Despite feeling eager to move on from your current position, your lack of education, skills, or experience might stop you from reaching your career goals. If you want to get ahead in an industry, you might need to dedicate more time and energy to growing your resume.
Of course, gaining diplomas and new skills will not only require your time, but they can cost a substantial sum. Yet, there are steps you can take to gain the skills you need without breaking the bank. Check out these seven affordable ways to increase your career prospects.
- Find an Affordable Advanced Degree
Growing your education doesn’t need to destroy your finances. Instead, find an institution that provides competitively priced tuition and can help you expand your resume, gain new skills, and take the next step in your career.
For example, Carson-Newman nursing programs are popular with registered nurses, as it provides a quality education at an affordable rate. After earning a degree, graduate students can put their new skills and experience to immediate use and enjoy a much bigger annual salary. It’s an ideal option for those looking to enter a senior nursing position, as you can complete an MSN-FNP or Post-Master’s FNP Certificate 100% online to fit your busy schedule and finances.
2. Enroll in a Short Course
There are many quick, cheap courses available online that you can complete in a matter of days or weeks. For example, if you are a project manager, you could improve your employability by enrolling in a Lean Six Sigma course to enhance your knowledge and skills.
Research the market for affordable yet reputable courses in your field that employers require. Browse job descriptions for your desired career to identify the various qualifications most employers are looking for, and then aim to find an affordable option online. You can guarantee a low-cost option is available, but it is up to you to find it.
3. Learn a Second Language
Even the smallest companies may aspire to run an international empire. It’s for this reason why a second language on your resume is bound to impress a prospective employer. In addition, mastering another tongue could help you become a business asset, as you can communicate with international customers, clients, or suppliers on the company’s behalf.
If this wasn’t enough, learning a second tongue can improve your employment prospects overseas. As you can speak their language and have a strong understanding of English, an overseas employer might welcome you to the company with open arms. Thus, it could improve your employability, prospects, and job flexibility.
Learning another language doesn’t need to be expensive, either. There are likely many affordable courses in your state, and you can practice your skills on a language-learning app, such as Duolingo, Babbel, or Rosetta Stone.
Volunteering can provide both personal and professional benefits. It cannot only help you give back to society and improve others’ lives, but it can demonstrate your nature and work ethic to an employer.
Also, you could gain valuable skills and experience at a non-profit organization, which might help you stand out from many job applicants. Finally, boost your employability by volunteering at an organization within or close to your field.
5. Meet with a Recruitment Expert
A resume is an opportunity to promote your talent, skills, and achievements. Yet, many professionals undersell themselves, which may lead to a less-qualified person securing a job. Improve your career prospects by meeting with a recruitment expert to discuss your resume.
As an expert in the field, they can identify where you are selling yourself short or skill gaps that might be holding you back. It is a quick, affordable way to refine your resume, identify your weaknesses, and pinpoint opportunities for growth. With their help, you could build on your shortcomings, expand your education, and climb the industry ladder.
6. Network in Your Field
The more people you have in your network, the more job opportunities that may come your way throughout your career. While building a rapport with professionals of all levels may take time, hard work, and patience, the tactic could help you walk into a dream role.
For example, a professional could recommend you for a role at their company, provide advice to help you stand out from the competition, or even offer you a job at their brand.
Improve your networking skills by:
- Developing a professional, active presence on LinkedIn and Twitter
- Connecting with professionals across your field at all levels
- Attending various industry events, such as conferences and trade shows
- Participating in industry forums
7. Practice Your Interview Skills
If you have extensive skills and experience, you might wonder why you can’t secure a new role. Unfortunately, your interview skills (or lack of them) might be holding you back. If you suspect this is the case, work on this weakness to convince an employer to offer you a job.
For example, you must:
- Appear enthusiastic and passionate about the industry and company
- Familiarize yourself with potential interview questions and desirable answers
- Research a company, its history, product, and services
- Convey your strengths
- Dress in professional clothing
- Maintain a positive, professional demeanor
Also, pay close attention to your body language during an interview. For example, look a hiring manager in their eyes when answering a question, sit up straight, don’t fold your arms, and smile naturally.
Send a follow-up email after an interview thanking a potential employer for the interview opportunity and encourage them to contact you if they have any additional questions. The email will prove you care about a position at the company, and you have the professionalism and passion for excelling in the advertised role.
Boosting your career prospects doesn’t need to cost the Earth, and there are some improvements you can make that won’t cost a penny. Stand out from the crowd by enrolling in an affordable degree program, working on your interview skills, refining your resume, and mastering another tongue. The tactics could open many doors throughout your career, boost your income, and help you gain more respect in your field.