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Although no job application should rely entirely on qualifications, learning new skills and participating in educational programs can only increase your chances of standing out from the candidate pool. It is important to keep as many skills as possible up to date, whether this means re-taking a First Aid class or joining a short course to top up your knowledge on a subject you studied at school.

Even if you have outstanding grades and qualifications to support your application, you need to consider what will make you stand out from all the other candidates who have applied for the same role. The most practical way of improving your candidacy is acquiring new skills, attending courses and ‘topping up’ your previous education. Inquiring about the educational courses available to you is a positive step in your job search. By adding new skills and certificates of education to your CV, you are showing prospective employers that you are dedicated to your profession as well as willing to undertake training. The self-discipline of enrolling in an educational program while searching for employment is an excellent example of a hard working, enthusiastic employee; something that will greatly appeal to employers.

Educational courses don’t have to be an inconvenience. Modern technology allows learning from home and there are always courses available for parents and those currently in employment. Working around a busy schedule can be tough, but making sure you have time in the evening to complete your course will guarantee you a chance to shine in job applications. Considering continued learning while you are searching for a job opens up more opportunities. Apart from the obvious advantage of having a new skill or extra qualification, recent training is highly valued compared to school grades obtained many years ago. Also, meeting new people through your course will boost your confidence when applying for jobs and open up new channels for hearing about possible employment opportunities.

Searching for employment can be a long winded, stressful process. It is essential to make the best of every situation, especially in a poor economic climate. Where competition is high between candidates, recent and relevant qualifications and training could be the difference between getting a job interview and slipping to the back of the pile unnoticed.

Knowing your competition is helpful when deciding what steps to take to improve your application. For example, if you are a qualified in one area, such as book keeping, consider taking a short course in another subject, that would mean you were flexible in your position of employment, such as administration. Candidates applying for the same kind of posts as you might not have the adaptable skills that you would then possess, putting you in good stead with prospective employers. Remember, however experienced you are, professional qualifications are always changing. To stay on top of the game, take a refresher course to update your skills and keep up with the competition of younger applicants.

Continued learning is invaluable to the job seeker. Whether you are looking for employment or want a new opportunity for promotion, keeping yourself motivated with a refreshed education and new skills makes you a more attractive candidate. Taking an educational course could be the boost you need to take your application to the next level, on paper and in person.

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