Phew - we're fairly rattling through our Top Tips for your New year Career and we're already on Day 7. Here we'll be talking about how to shore up those skills and experiences that may be preventing you from getting that next elusive role. It won't always be the situation that you apply for a role and are ticking every box on the 'Person Specification'. Clients will put these lists together as an 'ideal' and, regardless of what anyone says about the number of people unemployed, there is still a shortage of specialist candidates in marketing, digital and creative as well as other areas, so clients still have to have some flexibility.
However, there will be situations where the skills and experiences are 'required' and if you can demonstrate your actual experience in most of the disciplines but an understanding in all others then you're more likely to be successful. In order to get to that point you have to be prepared to go the extra mile. The first starting point would be to search out a training course that helps bridge the skills gap. How much more satisfied would you be if, after 6 weeks of night school, you achieved a sound knowledge of the fundamentals of SEO instead of sitting at home of the sofa getting a sound knowledge of Corrie? What about using some of your holiday to immerse yourself in project management and attending a Prince 2 course? These types of things can be the difference between getting the job and not. Use friends, colleagues and peers. Have they got the knowledge and experience that you can learn from? Bribe them if necessary with a couple of pints down the pub (I did this very recently to learn how to use Prezi - the best use of £6 ever!). If you're out of work then try to get an internship or offer to volunteer in an organisation that will give you exposure to the skills you need. As you can see, there's lots you can do.
Just as a final thought, we had a situation not so long ago where we were unsure about whether to take someone on for a key role in our business. They were extremely enthusiastic but during the interview it became apparent through our questioning that they just didn't have the depth of understanding of the role. So, we didn't say no, just "Not yet". The person in question went away and paid for themselves to do a course that gave them the insights they needed to be able to demonstrate to us that they knew what they were getting in to. We offered them a job based on ability, effort, understanding and tenacity!