Certificates and degrees will go far to establish your credibility. Having qualifications demonstrates that you can contribute and add value to an organization through training and education. However, employers are not just seeking candidates with credentials. Verifiable skills are a major currency for hiring and advancement.
Here are 6 ways you can show a potential employer that you are “skilled up” and able to integrate and add value to a professional environment.
- Highlight Literacy and Communication. Literacy is more than reading and writing. Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, and compute using written, printed, and digital materials in varying contexts. Can you analyze critical messages, in various forms, and leverage them for persuasive communication? Being literate involves a subset of other skills that includes grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, formatting, typing, handwriting, speaking with intention, active listening, self-reflection, accepting feedback, and being able to formulate solutions and make informed decisions.
- Demonstrate Digital Proficiency. Show that you can leverage technology. Specific technical skills include the ability to use common office equipment, peripheral devices, and other accessories. Knowledge of computer operating systems, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software, social media platforms, internet search engines, email, cloud-based apps, and video conferencing are also integral to the function and performance of most organizations.
- Provide Evidence of Achievements and Work Ethic. Request short statements and letters from previous managers, coworkers, colleagues, professors, internship sponsors, mentors, or people you volunteer for who can attest to your accomplishments and other intangible qualities such as punctuality, self-motivation, and the ability to meet deadlines. Build strong references and create a portfolio of work with examples, such as test results, presentations, reports, and videos.
- Boast Equivalent Experience. This could include successfully completing an internship, training, certification, or advanced degree. Be able to discuss practical and specific skills acquired from these programs which will enable you to easily transition into a position.
- Know the Industry Outlook and Forecast. Read books and articles, listen to podcasts, and participate in online forums, seminars, and meetups. Follow expert blogs on LinkedIn and other social outlets. Stay up to date on the latest news and current trends. Your ability to assess and evaluate market conditions will give you a competitive advantage.
- Network and Collaborate. Participate in industry projects and organizations. Professional memberships offer development opportunities and connections with others in your field and enhance your career profile. Consistent and active involvement shows that you are committed to your profession and participating in its advancement. Employers like this.
Employers are eager for candidates who are “skilled up” and who will consistently deliver more than is required or expected – candidates who are adaptable to change, collaborate well in teams, manage time to align with priorities, and communicate effectively. Capabilities are the new career currency. Having them and proving them will increase the value you represent to a potential employer and positively impact your chances for recruitment and promotion.
Center for Advanced Legal Studies can help you earn your degree and begin your career as a paralegal. We offer programs and curriculum delivered by experienced attorneys who have a passion for teaching. A full range of academic and student services is available, and placement assistance is provided to our graduates as they enter the legal profession. For details on our paralegal education programs and class start dates, visit paralegal.edu.
Director of Outreach and Career Services
Tami has an extensive and varied professional background that spans criminal justice, paralegal education, and international school marketing and communication. Her career has been guided by a focus on developing strategic partnerships that facilitate school growth and student opportunity. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Degree in Criminal Justice from Texas State University.