It doesn’t matter where you apply to work these days, chances are you will be facing off against more other applicants than ever before. This means that it is always helpful to remain mindful of your own unique selling points, all the things that set you apart from other resumes that a potential employer might like. You also need to always be on the lookout for ways to make yourself more useful to any other potential employers that you pursue in the future.
Many people fall into the trap of thinking that simply turning up at the same job every day for decades will be enough to prove themselves to potential employers. In fact, all this demonstrates is your ability to turn up reliably, and to perform the range of functions that are required of you by one particular employer. If you want to really demonstrate to the world that you are someone who has a lot to offer them, you will need to demonstrate variety and adaptability.
There’s no doubt that some people who spend their entire adult lives working in the same role and at the same level and ultimately do very well of it. Having held the right position in one organization can easily open up several doors in others. But if your goal is to improve your overall value to any employer, and to demonstrate that you are someone who could switch to their industry with relative ease, you will need to accumulate more than just experience.
Here are some very effective steps that any of us can take in order to dramatically increase our value to just about any employer.
Be Part of the Bottom Line
It doesn’t matter what business you work for, what it is they do, who leads their day to day operations, or what philosophical outlook on the world their CEO espouses. Every business wants employees who care about the bottom line and who are personally invested in the success or failure of the business. Businesses tend to reduce most or all of their transactions to cost-benefits analysis and returns on investment (ROI).
Even you are ultimately a commodity with an ROI. The business employing you will spend a certain amount of money on you, your training, and your salary. In exchange for this investment, they expect a certain level of financial return. The greater the ROI you produce, the more valuable you are to the business.
You should therefore focus on ways in which you can reduce the amount of money that the business has to spend on you, while still maximizing the level of return that you bring in for them.
Treat Time as Money
We all know the old adage in business about time being money. For the majority of people who are working salaried positions which pay them for every hour that they work, this concept has become deeply embedded in their attitudes and feelings towards time and money.
But there are also a great many employees within businesses who still haven’t made the same connection. To these people, they are paid money every hour, but they never make the connection that the business employing them is expecting them to produce, on average, a certain amount of money during those time periods. The salaries we are paid are a reflection of the financial return we are expected to make on the time we spend working.
Initiative is a skill that every good business owner and manager should place in the highest regard. Initiative demonstrates the ability of an employee to think on their feet. The better a worker performs under pressure, and in the absence of guidance from someone superior, the more they can be relied upon by the business at large.
By contrast, employees that require constant hand-holding and whose very presence in the business requires the presence of additional staff members to manage them, are harder to trust to manage things on their own.
Managers love having employees who are able to handle some or all of their day to day tasks while they are ill. Managers, like the rest of us, need a day off every week. They also need the occasional holiday, and sometimes they just need their colleagues to try a little bit harder than normal. Marking yourself out as one of the more reliable and independent employees in your business is a surefire way to leap to the front of the promotions queue.
Another great example of taking initiative is to pursue qualifications and certificates that will allow you to apply for a much broader range of jobs, whether they are in your current industry or not. Many such training programs are made available to employees who are looking to climb the ladder, but there’s no reason that you can’t take those steps on your own initiative.
In some cases, you can find all the information you will need in order to pass a test online. In other cases, you can earn the qualification online. Take a look at information about the WHMIS certificate online for more information.
Keep an Up-to-Date Resume
Sometimes, one of the best ways of making an employer realize how valuable you are to them is to make them contemplate what their business would be like without you. Always have an up-to-date resume that documents all of your achievements and progress.
If you are starting to feel like you aren’t being fully appreciated in your current role, consider whether it’s worth asking one of your existing colleagues in a senior position whether they would be willing to act as a referee on your resume. This is a non-confrontational way of letting them know that a career change is on the cards and that they have an opportunity to address any grievances you have. Alternatively, it might make you realize that this business doesn’t think of you as highly as you thought and that you might want to leave anyway.
It is always worth doing what you can to make yourself more valuable to employers. Never feel that it is too late to begin pursuing new skills, interests and careers. With the right resume, you can sell yourself to just about anyone.