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What makes you employable?

AidanAidan Clever idiotPosts: 3,027 Boards Guru
edited April 2019 in Work & Volunteering
Hey everyone,

I'm in need of a job at the minute, but I worried about how maybe I wouldn't be a great employee. The idea of interviews also scares me and I'm worried about how to come across employable whilst not lying about myself or pretending to be someone else.

Not actually a spoiler/CW, but the longer more detailed version of events if it's helpful at all. Didn't wanna scare off any replies with a big wall of text :joy:

I do have GCSE's, I think they're fairly good grades tbf but I haven't got anything from college because I dropped out due to my mental health.

I haven't much experience either, I have a couple of weeks work experience in retail but it showed me that I really don't want to work in retail so that's pretty useless. The shop's closed down now so there's no way I could get contact details or references anyway.

I also had a zero hours job stewarding football matches, but it wasn't something I could keep up because of my health making it painful for me to stand up for the duration of a football match. It also wasn't reliable and transport was always a pain.

I don't have the good qualities employers look for like being good with people, or having enthusiasm or positivity, and alongside having little experience and just GCSEs for qualifications I'm afraid this won't get me any work anywhere. I don't want to lie on my CV or any cover letters etc.

Is there anything I could do to build on my employability or employment skills? Also, anyone else who found it hard working a job, how did you manage it?

Many thanks! <3
Aidan
but idk tho

Comments

  • AzzimanAzziman The Mix convert Posts: 983 Part of The Mix Family
    Hey Aidan!x

    The most influential part of any CV is work experience. It's far better to have any experience, related or not, than none, that's for sure. With what you've said, you might not get what you like straight away, and to be honest that's what most of us will experience as well despite level of education.

    The best thing you can do now is get a job, even if it's not directly related to what you want to do, and work there for a while. If it needs to be part-time/flexible for your health, that's perfectly okay! That way, you can build your CV to become a more marketable employee. There's so much focus on competencies like communication and teamwork, but loyalty is incredibly important - firms won't want to hire someone with a habit of job hopping! :)

    When it comes to your CV and cover letter, remember that you're selling yourself as a potential employee, so you have to convince the recruiter that you're the right fit for the role. That means really bringing out skills of your experience, even if it feels a little over-the-top. For example, stewarding football matches can be a great way to show off your communication, teamwork and organisation, as you are handling people and situations as part of a team. I know it might feel a little much, but being able to bring out those skills makes the difference when competing for a job. Whatever you decide to say, make sure you can back it up!x

    In terms of what skills you'll need to show/develop, it depends on the sector/role you're going for! Are you looking for customer interaction? Are you looking to work with technology? Do you want an office-style job? Based on these, there will be plenty of example CVs and cover letters for the industry, so it's worth looking for the skills the role entails (called competencies in the professional environment). And when it comes to your CV and cover letter, be sure to show examples of when you showed these skills. For example, can you give a specific example within football match stewardship where you had to show a strong level of communication? Doing so will help your chances greatly! Then, looking on the company website (if applicable) for specific skills/competencies will help you to make the application more personal to the role and firm you're looking to apply for!x

    In addition, if you're looking to get an interim/CV-building job before going for your desired role, then it's worth highlighting some required/key skills that you'd like to improve, so that you can find a suitable interim job that helps you build those. You can afford to be a little choosy around your skills!x

    I've probably missed out some key info, but that's what I can think of from the top of my head. Hope that all goes well - I'm sure you'll do great! There's lots of advice and tips online as well (CV formatting, appropriate language, how to build CV better etc), so I'd spend some time researching online as well. A little time investment could make a big difference! Good luck - let us know how the job search goes!x

    Much love <3
  • htwohig2412htwohig2412 Posts: 127 The Mix Convert
    Hey Aidan!

    I think it's really important to remember everybody has different experiences gained in different ways, and everybody's experiences are equally valid. You might not have A-levels, but I'm sure you have built up life skills associated with your mental health that others won't have. Some employers might not recognise that, but then I'm not sure I'd want to work for someone who didn't respect my journey anyway as that likely wouldn't end well. 

    Volunteering for a period of time (say 3 months) can be a great way to get some experience and allows you to show skills like reliability, punctuality etc. Places tend to post opportunities online. There's also quite a lot of free online courses around online that you might like to have a look at. (I think that the Open University have a section on their website).

    Good Luck! Remember that you've got lots to offer, try to keep your chin up, as tough as it can be, and keep trying. 🧡
    "I know what I have to do now, I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"
    Cast Away


  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 3,027 Boards Guru
    Hey there and thank you for the response, I really appreciate it.

    The most influential part of any CV is work experience
    it's worth highlighting some required/key skills that you'd like to improve
    I'm going to try and work on my experience, either through a part-time job or through volunteering, because I need the experience to compensate for the qualifications. Although it's quite scary I agree it's a good idea to get some experience in the areas I'm lacking skills i.e working with people to help me build on my skills and have something to show future employers as you said. Thanks for the advice <3

    you have built up life skills associated with your mental health that others won't have

    I never thought about that, and maybe I can't put it on a CV I think it's a testament to myself that I managed to pull through what I did. Thank you for bringing that up as I really wouldn't have thought about it, maybe I underestimate myself.

    Volunteering for a period of time (say 3 months) can be a great way to get some experience and allows you to show skills
    I think if I struggle to find employment that I'll volunteer places to develop my skills and get more experience, I've heard a few times volunteering work can be really fulfilling as it's giving your time to a cause and helping others whilst working on yourself.

    Good luck - let us know how the job search goes!x
    Good Luck! Remember that you've got lots to offer, try to keep your chin up, as tough as it can be, and keep trying. 🧡
    Thank you both!

    Again, thanks @Azziman and @htwohig2412 for the help and for making my feel better about the whole situation <3

    Aidan
    but idk tho
    htwohig2412
  • MsBingoMsBingo Posts: 64 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    Hey @Aidan

    I agree, I really agree with what @Azziman and @htwohig2412 have said.

    Every experience in life can help to develop soft skills

    Volunteering is a really good way to buildup experience and there are usually a lot more opportunities than paid employment. Its really helped to build my confidence and looks impressive on a CV.

    Also, what you said about not wanting to lie on your cover letter/CV. I think its really important to remember that putting your best self forward is a lot different to lying! Everyone who is going for a job will be trying show them selves in the best possible light, so if you can use any experiences  to meet the job requirements then its important that you try to!

    Good look with the job hunt!
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 3,027 Boards Guru
    Hey @MsBingo thanks for the advice, I'm going to be updating my old CV soon, so when I do I'll try my best using my experiences and skills to push forward what I'm capable of.

    Good look with the job hunt!
    Thank you!
    but idk tho
  • JellyelephantJellyelephant Bpd bitch ✌🏼 Posts: 808 Part of The Mix Family
    hey

    defo volunteer! it gives great transferrable skills and shows motivation and willingness to give - despite the lack of payment. It also means you dont have a gap on your CV where you are doing nothing. 

    Also have a look for any free courses online that you can sign up for - might help build your CV and skills. 

    Also dont know where you live but there are often charities that help the unemployed, especially young people. The princes trust helped me loadsssssssssss and gave me tonnes of experiences and inteview prep etc and i got a job thanks to them. I know theres young womens trust too and yes I know you are not female but what im trying to say is there are charities that can help you! Its worth researching what is available in your area

    Basically my advise is to upskill in as many ways as possible during your unemployment; the more skills you have the better chance at getting a job.... even if they dont seem directly related a lot of roles often have transferable skills like team work and prioritising tasks etc. Also I would say try and get any job, i know you dont want to work in retail but its a job and often it is a lot easier to get a job when you have one? I know that sounds weird but is true. 
    The sun will rise and we will try again 
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 3,027 Boards Guru
    Hey @Jellyelephant thank you for the reply.

    I had a look at the prince's trust online and they have a whole section about helping people getting into work [https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/help-for-young-people/get-job] so thanks for mentioning that! I'll take any help I can get, so thank you!

    a lot easier to get a job when you have one
    You're right, I know it puts employers off when you have gaps in your CV when you weren't in employment or volunteering- which I do because of other responsibilities alongside recovering from my mental health issues. The sooner I can get out of unemployment, the better it is for my prospects.

    Thanks for the help! <3 I'll have a lookout for any courses or other organisations that could help someone in my situation.

    Aidan
    but idk tho
  • L100L100 Fast Newbie Posts: 128 The Mix Convert
    edited May 2019
    Another idea is have you thought about volunteering? This is way you may be able to get a feel for what the work for and if you enjoy it you possibly could get a job out off it. (although that depends)  I currently don’t have a job at the moment but do have a lot of work experience and volunteering 
    Aidan
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 3,027 Boards Guru
    L100 said:
    Another idea is have you thought about volunteering? 
    Yeah I do currently volunteer and I am always seeking more as it's difficult for me to get straight into work as I have an abundance of unaccounted-for time on my CV. Thanks for the advice!
    but idk tho
  • ItaliaItalia Posts: 176 Community Manager
    Hey @Aidan

    This is a great post, and such an important thing to speak about as I am sure your not the only one who is struggling with this. I have heard from many people (both young and a bit older) who find it really hard to know how to pitch themselves for potential employers. 

    It sounds like the experience you have had has been valuable in figuring out what isn't the right fit for you, which everyone has to go through before they find the right fit. You have had some great advice from the community here, and it really looks as though you have taken it on board. 

    Building confidence in your skills can be challenging if you haven't been in a position to receive much feedback, so I can see how you might be struggling with this. Based on what we've seen on the community, you have great people skills and an amazing ability to anticipate the needs of others. It's also great that especially here, your not afraid of having the tough conversations, something a lot of people shy away from. These skills are so valuable in most roles. 

    Thanks for opening up such a good discussion here Aidan!
    Best of luck with it all. 
    "Let everything happen to you. Beauty and Terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final"
    - Rainer Maria Rilke 
  • L100L100 Fast Newbie Posts: 128 The Mix Convert
    Italia said:
    Hey @Aidan

    This is a great post, and such an important thing to speak about as I am sure your not the only one who is struggling with this. I have heard from many people (both young and a bit older) who find it really hard to know how to pitch themselves for potential employers. 

    It sounds like the experience you have had has been valuable in figuring out what isn't the right fit for you, which everyone has to go through before they find the right fit. You have had some great advice from the community here, and it really looks as though you have taken it on board. 

    Building confidence in your skills can be challenging if you haven't been in a position to receive much feedback, so I can see how you might be struggling with this. Based on what we've seen on the community, you have great people skills and an amazing ability to anticipate the needs of others. It's also great that especially here, your not afraid of having the tough conversations, something a lot of people shy away from. These skills are so valuable in most roles. 

    Thanks for opening up such a good discussion here Aidan!
    Best of luck with it all. 
    I have 4 things that are important and everyone can relate to these hopefully

    1. teamwork- there’s going to be times you have to work together or on your own. 
    2. Communication and listening - you need this so people understand you, otherwise you could cause a lot of trouble because like at my volunteering if I don’t tell someone’s I’ve finished a job this is dangerous as someone could end up doing it again (this nearly happened with feeding as someone didn’t listening but luckily I told them again before it got fed twice). 
    3. Initiative- there’s always going to be times where you have to problem solve. 
    4. Realiable- always arrive early instead of late or on time. 
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,192 Skive's The Limit
    My advice is to take some paid work, either part-time or full time. Employers do like to see a working history. I also found being out of work was incredibly hard on my own mental health and motivation, and I've always found it easier to apply for jobs when I'm already in employment.
    In the past when I've out of work through redundancy I've taken to working at McDonald's and even stacking shelves at supermarkets.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • DurhamjaideDurhamjaide County Durham Posts: 662 Incredible Poster
    Hi I would do NCS which is the national Citationship service and it’s a 4 weeks program 2 is away and 2 is at home. The first week is an adventure week where you do out and bound stuff, the second week you get a taste of student life then the 3rd and 4th week you have to do a community action project. 

    You could also do Duke of Edinburgh where you have to volunteer, do a skill and a sport and you have to go on an expedition where you have to go out camping  WARNING this is really hard. 

    I didn’t complete Duke of Edinburgh 


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