In these changing times we must look at how we can support our school leavers. At the Skills Service we have been working with a number of 6th form students across schools in Cambridgeshire to ensure they are best prepared for gaining employment once they had completed their exams. These sessions are called Employability sessions.
We have run events, support by local employers which support students developing their CV’s, understanding what to expect from an interview, competency based interviews, assessment centres, presenting yourself well and mock interviews, to name just a few. Employers join us to demonstrate the way they recruit and the value of employability skills.
In March 2020 we supported Arthur Mellows year 13 students, on an employability session, this was one of a series of sessions we had run for the school with a variety of different employers supporting. The March session was working with students who were looking for Apprenticeship vacancies. The session ran to ensure students CVs were ready, and that they felt comfortable in understanding what competency based questions were like, supported by local employer The BGL group.
As times have changed since then, we thought it useful to share some of good practice from this session on our blog, to support our schools 6th form leads and parents to enable you to share this with students as appropriate.
From the session with Arthur Mellows, we looked at CV’s these all looked pretty well laid out, but needed some updating taking into account some of the following points:
Personal statements, usually the first section on your CV and most difficult to complete for any student as this is a short paragraph selling your skills, personality and job aspirations. This should be adapted for each job you apply for. Demonstrate where your good skills come from rather than just saying, ‘I’m a good communicator’-an example could be;
I have excellent communication skills gained through my part-time work at a local café where I work as part of a wider team, talk to customers, taking orders and ensuring the order arrives correctly at the table
Date of birth, is not needed on your CV.
Education, remember to explain your predicted grades/qualification- some employers aren’t clear what a grade 5 is versus GCSE C. Ensure these are dated and in chronological order.
Work History and Work Experience, when you list your experience, demonstrate the skills you have gained during your part time job or work experience again put in date order.
Hobbies and interest, are vital for a young person, as you will obviously lacking work experience show that you belong to clubs, award schemes etc –remember to say what skills you gained from these.
Personal achievements, we’ve seen some good examples of this, put what they are and date you achieved them, good examples St John Ambulance, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Sports etc
Other free links to support include, CV templates and guidance see below
And don’t forget The Skills Service Information sheets are available