Clever, streetwise, hip and switched on you might be all of these things, but without the ability to turn those natural smarts into qualifications, youâ€™ll have the career longevity of a mayfly.
Indeed, itâ€™s easy to see once-savvy people spiral into apathy once degrees or job prospects enter the fray. Studying hard grinds some people down more than parmesan in a grater.
But without the right skills on a CV, employers will turn up their noses at you like a bad smell. The labour towards success might be fraught with sleepless nights and busyness, but itâ€™s a road thatâ€™s worth it once you get there, in both achievement and salary.
With that in mind, weâ€™ve come up with a few ways that you can improve your all-important CV. Theyâ€™ll take some effort but get you to the top of the ladder.
Going the distance
Distance learning is still dismissed as the dodgy cousin to â€œproperâ€ universitiesâ€™ straight-laced professionalism. Itâ€™s easy to see why back in the bad old days, distance learning was about as efficient as a car without wheels.
Online degree programmes have, however, turned that once shaky alternative into an Ethernet-driven powerhouse, providing students with everything they need in the mysterious aether of the world wide web.
To study, all you need is your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) open in your browser. There youâ€™ll find everything you need for an effective education. And you can use services like Google Books, JSTOR and various news sites to accrue even more information on your subject.
Because of the flexible nature of a distance course, you could study while you work a fulltime job. Itâ€™ll cost you less than a degree from a brick-and-mortar university and it could lead you on a path towards a high salary.
Finding a voluntary position doesnâ€™t have to be as vanilla as stacking shelves in your latest Oxfam bookshop. With the right imagination, you can crowbar your way into fun and fulfilling unpaid positions.
Hunt down a place you find appealing and email its owners to find out if theyâ€™d be willing to have you help out on a semi-intern basis. As you build up your skills in your preferred area, youâ€™ll be able to search for another job in the same sector.
Hold up your hobbies
Hobbies are the things we love to do in our spare time and they make our CVs shine.
Whether you love running or playing the guitar, letting your prospective boss know shows your outgoing attitude and ability to self-improve.
Put your favourite pastimes on your CV and elaborate on them in your covering letters. Who knows your interviewer might even have a lot in common with you.
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