There are some important things missing from the school curriculum that can leave us feeling underprepared as we embark on our journeys into the big wide world. One of those things is how best we can present ourselves, and our skills when we are looking for a job.
Whether it’s to begin a career in something we love, or to gain experience working as a team within a fast-paced environment, a lot of us can leave school feeling under equipped.
It’s important that we create an environment for us to share, learn, and develop skill sets, as well as understand the career paths available to us. At Fight for Peace we aim to do this through our Employability Pillar, part of our Five Pillar approach to supporting young people to reach their full potential.
Back in the summer, we worked with some amazing young people and staff to produce a Top Tips and Tricks video to showcase some of the ongoing work they’ve been doing to develop career knowledge and know-how, which will be available to view over on our YouTube and Instagram channels next Monday.
So, where do we start when beginning our job search?
“Look for a job you know you can handle. Don’t apply to a job just for pay,” said Chanel, Youth Council member at Fight for Peace.
Sabir, former Fight for Peace member and current ACT-AS-1 Project Officer agreed, explaining that, “sometimes salary can be quite appealing, but you have to make sure the job is for you. You don’t want to do something you don’t enjoy.”
These points are really important, as a lot of us spend many hours working during our week. The impact the job we choose can have on our mental wellbeing is substantial, and it’s important to understand what we are looking for so that we are able to find a healthy work – life balance.
“Always try and find a job that relates to something you are passionate about, something you take pride in…” said Fight for Peace member, Tristan.
“It’s important to see if you can attend job fairs, attend networking [events] – or any opportunity that allows you to network, because it’s the little conversations that may open the door and actually allow you to get a job,” explained Fight for Peace member, Jonea.
The importance of networking is something that can often be dismissed when we are focused on writing our CV and job applications, but the value in creating these relationships is something worth thinking about as these encounters give us opportunities to create lasting impressions in a less formal environment.
First impressions are also important when we are communicating with potential employers, and one of the first instances is often answering the phone to a potential employer inviting us for an interview, or offering us the job.
This may seem self-explanatory to some, but these small details can be the difference between securing the role, or letting it go.
“Always try and answer the phone call in the most professional way you can. There have been times when I’ve answered the phone to potential employers…as if I’m talking to my friends…” explained Tristan.
Another important point raised by Tristan pays attention to our external presentation, as this also has an impact on our first encounter with potential employers.
“…First impressions are everything. If the interview is in a couple days, or months I have my interview outfit ready. Or if I need to go and buy it I’ll go out and buy it and try it on to make sure it fits me so that on the day of the interview I know [it’s sorted].”
We can apply this to anything, whether we are going to a networking event or a professional job interview – it’s always good to make sure we look as presentable as we can.
So, here’s a brief introduction to our employability top tips and tricks, but that’s not all! We’ll be publishing another article with more advice around the art of CV writing, and how we can use the job description to our advantage.
We’ll also be sharing some more useful advice on what to do when preparing for an interview, and how we can best present to potential employers without putting too much pressure on ourselves.
We’ll be rolling out frequent employability content over on our Instagram channel. You can follow us there to see regular employability updates every Monday this month, and subscribe to our YouTube to be notified when we post the full Employability video!