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Time to Shine – How do young job seekers maximise their chance of success?

Yesterday thousands of young people received their exam results. Uncertainty caused by COVID19 will undoubtedly cause anxiety amongst many young people and whatever happens with the final results, they should all be proud of the hard work they’ve put in throughout the year to get to this pointChris Jones, Managing Director of Think Specialist Recruitment discusses what young people might expect in the job market and how graduates and school leavers can make their mark with employers.

In so-called normal times, I engage young people, excited and daunted in equal measure about the prospect of getting a job. Right now, it must feel just plain daunting.

Our new norm has meant that recruitment in many sectors has come to a grinding halt. A sobering perspective is offered by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s latest report on Jobs March 2020, “Demand for both permanent and temporary workers in England during March fell for the first time since the global financial crisis in 2009, whilst all recruitment activity dropped at the quickest rate since 2009.” 

What does this mean for young people as new entrants to the job market?

Only a crystal ball can predict the full effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the UK job market in the short to medium term. It’s only natural for young people to feel unsettled about starting a career amid current circumstances and whilst the nation plans for recovery.  Having worked through the peak and aftermath of the 2008-2009 recession, I am certain that in time, the recovery will inspire a resurgent job market. Young people can therefore be reassured that, a period of renewal will offer a unique opportunity to develop and showcase their talent to employers.

What can young people do?

Most of all, don’t wait - get started! Now is a great time to plan; undertake research, start making connections, get your CV ready and know how to tackle your job search when vacancies start to be advertised. The more proactive you are, the more doors you will open and the more you will stand out. 

Here are my top tips for young jobseekers:

  1. Connect: don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with potential contacts within your target industries to ask for help.
  • Most will be happy to assist and provide honest advice to steer you. If you know of individuals who have taken the same career path that you want to tread, be proactive and contact them.
  • Gleam as much information from every connection that you can make. They might well know somebody that they can refer you to, so always ask.
  • Think of it as business networking so make the best impression you can.  
  • Even if they don’t have anything for you right now, I guarantee they’ll remember you for when opportunities come up in the future.
  1. Stand out amongst your peers. Get your CV and LinkedIn profile into shape by investing time on the content, layout and personal statement you include. 
  • Check your spelling and grammar. Then check it again. Ask family or industry contacts to look it over and provide feedback.  
  • Always go the extra mile when it comes to research, preparing for interviews and phone calls.
  • Always dress to impress even if it feels like a casual meeting or conversation and prepare like it is an interview. 
  • Show your desire and passion, along with asking intelligent, well thought out and prepared questions that demonstrate you have invested time into the process.
  1. Knowledge is power! Draw up a list of target companies within the sector or industries that interest you most.
  • Check out their careers pages, sign up for job alerts and follow their company pages on LinkedIn to get real-time updates on new vacancies. You might get an insight into how others in your position found a job and developed their career. 
  • Any pointers you can get by spending time collecting information and undertaking research will be time well spent.  You could also reach out with the hiring managers or recruitment teams/HR on LinkedIn. 
  1. Spend time developing the skillset and mindset that is important to your next employer. It will strengthen your CV and demonstrate your work ethic.
  • If you’re not already working, get some form of work experience behind you, to develop and practice skills employers’ value such as communication, team working and problem solving.
  • It will enable you to give examples of how you can demonstrate skills.
  • Alongside internships and work experience, consider volunteering. It’s a great way to develop employability skills.
  1. Be patient, be persistent. It might take weeks, possibly months, but please do persevere.
  • As I mentioned earlier, the more proactive you are, the better your chances.
  • Have faith; remember – employers will always need bright, young talent. There’s no reason why that cannot be you.

Your time to shine will come, we are all rooting for you.

If you need any help or advice on the options to take, visit: https://learnliveuk.com/the-careers-enterprise-company-my-choices/