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@CareerEnt- The three-quarters of a million young people who recieve their GCSE and A-level results this summer face the most challenging job market in years. So, The Careers & Enterprise Company has teamed up with leading pollster Savanta ComRes to ask hundreds of business leaders what they can do to improve their employability in the post-Covid jobs market.

Here’s what they said:

  1. Don’t ‘spray and pray’

Nine in ten employers said it is important for young people to update and tailor their CV for the job they are interested in.

It’s about quality over quantity. It is better to apply for fewer vacancies but spend longer matching your CV and covering letter to the job description. Employers will appreciate when you take the time (and can tell when you haven’t).

  1. It’s good to talk

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for advice. The vast majority of business leaders (88%) said it is important for young people to get careers advice about their sector of interest by speaking to employers.

With social platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, and many companies offering chances to engage online, there are more ways than ever to reach out to employers. And you can talk to trained careers advisers online or over the phone through The National Careers Service.

  1. Make the most of MOOCs

A whopping eighty-eight percent of employers said it is important for young people to use online learning to develop new skills and knowledge. Since lockdown, many universities, training providers and employers have offered free online courses (also known as Massive Online Open Courses or ‘MOOCs’) in everything from first aid to quantum physics. So use your lockdown time wisely and boost your CV.

  1. (Not so) old fashioned work experience

Work experience and internships are still a vital way to gain new experience and demonstrate your passion about working in an industry.

While research from the Sutton Trust found that many workplaces have restricted physical work experience due to the lockdown, more and more employers are switching to online or ‘virtual’ work experience and engagement, reflecting trends in working patterns across the economy.

  1. Volunteer to help others (while helping your CV)

More and more young people and employers are realising the benefit of volunteering as a way of developing your skills and experience, while also giving back to your community. Indeed, 84% of employers said it is important for young people to volunteer to develop their skills and demonstrate character. The #iwill campaign is a great place to find out more about ‘Youth Social Action’.

The Careers & Enterprise Company has launched My Choices to help young people in Year 11 and 13 to navigate the post results landscape – whether they are planning for work, college, university, or an apprenticeship.

Run in partnership with school, employers and careers providers, My Choices will support young people with six key themes:

  • Being prepared – handling applications and selections
  • Finding support – making the most of careers information, advice and guidance
  • Positive well-being – promoting well-being and self-determination
  • Decision making and planning – using job and labour market information
  • Pathways – identifying choices and opportunities
  • Adding value – preparing for employability

The My Choices campaign includes a young persons’ guide and parents’ guide full of advice and resources to help them plan their next steps in their journey after school or college. Find out more here on The Careers & Enterprise Company website.

 

Methodology

The Savanta ComRes poll for the Careers & Enterprise Company interviewed 251 medium & large business leaders (i.e. with 250 employees or more) in the UK online between 26 June and 1 July 2020. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables are available here. Business leaders were asked:

'In terms of the actions young people could take to improve their employability in the post-Coronavirus jobs market, how important do you think the following are, if at all?'

The following answers had the highest net importance (‘very important’ and ‘fairly important’)

  • Update and tailor their CV according to the job they are interested in (90% net important)
  • Contact employers to ask for careers advice relevant to their sector of interest (88% net important)
  • Develop skills / knowledge through on-line learning and courses (88% net important)
  • Undertake work experience / internships (88% net important)
  • Undertake volunteering to develop skills and demonstrate character (84% net important)

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