Job search skills are crucial to help you to find a job or an Apprenticeship. Even if you are only looking for a part-time job to help to fund your studies in 6th Form, college or university, you will need to know how to write a CV, fill out an application form and be able to do well at interviews.
Your CV (Curriculum Vitae) is important because it is a way of advertising yourself so that employers will want to meet you. A CV usually includes your contact details, a short personal profile, a list of your education and qualifications, and information about your skills and work experience. You can also give details of anyone who is willing to give you a reference. The National Careers Service can help you with creating an effective CV, there are some great tips on their website and, of course, you can chat with an adviser during your visit to Skills London.
You may need to fill out a paper or online application form for a job, course or an Apprenticeship. There are some basic rules to help you:
- Always read the instructions first
- Make sure that your spelling is perfect
- Complete every section of the form
- Read all the information you have about the opportunity and try to match your skills and abilities to those that an employer is looking for.
Before you post, email or click “send” make sure you read, check and check again – if possible get someone else to read the application form for you before you send it in.
What are employers looking for?
Employers will be looking for you to show that you have the right qualifications and a range of skills that would make you a good employee, for example:
- Are you a good team worker?
- Are you punctual and reliable?
They may also be looking for job-specific skills for example:
- A games designer would need creative design and technical skills
- A doctor would need scientific, medical and technical skills
These are the skills that you mainly develop once you have finished full-time education and are doing a job. Most employers are keen to offer training to the right person - for example as part of an Apprenticeship or a work-based training programme. The important bit is being willing to carry on learning once you leave school, college or university.
Getting an interview
Hopefully, your CV or application will result in a letter or email inviting you to an interview. You will need to reply to confirm that you will be attending and then make sure that you prepare thoroughly. Find out as much information as you can about the employer, check that you know how to get there and try to think about the questions you may be asked (and a couple of questions that you would like to ask).
If you are offered the job then congratulations! If you didn’t get it, try not to let it get you down, think of the interview as practice for the next time. Some people are happy to contact the employer and ask for feedback that might help them the next time around.
Also visit the National Careers Service website for online tools including skills health check and CV builder.