted from a “nice to have” to a “need to have” in 2021.
The skills required for many positions will change in the years ahead, meaning job seekers don’t need to scramble to meet all the skill requirements before applying. Instead, job seekers who can show they are able to enrich and develop skills independently prove to future employers that they are willing and motivated to learn. After all, the top area of focus for L&D programs in 2021 is upskilling and reskilling (with 59% of pros saying it’s their top priority, up 15% since June 2020), according to the LinkedIn report.
Demonstrating determination and desire to develop personally and professionally proves they will be easy to upskill and reskill down the line. It’s important to encourage job seekers to dive into independent learning through experiences such as apprenticeships, part-time jobs, internships, and volunteering. Here are four ways job seekers can be even more intentional with their learning and development:
There are many reputable sites that provide learning resources. Independent learning doesn’t have to cost a great deal of time and money. Your job seekers can find courses online that fit any budget and can work into their schedule.
Google offers formal courses for online certifications as well as virtual workshops and blogs to reinforce what participants learned. Courses can be paid through a subscription plan and users may even be eligible for financial assistance. Some colleges and universities accept courses for credits earned so there is an avenue for learning to upskill and reskill for just about anyone.
With LinkedIn Learning, job seekers could earn a certificate to spruce up their resume and boost qualifications. Certificates publish directly to LinkedIn profiles where recruiters are actively scouting for their skills. Job seekers can try a few courses during a free month trial and then pay month to month for ongoing training courses or pay for a month any time they want to learn a new skill.
There are also industry-specific academies (like HubSpot for marketing and sales) that offer free instruction to help boost job seekers’ confidence for breaking into an industry.
While a more expensive option that undoubtedly requires more planning, choosing to audit a class demonstrates willingness to challenge oneself for the sake of gaining new skills. Community colleges often offer night classes and online courses with adjunct instructors so there are flexible options to gain college credits while working around a work schedule.
Encourage students and job seekers to use electives for stretching their professional skill set. Many students like to take something easy or fun. But getting an introduction to business, coding, or a language can do more for their career down the line. Remind job seekers to take advantage of these experiences by listing them under “relevant coursework” on their resume to show how they’ve worked to upskill and reskill on their own.
It may not work with your current circumstances to commit to college classes full time or you may not live in an area with a nearby campus. The good news is most colleges and universities now offer countless credits you can earn online at your own pace. Financial assistance is even available for these remote courses for those who qualify.
While there’s no place for consuming media on a resume, adjusting one’s feed can have a significant effect on their mindset. For example, you can encourage job seekers to subscribe to trustworthy influencers who aim to educate others online.
YouTube is a great place to tune into TedTalks or influencers specific to job seekers’ target industry. By subscribing they’ll get notifications about what they can learn about and the YouTube algorithms will recommend content and channels that can help their career growth.
Similarly, podcasts and books for self-improvement are difficult to showcase for recruiters. However, when an individual regularly pursues these outlets to help with learning and growth, it becomes something of a hobby.
In interviews, job seekers are often asked to share what they like to do in their free time or what book they’ve read most recently. These learning and development resources used to independently upskill and reskill are something they can be proud to mention.
Saying, “I like to bake while listening to podcasts about X industry” and following that statement with names of podcasts and why they’re helpful in bettering them as a professional proves to the recruiter that the job seeker is genuine and serious about this industry and position.