DO: submit a simple, tidy CV and make it relevant to the particular job you are applying for. And if you get asked to an interview, think carefully about what you’re likely to be asked, turn up on time and dress smartly.
DON’T: exaggerate or lie in your CV or slouch, mumble or chew gum at the interview.
Those were some of the key lessons drummed home at a practical, down-to-earth teach-in held for Year 10 students at the Boathouse in Wisbech.
The Employability Skills Day was designed to highlight the qualities needed by young people to give them the best chance of securing a job in today’s highly competitive market.
Organised by the Fenland Youth District Council and the Fenland Enterprise in Education project,
it brought together more than 50 pupils from the Neale-Wade Academy and Cromwell Community
It was led by staff from Fenland District Council, Nicki Rose, human resources manager at Fenland Leisure Products, and Peter Weight from Jobcentre Plus. Two representatives from the NHS also attended.
The students took part in two workshops. The first focused on how to write a good CV, illustrating the main points through a selection of good and bad examples of applications for a job as an assistant party planner at Party House, a fictitious company in March.
The second looked at how to perform well at an interview. It ended with a mock interview in which Ms Rose and Clive Gibbon, FDC’s economic development manager, acted out how to make a good impression on an employer – and how not to.
Later the students split into groups for an exercise that saw them working as a team running a country hotel. They took on various roles, including bar manager, head of housekeeping and head chef, and imagined how they would respond to a series of different challenges.
Their response to the day was overwhelmingly positive, with the vast majority saying that it had boosted their confidence and that all the tips would definitely help them find a job.
Councillor Chris Seaton, FDC’s deputy leader and portfolio holder responsible for skills and job stimulation, said: “Getting schools and businesses together and helping young people improve
their chances of finding a job is an important part of our work as a council. These kind of events do a lot to promote that, so congratulations to the YDC for making this one of their priorities.
“I was very impressed by the students’ enthusiasm and I’d also like to thank the employers who
took part – their real-life stories gave a great picture of what life in the working world is like.”
Teacher Janice Holditch from the Neale-Wade Academy said: “Everything was really well tailored
to what these students need and watching the interview, for example, was great - something they
never normally get a chance to see. It all fitted in very neatly with some of the things we’re doing in the classroom.”