Steps you can take to improve your employability as a young person
It’s a tough time to be young and looking for a job. Despite steady falls in unemployment, there are still 868,000 16 to 24-year-olds out of work, according to a recent report by the Institute for Public Policy Research. So what steps can you take to improve your employability?
Join clubs and societies
Being part of a club or a society is not only fun, but it can demonstrate aspects of your character that may not be clear from your qualifications alone- things like teamwork, leadership and drive. Whether you join a sports club at school, or one of the many societies available to students at university, joining a club can significantly improve your employability. You’ll improve your chances even more if take on a role of responsibility within the club- you could become captain of a sports team, or be an editor on a student magazine. This will show employers that you’re willing to take on some extra responsibility.
Get an Internship or placementThese days, employers are increasingly looking for people with the practical skills to match academic achievement, and the best way to gain these skills is to get stuck right in with an internship or work placement. Getting a summer placement while you’re studying can drastically improve your prospects once you finish school or university, and the things you learn could help you to achieve higher grades, too.
Volunteering for a charity or community group, even if it’s not related to the work you want to do in the future, will show employers that you’re willing to work and help others. Volunteering can also help to boost your communication and organisation skills, which are useful in any workplace, and can increase your confidence. Having voluntary work on your CV will make you look like a well-rounded candidate.
Master the art of the cover letter
Cover letters can be difficult when you don’t have a lot of experience, but you can highlight the skills and experience you have gained through your study and extra-curricular activities that are relevant to the role. You can also emphasise your eagerness to learn. Make sure you sound professional, polite, and articulate- and it goes without saying that spelling and grammar should be immaculate.
Clean up your online reputation
When employers receive an application from you, it’s very likely that they’ll google you to find out more. Make sure you keep your privacy settings on lock-down on all your social media profiles. Don’t let yourself lose out on an opportunity because an employer has found drunk photos of you online!
Practise your delivery
Once you’ve got that interview, it’s time to sell yourself. It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it, so it’s important that you practise your delivery. Learning to look confident, even if you’re nervous, can really improve your chances of getting that job. It’s all about eye contact, body language, and speaking clearly and articulately.
It’s not easy finding the perfect job. Persistence, tenacity, enthusiasm and being prepared and organised will help you towards that perfect job role. You can expect to be challenged professionally in ways you are not used to but this is all part of the journey on your career path. Lewis Paige often have opportunities for skilled and enthusiastic graduates and young professionals, for more information contact us today.