To the dismay of budding job seekers, the current economic climate has seen a decline in job availability and many are left frustrated in their failing attempts at securing work. As a parent, it is imperative that you take measures towards helping your children secure work experience, whether it be summer placements or job internships, in order to accumulate the work experience that employers so adamantly seek.
There are several ways you can help your kids get a foot on the career ladder by securing work experience, many of which are effortless but make a vast impact with respect to actually securing work in the long term.
The Good Old CV Check
In the job market, your CV is your ID. It is therefore imperative that your CV be impressive, as it is the first impression that a potential employer may have of you. You are likely to have been a job seeker at some point and so the pesky CV will not be too unfamiliar territory.
You can offer your child advice with respect to selling themselves on paper, as well as checking for grammatical errors and improving the overall layout. If you are not well acquainted with the world of job searching, there is a vast amount of information on writing resumes online, as well as websites that offer free CV checks.
Whatever your method of assistance, making sure your child's CV is updated and employer-friendly can do wonders for their search for work.
This is the oldest trick in the book and, no doubt, the most effective. When online job boards and employment agencies fail you, work colleagues, acquaintances or relatives can be a handy job search resource.
Potential job positions are not always advertised but spread by word of mouth. Tapping into the hidden job market can easily be done by,- for example, requesting a favour from an old business contact or just asking friends to tell you when their company is recruiting interns. A simple ask can see your child gaining valuable work experience in their free time, as well as simultaneously increasing their employability prospects.
Participating in voluntary work is a common route to gaining further work experience and can help make your child become a more outstanding job candidate. Employers are always impressed by those who have demonstrated an interest in developing skills and dedicating their time and effort to projects without expecting financial gain in return.
As opposed to skill-based volunteering schemes where individuals with specialised skills contribute on a more specialised level, traditional volunteering offers a larger range of opportunities, allows you to develop new skills and is widely renowned for improving chances of getting paid work.
Virtual volunteering is a somewhat recent development that boasts convenience and flexibility, allowing volunteers to participate at a time and place that suits them best. An example of such voluntary work is demonstrated by the budding writers for The GKBC Creative Academy. There are a number of benefits that accompanies your child's membership to the GKBCinc, including building an online portfolio of published work, consistent feedback, strong references on request and the potential for real employment into the organisation.
With the competitive job market, having a little more than just your academic studies under your belt has become mandatory. As a parent, seeing your children flourish in the world of employment is, no doubt, a desirable prospect. Luckily enough, there are many modes of enhancing employability at your disposal if you seek to use them.
Did you take measures to encourage your child's prospects as a job applicant in the ever-increasingly tough world of employment? What were they?
Shazmeen Hansrod has a keen eye for the written word and a wide scope of interests – from blogging to travelling, academia and participating in volunteering projects.
Image by US National Archives