Hounslow Connexions - Careers advice for young people

Resources for young people

There are lots of resources and opportunities available to young people to help find the perfect career.

This time of year it's important to start thinking about your next steps.

The best way to begin thinking about what you would like to do next is to get to know yourself a little better. 

The quizzes below could help learn something new about yourself and support your career planning.

  • Have you ever thought about what type of animal you are? This could help you identify strengths and interested, take the I COULD Buzz Quiz to find out. 
  • The Skills Builder Benchmark can help you discover essential skills and how to develop your own strengths.
  • Discover your skills and careers by the National Career Service can help you idenify your interests, motivations and career preferences. 
  • Learn about what career or industry is right for you with the Pearson Career Choices quiz.
  • Perhaps you have always wanted to work for the NHS or in health generally, the NHS Health Careers quiz can help find a job fit for you.

Future world of work

The world of work is ever changing, have you considered what jobs in the future will look like and what industries are set to grow? Career Smart can help give you an insight into the future Labour Market.

Want to know more about jobs in general? 

The following websites can help you find out about different job roles, pay, training, hours and opportuntities. 

What is a CV and how to write a great one

A CV, short for Curriculum Vitae, is a document that gives an overview of your education, skills, work experience and interests to attract an employer into offering you an interview. It needs to show not just what you have done but what you can do to show an employer why they should offer you an interview.

CVs should:

  • Talk about your skills and experience relevant to the job that you are applying to. For example, if you are applying for a job in childcare, it will list skills in communication being able to speak and listen to parents/carers and children alike. Decision making and reliability.
  • Be up to date with your most recent course, work experience, education, training.
  • Be tailored to the job that you are applying to.
  • Be precise- not more than a page of A4- and free of spelling and grammatical errors.
  • For more, please see this video produced by Young People from the borough of Westminster

Structuring your CV:

A first CV will include:

  • Full name
  • Contact details- Postcode, email, telephone number.
  • Personal statement
  • Key skills
  • Education
  • Work Experience

There are lots of examples and help with CVs online, here are a few websites for further help and explanations.

  • REED - a school leaver CV template with explanations on what to write for each area.
  • National Career Service - several examples on what to include in each area of your CV.
  • Mencap -  an Easy Read CV Guide for users with a Learning Disability
  • Scope - CV advice and templates to support young people with additional needs.

Covering Letters:

The best way to ensure that your CV will stand out from the crowd is to make sure that you send a covering letter with it.

They are a short preferably no more than half a page of A4, introduction to the employer, telling them who you are, why you’re applied for that particular position and most importantly why they should want to look at your CV and go on to invite you for an interview.

There are a few things that you should always aim to include:

  • Contact details
  • The Hirers/Business name
  • Where you found the vacancy
  • What you can offer

For help with your CV, Covering letter and all things Careers contact Hounslow Connexions Service on 0208 583 5151 to arrange a telephone appointment with a qualified Adviser.

Interviews:

Interviews are the next stage of the process, it gives the employer an opportuntity to ask you questions about your experience, skills, stengths, personality and life.

Here are some top tips to help you prepare for an interview: 

  • Get to know yourself. Check out the Connexions careers blogs and resources page for info and quizzes to help with this

Find out what are your strengths, areas for improvement, achievements so you can answer questions from the employer confidently.

  • Research the company

Find out as much as you can about the company through their website or talking to people. This will impress the employer and perhaps help with a couple of interesting questions to ask at the interview

  • Dress appropriately

Different companies might have different dress styles to suit the company operations. But generally, its most appropriate to stick to business wear.

  • Be on time

If the interview is in person check the journey in advance of the interview, always allowing for any delays. If over the phone or via video make sure you are ready before the call begins. This shows the employer that you have the right attitude and motivation.

  • Be friendly and show enthusiasm

First impressions count, so always show that you are interested and keen. Remember to come across as polite and friendly to everyone you come into contact within the organisation, their comments could make a difference.

  • Come prepared for key questions

Do your homework on the job description and specification and show how your experience specifically relates to this. Practice your responses to key questions such as ‘tell me about yourself’ and ‘why have you applied for this position’.

  • Remain involved

Interviews are an opportunity for you to find out more about the job and the company so that you can determine whether it’s the right opportunity and/or company for you, so its okay to ask questions. 

  • Practice

Book an appointment with Connexions for that all-important interview prep.

Sample interview questions for entry roles.

  • Tell me a bit about yourself?
  • Why you have applied for this position?
  • Why are you interested in working for our company?
  • What qualities would you bring to this role?
  • How has school prepared you for this role?
  • Why should we employ you?
  • What do you think it takes to be successful in this position?
  • How would you describe your ability to work as a team member?
  • Tell me about a major problem that you recently handled.
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What are your strengths?
  • Tell me about an achievement that you are proud of?

Many interviews are now moving online or via the telephone and these present a different set of opporutnities and challenges but should still be approached in the same proffesional way as tradditional interviews. 

Find out more about video or telephone interviews here.

Pre-employment Assessments

As part of the recruitment process employers are increasingly using pre-employment testing as a part of their hiring decision making. Employers use this testing to know if you are the right person for the job. There are different types of pre-employment tests, the following gives information on the main types of testing used for apprentices and entry level roles with a link for further information.

Apprenticeships/School Leavers

Employers are generally looking for a certain set of skills from their apprentices and may use an aptitude test or tests to measure this. The most common types of aptitude tests are verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning. The questioning is relevant to the job that you are applying to. They are mainly taken on a computer.

  • Verbal Reasoning - This will test your level of English understanding, how much you’ll need will depend on the job you’re applying for.
  • Numerical Reasoning- The ability to work with numbers, from basic mental arithmetic through to identifying information from a wider piece of data to answer a question.
  • Abstract Reasoning - Reasoning skills without words or numbers.
  • Personality Testing - gives employers a feel for how well your personality and work ethics fit the job description and the company values for the job you are applying to.
  • Situational Judgement - Responding to scenarios that could happen in day to day work life.

For more information and specifically for information on the tests used in various sectors:

School Leaver Jobs | AllAboutSchoolLeavers

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