Two key hurdles to employment for young jobseekers are identifying appropriate skills and a lack of interview technique, according to research from Fish4jobs, one of the UK’s best known job sites.
Of those 16-24 years olds surveyed, two in every five (42%) stated poor interview technique let them down. A quarter (23%) said they struggled to identify how skills learnt on the sports field, taking part in school activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh award and voluntary or part-time work could be transferred to the workplace.
This lack of confidence is worsened by many employers failing to provide interview feedback to applicants, with more than a third (35%) of respondents saying this was the most disheartening part of their job search. Young jobseekers struggle to stay upbeat in the face of the lack of response from potential employers.
Besides wanting to improve their interview technique, many 16-24 year olds said they would also like help with the basics of a job search, such as writing a cover letter and CV. In spite of a number of large employers using psychometric tests, just 9% of young jobseekers felt they would benefit from advice on how to prepare for these, suggesting that they are unaware of how some employers use these tests as a first stage 'filtering' process.
Of those surveyed over a third (37%) have spent more than 6 months looking for a job, while a fifth have been actively looking for more than a year. In the last month, 93% had applied for at least one job with 32% applying for more than 20.
Paul Halliwell, Managing Director of Fish4jobs, said:
“Many young jobseekers are falling at the first hurdle and lacking the confidence they need to sell themselves to a prospective employer. They are facing a very competitive job market and often find themselves up against candidates with more experience of the application process and greater confidence in presenting themselves.
"With youth unemployment standing at just under 1 million, younger job seekers could arguably be said to be the hardest hit by the recession. They need hands on, practical help identifying their strengths and learning some basic interview skills in order to help them realise their workplace potential. This is where the Government’s Work Programme could be working harder to address these issues.”
Fish4jobs has launched a toolkit of practical online resources specifically designed to help younger jobseekers, including CV templates, interview Q&As and advice for using social media.
Schools and colleges will also be given the chance to win a Fish4jobs workshop for pupils as part of a competition set to launch later this year.
Fish4jobs will be visiting key UK locations in June this year with its annual roadshow which will include a dedicated “Work Ready” zone where younger jobseekers can have their CV reviewed for free and receive cover letter, interview and job hunting advice.