4 Ways to Improve Your Marketability for Better Pay

by Miranda Marquit · 4 comments

Are you trying to improve your financial and career situation? Maybe you want a promotion, or you are trying to get a job. Perhaps you are trying to start a side business and want to let others know how valuable you are. No matter what you are trying to accomplish specifically, you need to improve your marketability if you expect to have success. You can’t expect others to hire you or pay you more money if you aren’t an attractive option.

If you are looking for ways to enhance yourself, and show your value to an employer, prospective employer, or a potential client, here are 4 ways to improve your marketability:

1. Develop an Area of Expertise

In most cases, being an expert in a specific area is more important than knowing a bit about everything, as many employers are looking for an expert in a particular area. If you can develop an expertise in an area that is in demand, your marketability goes up. Prove your expertise and capability in a certain area, and you might receive the raise you are looking for. As an expert, you are more likely to be in demand, and command higher pay.

2. Learn to Express Yourself Well

Increasingly, it’s becoming important to express yourself well. Develop better writing and speaking skills, and you will prove more valuable to your organization. Additionally, being able to express yourself confidently and well can aid you in salary negotiations, and other situations. Knowing the right thing to say, and how to say it, can open doors, whether you are interviewing for a new position, or whether you are making a business presentation to investors.

3. Act Like a Professional

Whatever the standard of professionalism in your field, make sure you adhere to it. You need to act like a professional if you want respect. A professional is punctual, acts appropriately, and is competent. When you act like a professional, you are more likely to be seen as an asset to an employer or a client. These days, acting like a professional also includes the information on your social media profiles.

Try to avoid making unprofessional comments during in-person conversations, and think about your posts before you make them. Remember that your Twitter rant about how much you hate your boss could make someone else think twice about hiring you in the future, for fear that you will say something unflattering about the company or the job.

4. Show a Positive Attitude

You might be surprised at how marketable you can be when you have a better attitude. Someone with a positive, can-do attitude is more likely to get the promotion or land the freelance gig than someone who is negative. This doesn’t mean that you have to put on a falsely cheery face. A positive person is one who looks forward, and is ready to solve problems. It’s about considering best practices, and showing confidence in your abilities. It’s also about motivating others to do good work. Show a positive attitude and professionalism, and you will be more marketable — and that means you are more likely to get that raise, or land a better job.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • I think a positive attitude is key. If no one likes being around you because you are the Negative Nancy then your career can definitely suffer. A lot of the time if people have two similar candidates they’ll go with the positive one or the one they like over the negative one.

  • Miranda – nice points. As a recruiter is does help to encounter applicants who possess the 4 characteristics you mention. Thanks.

  • These are good tips. Another is to keep a written log of your accomplishments. When it comes time for your review or an interview for a promotion, it helps to have written examples of what you’ve done. Maybe you’ve reworked a process and saved 6 hours a month on something. Document it. Or maybe you found a new vendor for a service and saved $15,000 a year on something. Document it.

  • One that I struggle with and need to further my development on is expressing myself well. I do well in presentations and in written communications, but when it comes to actually talking (usually just to people I’m intimidated by/superiors), I’m not so great.

    I think I’m going to join Toastmasters after I graduate.

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