March 15, 2021, 3:36 p.m.
Securing your first full time job can be really challenging, especially if you lack experience. At this stage of your career, it is important to focus on the skills you have developed during your adolescent life, as well as considering the values and personal attributes you think an employer would look for in a potential candidate.
If you are aware of the key skills that employers look out for when hiring young talent, you can then work on perfecting these skills and putting them into practise in other aspects of your life; so you have evidence that you can practically apply them to real situations.
Below our team have provided insight on 5 skills that you should look at improving to help you secure your first job.
Having the ability to work well with others is a key skills that the majority of employers will seek when hiring candidates at all levels.
Alongside the general duties of a job, a large part of going to work is socialising and working in collaboration with others. If you lack team working skills, your employer may fear that you'll isolate yourself in the working environment and struggle to complete tasks that involve help or support from others. Having strong team working skills also shows that you're motivated to work with others to achieve targets or goals.
Throughout your life in Education, you should have had plenty of opportunities to work as a team. If you're looking to expand on these skills outside of Education, you could consider joining a sports team, society or charitable organisation.
2. Willingness To Learn
One of the most attractive skills or personal attributes that a new candidate can possess is a good attitude and willingness to achieve. If an employer can sense that you're up for a challenge, open to dedicating time towards learning new skills and gaining experience, an employer will want to invest in your talent.
This is particularly important to employers who are looking to invest time and money into your development as a professional. If you're applying for an Apprenticeship, or completing a Traineeship / Work Placement, the employer may be aware that you aren't going to already have the exact skills or experience they would look for in a candidate at a higher level. At this point, they are looking to invest their resource into your values, talent and attitude.
Communication skills are essential for any business. Having team members that can effectively communicate helps the business to run efficiently with little miscommunication errors.
Throughout the day you may have to liaise with colleagues, other teams or external associates, which will help you to complete your roll to the highest of your ability.
Communication skills include written, verbal and listening. In order to possess these skills, you must be confident in your ability to exchange information.
A great way to practise these skills is to start talking to more people who you aren't yet familiar with. A common fear of young people is answering the phone to unknown numbers or calling up a phone line to relay information. Mastering confidence when doing this is going to come from stepping out of your comfort zone and remembering you are talking to another human on the other side. Making mistakes is normal and everything will become easier with practise!
4. Digital and IT Skills
During the Pandemic, we have seen a lot of businesses resorting to operating online through the use of technology. Keeping this in mind, employers are going to want to recruit candidates who already possess strong IT and Digital skills to improve productivity and reduce mistakes or technical difficulties.
If you have access to a computer, start to learn about the basic IT programmes like the Microsoft Office Suite. You can also access lots of tutorials or training videos via YouTube if you need support.
5. Problem Solving
Being able to solve problems effectively will show an employer that have the initiative to create solutions on your own and adapt to new situations with little support. This skill may especially benefit you if you decide to work in a fast paced, customer facing environment where things can change on a regular basis.
Having the skills to independently solve any issues that arise whilst also having the awareness to seek support from others when necessary can be extremely valuable to an employer and it is often a skills that takes a long time to be taught.
You can start to develop this skill by completing work experience or voluntary work with a business. This will help you to step outside of your comfort zone, whilst adding new pressures to your decision making skills - something that is often developed when you aren't familiar with certain situations.
If you are looking to secure your first role and feel you need some extra support, you can visit our Careers Hub to access 1 to 1 information, advice or guidance from our team. Click here.