Qualifications – they took a back seat but now they’re back!

April & May have been unusual. I’ve seen a flurry of ‘lower level’ jobs in for candidates with very little work experience & they’ve been a joy to handle. Super jobs for smashing candidates that want to really kick off their career & stay & develop with a decent solid employer. But it’s also come with its pitfalls. As all recruiting tends to!

And as a result, this ‘info-blog’ is aimed at younger candidates. Because this current market has taught me some things I’d known, but had to re-learn & believe me – I’m no newbie!

The first and most important thing is that its SOOO tight out there, the teeniest of things can make all the difference. With older candidates, ones with a checkable track record, or work history, it’s more the bigger stuff; lack of references, the gaps in the CV’s, the ‘lots of jobs in a short space of time’ issue. With a younger candidate who can bring much less work history – it’s become about the ‘small’ stuff; how that person was presented, did they do their research, how was their language – nice or any creeping in of slang? (At this point it’s important to know that INNIT isn’t a really good use of English in an interview). Its also become about – QUALIFICATIONS. And frankly – even this took me by surprise.

I saw lovely candidates, smashers that went to such efforts to bring brightness & loyalty to interviews & tenacious ‘can do’ attitudes BUT some were rejected outright on their GCSE’s. And not for dreadful results, just less better than my clients’ expectations. In some cases – these ‘rejected’ candidates were actually from the same background & had almost done the same job.

I’m sure schools, parents, older siblings etc bang on about applying yourself to get the BEST qualifications you can. And I’ll add my advice based on the above experiences. Your first couple of jobs on your career ladder usually turn out to be the more important as they give you direction & skills. They help you choose what you don’t want to do as much as what you do. And to get those jobs these days….you need to DO YOUR VERY BEST AT SCHOOL / COLLEGE as well as step up to the challenge of interviews. Its not an easy ask – but it’s also the way of the world. Second class attitudes, slight ambivalence & ‘by the skin of your teeth’ isn’t cutting it. Over & above & ticking all the boxes seems to!

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