5 Ways TVET Graduates Can Stand Out in Today’s Competitive Labour Market

You wish your parents are so connected they could get you a job in a jiffy. Yes, many graduates sit at home hoping their parents will get them the job. 

​In today’s world, it is not easy. You are competing with many others to get the job. Unless you stand out, employers will not even give you a second look.

The Job Market.

I knew of a young graduate who started selling bank credit cards which he found so boring, but it was in one of his sales pitch that his current employer noticed him. This employer was filling up his car with gas, his pregnant wife waiting in the car and this new graduate started his pitch.

​The employer was far from interested. He has a basket of credit cards already in his possession. He didn’t need one but this new graduate engaged him so well that he ended up giving him his business card and told him to see him. So, how do you stand out so employers notice you? Here are 5 ways: 

1. Know what employers look for. 

Each employer is different. He is looking for certain fir to what he has going right now. This is where your emotional intelligence will make a difference.

Do you have this? If not, time to put aside that smart phone and make yourself smart. Look at people who have much of this and find out the attributes they have developed in themselves. Practice this until you feel you have the attributes yourself.

2. Be clear about the skills you have. 

If they are not up to a point to make you stand out in a skills competition, hone these. There are many courses online and most of these are free.

3. What about your communication skills? 

Do you find yourself whining most of the time? Cut it out. Again, practice. Start by looking at yourself in the mirror and see how you communicate.

You can video yourself so you see better how you go about talking to other people, how you ask questions, how you negotiate, how you connect with people in gatherings. Or, ask people close to you who are willing to give you feedback. Honest feedback.

Change whatever is offensive to people. When you hear yourself putting down other people, saying negative things to discourage others or to put them down or you hear yourself complaining, sneering at what others say, take note and change your patterns of conversation, discussion, participation.

Remember, people like being around with those who make them feel good about themselves. Simple!

4. Are you a dooer?

Do you take the initiative to solve problems or do you ignore the problem and leave it to others to find the solution or to take action. 

It is in simple things. When something needs tone done in your place, do you take the initiative to do it or have it resolved? Do you find solutions when there is a problem or do you leave that to others?

Yes, taking the lead is important for employers. They need problem solvers not those who give them more problems or bring every problem to the Boss.

Work on your leadership skills and your problem solving capacity. 

5. Do you know how to fit in? 

Or, do you take every step to make people feel you are different or you have special needs or you don’t really like anything they have? Do you try to taste food they share with you?

Do you sit and hang out with them? Or, do you keep to yourself and not join in? You do stand out this way, as well but that kind is not what employers would want in his/her team.

Don’t wait until graduation to do these things. Develop your leadership skills, interpersonal and communication skills, your problem solving capacity and you’ll stand out when the time comes to look for a job. Remember, 10000 hours.

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