You Ask, I Answer: Increasing the Chances of Being Hired with Certifications?

Harrison asks, “I was wondering if you would be able to spare some time to give me some helpful tips on ways I can increase my employability in finding a job as a graduate. I am currently on Uni break and have spent my free time acquiring a Google Ads Certification. I was curious as to what else you may recommend in addition to this?”

Employability is all about demonstrating what hiring managers want. Hiring managers generally want two things – employees that will not cause them headaches, and employees that will make them look better. That means you need to show that you are a low risk, high value hire. Certifications are an important part, but there’s another key piece.

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In today’s episode Harrison so I was wondering if you would be able to spare some time to give me some helpful tips on ways I can increase my employability in finding a job as a graduate.

I am currently on university break, and I’ve spent my free time acquiring Google Analytics certifications.

I was curious as to what else you’d recommend in addition to this.

So first, congratulations getting a Google Analytics and Google Ads certifications are important.

employability is all about demonstrating what hiring managers want.

Your hiring managers want to very fundamental things.

They want less risk, more reward, right? The same thing everybody wants.

Specifically, a hiring manager wants an employee, it’s not good cause of headaches, right? An employee is not going to waste their time and employee that can as the cliche goes, hit the ground running.

That’s so that’s on the risk mitigation side.

And then on the on the the reward side, hiring managers want employees that are going to help them look better, right? whether somebody verbalized it or not, fundamentally, a hiring manager wants someone who’s going to make the manager look like a rock star, right, they’re going to deliver results, they’re going to hit their numbers, they’re gonna do all the things that their bosses expect of them.

That’s just human nature.

And again, they may they may not outright say in such a, a selfish or self centered way.

But that’s what they want.

So you as a potential employee need to be able to demonstrate to hiring managers that you are lower risk and that you are higher reward.

Right, you are a low risk high value higher.

So certifications are good for a couple reasons.

One, they are RA, a risk reduction feature.

Right? If you’ve got a few different industry certifications, you can demonstrate by your your academic track record that yes, you know, something, you’re not an idiot.

You’re not like every other kid who comes out of school because honestly, every single kid who graduates has the exact same diploma, right? There’s no GPA on there.

There’s no really interesting insights as to that person is just a Hey, you got the thing, congratulations.

And that as a as a hiring manager you’re looking at and like if that was all you saw, then you have no basis on which to judge who to hire.

So certifications, Google Analytics, Google ads, HubSpot, inbound Academy, IBM cognitive class, generally speaking, when it comes to marketing, get certifications from well known corporate brands, because as much as I think certain core like I know Dasa T and Demi and Coursera, and stuff are okay, they lack the brand credibility with a hiring manager, because not every hiring manager has heard of or knows, I’ve always taken an audacity course, and frankly, some of these platforms like Dasey, the courses are a mixed bag, some are really great, summer, not as great.

But when you hand a certification to a hiring manager, if it has a logo of a company that they know, they’ll be much more positive, either consciously or subconsciously.

But when you hand that sheet of paper over that, you know, has a Google logo on it, or an IBM logo on like, I’ve heard of those companies, you must know what you’re doing.

Right? So it’s risk mitigation.

Here’s the other part.

How do you demonstrate reward? How do you demonstrate that you’re going to deliver results? certifications can’t do that.

For that you need a portfolio of work.

And I know a lot of people in marketing tend to think like, oh, only the creative people have portfolios? Well, no, that’s that’s completely untrue.

Everybody in marketing should have a portfolio now.

And it can be a blog of your writing and examples of work that you’ve done.

It can be case studies that you’ve written up of work that you’ve done.

It can be testimonials from clients that you’ve had of work that you’ve done, maybe you’re saying, wait, I’m a university student, how am I supposed to have clients, that’s what you volunteer for.

You volunteer at a small, your local nonprofit, and do something like fix their Google Analytics or help them get an email newsletter started or run their Instagram channel or whatever it is that you can do that demonstrates that you can get results.

your LinkedIn profile should be a, a long, large repository of results of things that you done.

If you are on, for example, the data science side, you’d better have GitHub repository and an example project that you’ve you’ve built from scratch with your own code.

If you are on the analytical side, you better have a tableau public profile with some examples of work that you’ve done, like, here’s a unique analysis of a company’s website traffic, you know, showing, I don’t know, pick a pick a technical indicator, some kind of like moving average divergence indicator, slap that on someone’s web analytics to say, Hey, here’s something I can do, that I have done, I clearly have done that is different than what you’re going to see out of all the other candidates.

So portfolios of work are really, really important for being able to demonstrate that you not only can do the thing, but you have done the thing.

A candidate that has a good portfolio of work is inherently more interesting than somebody who just said says they can do the thing because I have in my God, it’s been 20 years and in my 20 years of working with and hiring people and such, there have been a lot of people who in the room talk, great talk, and then a month or two months into the job, you realize, they never actually did any work, they always had a subordinate doing the work, and they don’t actually know anything.

And those are, those are not pleasant experiences.

So if you can demonstrate that you have done the work, and it specifically you have done the work, you will you will demonstrate that that employability, like this person knows what they’re doing.

Even better, if you do happen to have like a paying customer, even if it is like a you know, your, your local pizza shop or whatever, but somebody who puts out a science value to what you do.

That’s, that’s pretty powerful.

Right? So when you go to interview, you can say yeah, my side hustle is I helped promote this little noodle shop.

When I was in, in University here in the States, I had a customer that was a local Vietnamese noodle shop.

And you know, they, we bartered to eat there twice a week for free.

And I did their their web page, because there wasn’t even a site, it was just a page back in the old days, and help them with the graphic design of their menus.

And so it was a paying customer and but being able to demonstrate in early interviews for jobs, yep.

I and not only do the thing that I have done the thing, and I have had somebody compensate me for in some way, is a powerful testimonial.

give some thought to if you if you don’t already have a son hustle of some kind, give some thought to having something like that maybe, you know, explore the landscape of things like algorithmic trading, something interesting that demonstrates that you are constantly learning that once you have that certificate in hand from your university that you’re not done, because no one’s ever done.

But being able to say yeah, I’m always learning, I’ve got these interests and want to learn how to do this.

And I want my career and my interests to eventually align.

So that’s those are the suggestions I’d make one.

keep getting those certifications and get them from well known brands to build that portfolio of work.

And three, consider having some kind of side hustle that allows you to keep growing, keep learning and being able to demonstrate to your community.

One other thing is a bit of housekeeping.

If you haven’t already, go through an audit your various public social channels.

fix any information that you don’t want to hiring man, you’re to see to be friends only or to be private or just deleted if it’s if it’s incriminating.

And just tune things up doing do an audit.

Look at your personal presence online and ask yourself how could this be misinterpreted? and clean up all that stuff? Because that’s an easy way to get knocked out of consideration and not even know it.

So just do that cleaning? Great question.

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