Alpha Bits

Information, insights and advice regarding today’s IT and pharmaceutical recruitment landscape. 

Translate Your Self-Taught Skills to Advance Your Career

Many professionals hone capabilities using non-traditional approaches. However, showing the value of abilities learned outside of classrooms or workplaces isn’t always intuitive. That’s why, whether you’re meeting with a technical consultant recruiter or a hiring manager, you need a strategy to prove your self-taught skills are top-notch. Here’s how to get started.

Prepare Proof of Your Capabilities

If you have self-taught skills that aren’t clearly demonstrated in your current work history, you may need to pursue other options for proving your capabilities. Fortunately, there are several viable approaches.

One popular option is to create a portfolio of examples. This can work well for certain technical capabilities, such as web design and graphic design, that are highly visual in nature. It can also be a suitable path for software developers if you can code a sample program or technical writers that can produce samples.

Another strategy worth considering is volunteering or temp work. With those, you’ll be able to apply your skills in a real-world environment, giving you a chance to add formal experience to your resume. In some cases, freelance jobs or personal projects can work similarly, or they could be opportunities to build a portfolio.

Know How Your Abilities Compare

In many cases, hiring managers are looking for a particular level of competency. If you’re self-taught, you’ll need to take a moment to assess how you compare to others who use that skill while managing their professional responsibilities.

In some cases, searching for job openings that include the skill in the list of must-haves is a solid starting point. You can see how the capability is used and its potential value in the broader market. Then, you can compare your level of understanding to what’s requested, giving you a better idea of how you measure up.

Provide References That Can Attest to Your Capabilities

Along with having proof that your self-taught skills provide value to an employer, having references who can also attest to your capabilities is beneficial. That gives the hiring manager a point of contact who can describe what you’re capable of, as well as ensure they can ask a third-party questions that they may not be able to ask you.

Here’s another scenario where volunteering and temporary work can be a particularly wise approach. You’ll be working with individuals who will get to see your capabilities firsthand, giving you a valuable reference that you can use later. The same can be true of freelance assignments, suggesting the client is willing to speak on your behalf.

Ultimately, whether you’ll be meeting with a technical consultant recruiter or a hiring manager, the strategies above can help you showcase your self-taught skills more effectively. As a result, you may have an easier time securing your dream job, allowing you to take your career to new heights.

Find Your Next Contract Role Today

If you’d like to learn more about contract positions that could help you demonstrate your skills, the team at Alpha Consulting wants to hear from you. Contact us today.