This article is focused on Teenager Job Hunting; not everyone wants to go to University and you may have a younger relative who plans to leave education at 18. It can be hard to get a job without work experience, and this article on Teenager Job Hunting will help.
I'm sharing this now, in January, as the preparation for Teenager Job Hunting should start now, not in July when you leave school or college.
- Build evidence of your employability while studying. School students are less likely to have a part-time job now, but you may have been doing babysitting or volunteering and this provides evidence of your responsibility and commitment. Be clear on what you did, how it helped and provide any details of things a bit out of the ordinary that stand out. Times when you had to think on your feet and take action are great, but it doesn’t have to be major, you are at the start of a working career that will last for 50+ years.
- Consider your extracurricular activity. It’s not just about work experience. Team working (through sport or an interest group) will demonstrate key skills that employers seek. As you write your first CV be sure to explain what your role was in the chess society, or tennis team etc. Imagine that someone has no idea what you do, make it clear, the detail will be helpful.
- Now is a good time to take on some voluntary work to support Teenager Job Hunting, it could be visiting a care home and talking to the residents, or helping with a campaign for something that interests you. This doesn’t need to be a big commitment, and just 2-3 hours a week over several months will provide a useful addition to your CV.
- Think about where your interests lay. Your first job is unlikely to be a job for life, you will have multiple jobs over your working life and some jobs don’t even exist at the moment. Choose a first job that interests you and will help you to develop useful life and employability skills.
- Communication skills are important. Seek out opportunities to get involved in discussions with others so you feel confident in speaking up and speaking clearly. This can mean a bit less time on your phone and more times when you talk with people – the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
- Think about how you are going to choose your career. Find out what provision is available from your school, but don’t rely on reading a computer-generated report. You may not know what jobs involve so look at websites such as www.careers4u.tv/ where you can find out more. It helps too, if you talk to people who are doing the job to get a personal view, but beware, they may feel jaded, and realise they chose the wrong job!
- Think about your experience and how you will make it relevant. When you see a job advert for a school leaver, or want to apply for an Apprenticeship scheme, carefully read all the information provided and note how you measure up. For a first job they won’t expect much experience, what they are looking for is ‘potential’ and whether you have a ‘can do’ attitude, so any examples of using your initiative should be included on your CV.
- What do you have to offer? You may well have well developed technical skills, ability to code and understand about social media. These could be valuable to a small business and could be a useful part of a junior administration role. For Teenager Job Hunting you want to be clear on how you can be of help.
- Describe your strengths, but be realistic about how far you should ‘sell’ what you can do. This means avoiding empty claims, but also avoiding undue modesty. List your skills and explain how you used them, with clear examples. If you find it hard to identify your skills, ask people you know to ‘strength spot’ and tell you where they see your strengths. This will help with Teenager Job Hunting.
- Catalogue your accomplishments from different contexts: study, any work experience, hobbies and leisure time, voluntary activities. Try to present your achievements in interesting terms. Shopping is not an accomplishment in the eyes of an employer but is often included on young people CVs.
- Explain your qualifications. Employers are clear on A levels, but may not understand other qualifications so explain what they included and involved.
- Can you be clear about what motivates you? Think about when you are happiest? Is it when working on a problem, helping other people, being given a task to do? You may also find it important to think about the likely values of organisations you will be talking to.
- Get your message right. Teenager Job Hunting needs a great CV so create onebefore you try to enter the job market. Focus on the first 30 words of your CV to ensure it captures what you can offer an employer. Avoid flowery adjectives or claims you can’t support. Few younger people create LinkedIn profiles, but using LinkedIn can be a great way to make connections and find a job.
- Prepare now for interviews. Teenager Job Hunting, like all job hunting depends on success at interview. Work out what the employer is really looking for, and work hard to communicate your matching abilities. Show employers that you really want to work in their field, not that they happen to be the first to have a vacancy.
And if your younger relative needs some expert guidance to help them with their Teenager Job Hunting or career and life direction, please contact me.