1. Be well-rounded.
Employers are looking for well-rounded individuals that are not just the “cookie-cutter” person for the job. Consider taking on something new…this could be anything from a CIS (Computer Information Class), joining a professional organization, to an EMT certification. Taking a CIS class will allow you to be proficient with Microsoft Office which you could put on your resume. Joining a professional organization will increase your community presence and only open doors for you in terms of networking. Think outside of the box for things that can make you a better-rounded individual while also boosting your life skills!
2. Be aware of your online presence.
Setting your Facebook profile to ‘public’ and posting “LOL going out 2 the club w/ da girlz 2nite!!!” is probably not a good idea. Set all personal social media sites to private, and be aware of everything you post online and how this makes you look. Consider making profiles with your full name and contribute insightful comments to industry blogs or forums. That way, when a potential employer Google searches your name, this will pop up instead of unprofessional Facebook statuses. Also, do a Google search on yourself. See what pops up and what steps you need to take to remove any embarrassing results. You can set up a google alert to monitor what websites have your name out there (http://itarsenal.com/setup-google-alert-setup-google-alert/_)
3. Be flexible.
Being rigid in job expectations, job travel, salary and other aspects will only close doors. Be sure to indicate in the job interview or even your resume that you are flexible on most matters of initial job employment and advancements.
4. Learn a new language!
Becoming familiar with one of the major languages will put you a step ahead of your competitors. Consider learning Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, French, German or Chinese. Free sites such as Duolingo (http://www.duolingo.com/) offer courses on learning these languages and also have apps available for your phone. Doing this will not only make you more marketable, but show employers that you are diverse and able to apply a global perspective.
5. Have a skill? Become an expert.
Bringing in high-level skills to a company will make you more valuable. Look up industry news to learn about new technologies that you can learn. Likewise, cross-training will make sure you have the skills to transfer to other companies.