Category: Career Experts, Interview, careers, job, CV advice, statistics
Graduates are finding that a degree is no guarantee of a dream career and face paying back huge debts. But they can get ahead...
Figures reveal that 16% of young people aged 16-24 are out of work (that’s 743,000) and they are three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population.
While the Government is pushing for a shift towards apprenticeships, statistics reveal that 40% of these positions are being taken by over-25s already in employment.
But don’t despair. There ARE jobs out there. James Innes, the author of five best-selling careers books, shares his secrets on how your kids can get ahead and win their dream job against tough competition.
James, the founder of CV Centre which helps job-hunters around the world , said: “Things are tough out there. Gone are the days when a degree got you a job and some graduates are being asked to go into apprenticeships despite their education.
“To ensure you have the advantage you need, get your CV right and know what an interview entails and how to win over their future employers.”
Here’s James’ essential guide for young adults.
Tailor your CV to every different job role. Once you’ve written your basic CV it only takes 10 minutes or so to tweak it.
Ensure the skills required for the job are in your CV. If the job description calls for organisational and social skills, then mention those. But don’t just copy the description, which will be obvious.
Keep it brief and include only information that’s relevant. Recruiters spend as little as 30 seconds looking at a CV before moving it to the yes or no pile, so ensure yours has impact.
Be pro-active. A job won’t find you. Get your CV out there to the companies you’d like to work for. If you are sending a CV on spec, send it by post, then follow it up with an email. It’s harder to physically bin a piece of paper than delete an email.
Make sure your letter contains accurate and up-to-date contact information.
Do your homework. Research the company and the role you are applying for and use the cover letter to explain why you want the job and why you should get it. For example, mention a new product or service the firm has introduced – impress them with your knowledge of their business.
Make sure you get the basics right. Computers have spelling and grammar checks so there is no excuse for mistakes – yet 37% of applications have at least one typo. Proofread your CV carefully and get a friend or relative to check it.
Don’t forget to include your personal interests. If you like to go water-skiing, then say so. What you do in your spare time can really stand out. But don’t go overboard. Nobody wants to read nine pages about your hobbies.
Employers often ask for experience which isn’t always possible unless you’ve worked.
If you are a school leaver, lead with your education and qualifications. For graduates, mention any experience of part-time work or volunteering. Big up your achievements and any awards. Recruiters look for high achievers both academically and professionally.
Include a “call to action” at the end of the letter. State you would appreciate a chance to discuss the application at an interview – and suggest calling them in a week’s time.
Take care on social media. Employers often check the online profiles of potential candidates so be careful what you post if you want to come across responsibly. Or configure your Facebook account to protect your privacy and watch what you broadcast on Twitter.
Don’t be late. Research has shown that one in 10 people are late for an interview. If anything, be early.
Switch off your mobile. Don’t even leave it on vibrate.
Dress appropriately. It might not involve putting on a suit if it’s a creative job, but think about how you would dress for the job then step it up one.
Look fresh. Get a good night’s sleep, and a hair cut if you need one.
Conduct mock interviews with friends or family. Try to answer interview questions naturally. Prepare answers to possible questions, but don’t repeat them parrot fashion.
Read and re-read the job description carefully. It might help you identify questions they might ask.
Research the company. If the interviewer asks you what you think of the chief executive, then make sure you know who he or she is.
Speak slowly. It’s natural to speed up your speech when nervous, so make a conscious effort to slow down.
If you are thrown a curveball question – such as Google’s famous “how would you use your trunk if you were an elephant?’’ – don’t panic. There is no right answer. The employer just wants to see how you cope under pressure and if you can think laterally.
Wait until the end of the interview, then ask questions to express interest. Ask how they see the role evolving in the next two years or how the organisation measures success. These work on the assumption you may get the job and can leave a good impression.
Don’t ask about pensions, overtime, maternity benefits, or anything about how the job impacts on your personally. Save them for HR if you get the job.
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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work
environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your
diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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