Courses to improve your CV

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The trick for survival in tough economic times is always to be one step ahead of the pack - especially when it comes to furthering your career. It’s all too easy to become despondent in a market suffering through financial hardship and a lack of investment. But now more than ever is the time to take control of your prospects, bolster your CV and above all, make sure you are abreast of all the key industry issues ready to impress potential new employers.

After a brief lull in the summer months, the economy and industry started to stir and it looked as though green shoots were about to flower. Then things took a sharp turn for the worst at the end of August. The flailing European financial markets are now having a massive knock-on effect worldwide and the threat of having to switch back into survival mode in 2012 is becoming very real indeed.

This will inevitably have an impact on construction and fears over further cut backs are natural. But rather than admit defeat, why not turn your attentions and energy to arming yourself to the hilt? The more skills and knowledge you have at your disposal and the more weighty your CV, the better.

Mark Heald, director at recruiter PSD Group specialises in the property and construction sectors. He says that anything construction professionals can do to bolster their CV, whether they are unemployed or just looking to up their skills base, should be seriously considered. And there is one area particularly worth looking into: “If you look at this from a contractor or developer perspective, the hot topics right now are sustainability and related environmental issues,” he says. “There are new codes that are always changing and understanding them and being up to date will be a real plus. People who are not working at the moment in particular should strive to stay up to date. This way, when they go for jobs it will work in their favour if they are up against people who are maybe not as knowledgeable about industry issues and developments.”

And it’s not just purely construction related courses that could elevate your knowledge and add weight to your CV. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) runs courses on how to manage your own PR and learn to make simple tools such as word of mouth work for you and the business you work for. These courses are particularly useful for SME employees as they offer key tips and information on how to promote businesses without a big independent PR team. Again, all good additional skills to put on your CV. A spokesperson for CIPR explains more: “As a lot of builders and tradesmen may find, the majority of their business may stem from friends, family and colleagues recommending their work. By understanding the DNA of communications, delegates will be able to create and market messages that live on successfully through word of mouth.”

Building magazine has looked at three courses that are examples of the types of additional learning and upskilling opportunities available in a fast changing market. For the full article visit Survival of the fittest.

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