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5 Reasons to Increase Your Qualifications While Job Seeking

04.15.2016

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The middle of a job search seems like the worst possible time to upgrade your skill set. You're short on cash, often short on time, and you have enough on your plate without worrying about adding classes or certification tests to your schedule. Not only that, you're hoping to get hired before you would be able to complete those classes or take the certification tests anyway. Increasing your qualifications in the middle of the job seeking process, however, has a number of advantages you might want to consider.

There aren't enough qualified candidates for many positions. It's the typical catch-22: you have to be experienced to get a job, but you have to have a job to get experience. Unfortunately, many companies are finding that there simply aren't enough skilled candidates for their positions. Having a new set of skills or certifications can make you very attractive to the right company and can even add to your eligibility for a number of positions.

Taking certification tests or industry-relevant classes shows initiative. You might not be able to include your soon-to-be-acquired skills on your resume just yet, but you can bring them up in interviews and even mention them in your cover letter. Even if you aren't able to apply for a position that uses those skills yet, the process of acquiring them shows that you have the drive and potential to move up in your new job, which will help attract the types of employers you most want.

You can't know how long your job search will last. It would be nice if you could send out a handful of resumes and have an offer in hand from your top pick within a few days or even a few weeks. Unfortunately, depending on your industry, you may struggle to find the new job that you're seeking. Instead of simply waiting around hoping for it to happen, take the initiative and seek out skills that will make you more employable. Earl Nightingale said, "Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway." Dig in and take this opportunity to go after the skills and certifications that will help you achieve your dreams. Even if it doesn't help you land your ideal job immediately, it can help you immeasurably in the future.

This is the perfect opportunity to focus on new skills. Whether you're currently in a job that you'd like to leave behind or you're currently unemployed, this is a great time to focus you time and energy on acquiring new skills. Once you get a new job, it will be several weeks or even months before you've settled in and are able to focus on anything outside of the new job. Don't put off starting on those skills during your search; instead, embrace the opportunity to pursue them now! During a stretch of unemployment, you may even have more time on your hands than ever before, making it the best possible time to cram in as much studying as possible.

More qualifications never hurt. You may dread hearing, "You're overqualified," when you apply for a job, but there's nothing that says you have to showcase all of your skills on every application. Take the time to enhance your qualifications and watch your ability to become employed soar. You never know: that new certification or class might be a door into a new type of job. In some cases, acquiring certifications or degrees can also increase your pay rate, even if you finish them after acquiring the job.

Developing new skills during a job search might be an additional layer of stress, but it's also an additional layer of possibility. Take the time to enhance your skills during your job search. You'll be pleased with the job opportunities that open up for you.