How to be employable (even if you haven’t got a job!)

How to be employable (even if you haven’t got a job!)

Tash Bright No Comment

Our top five tips for Employability Day – 29th June!

1. Get a foot in the door

If there’s one thing every employer likes to see, it’s previous work experience. Many local companies are small businesses that look for workers who can fit in and get up to speed quickly. If you’ve already spent time in a workplace (and better still, have references from the employer) it will reassure them that you understand the basics, like the importance of turning up on time and working as a team.

If you’re still at college or uni then some part time work (provided it doesn’t get in the way of your studies) won’t just help the money go a bit further, it could really boost your job prospects.

Very few of us land our dream job straight away. Most of us have to play the long game and pick up skills and experience as we move towards our goal. Remember – it’s far easier to find a job if you’re already in work.

If you’re struggling to find a job because you don’t have experience then look at other ways into the market such traineeships, internships or volunteering.

2. Put a CV together

Your CV is your calling card. It’s a summary of what you can offer an employer in terms of skills, qualifications and experiences. Many companies use them instead of application forms. Once you have a CV, you can also send a copy to any organisation without even waiting for them to advertise a job. This is called a ‘speculative application’.

It’s really important to keep your CV up to date and to tweak it every time you make an application so that it matches the requirements of the job.

3. Be savvy with social media

There’s a good chance that a company will check out your social media profiles when you apply to them. Think about what kind of impression you want to give an employer and make sure anything on your profile that you wouldn’t want your boss to see is out of public view.

Once you’ve started moving up the career ladder, think about joining LinkedIn, an online professional network. Some of the biggest companies use LinkedIn profiles rather than CVs.

4. Work on your skills

There are certain skills – sometimes known as ‘core skills’ – that are required for almost any career. These include dealing with people, using clear English, handling numbers, talking to people on the phone, organising your own workload, solving problems, understanding IT (not just games). Can you think of any jobs where you wouldn’t need some if not most of these skills? Neither can we, so make sure they’re highlighted on your CV.

5. Learn from setbacks
It doesn’t matter how good or how well qualified you are, there will be times in your working life when things go wrong. What sets apart the most successful people is how they respond to failure. England manager, Gareth Southgate was dismissed by Middlesborough when they were fourth in the Championship and only one point off the top. Instead of complaining or hiding away, he rolled up his sleeves and started again.

If you mess up in an interview or at work, ask for feedback. Find out what went wrong and learn from it so that you do better next time.

If you would like some support with job search or preparing a CV, our careers advisers work in many schools and colleges across the city. We also run services at Star House for young people who have left school and for adults. To find out how we can help, give us a call on 0114 201 2800.

How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.