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job & career tips

Job & Career Tips

What other information is useful in finding education, employment or training?

  • Start planning your career path as early as possible it's never too soon! A great place to start is a computer programme called Pathfinder. Pathfinder asks about your likes, interests and skills and produces a list of jobs you could be suited to. Once you have a list of ideas you can then print off EClips leaflets for each job. These give details of what you can expect from each job, including average wages, working hours and the kind of qualities expected of a worker. Pathfinder and EClips can be found in most schools and most pupils will use them throughout year 10 or 11. Contact your careers tutor or Connexions Personal Adviser for further details.

  • Research careers on the Internet. Almost all professions will have their own society website that includes detailed information and current legislation on all roles related to the profession. This is often the best way of getting up to date information on your chosen career.

  • Work experience can provide a valuable insight into different careers. Work experience (especially in year 10) is more about experience of the world of work and being able to converse with adults, but if this can be done within your chosen career field it is especially valuable, even if it confirms that this particular field is not what you really want!

  • Agency work can be a valuable source of income. Employment agencies can provide a range of short term employment opportunities, anything from a few hours upwards. You can sign on with as many agencies as you wish, but be aware that you don't want to leave yourself in a position where you turn down work. If that happens agencies may be reticent to offer work in the future. Check the Yellow Pages or internet for contact numbers or ask a Connexions Personal Adviser to send you a list of agencies.

  • Check local media daily/weekly. Look at the vacancy sections in local and national papers. Don't forget online job sites. These are used increasingly by employers as they can be edited to provide up to the minute information. You can find a list of job search websites by clicking here.

  • Make sure you have an up to date CV. CVs need to be proof read to ensure they are well structured and contain all information required. Although it's ok to ask parents and friends for their opinion it is advisable to consult a careers professional. Connexions can offer this guidance.

Dealing with Employers

  • Be aware that any contact with an employer should be treated as an interview situation. This means:

  • Be polite

  • Be on time

  • Don't smell of smoke or alcohol

  • Be clean and presentable

  • Dress appropriately (this usually means smart/formal wear, even if you would dress differently whilst performing the job)

  • Mind your language

  • Some employers, especially call centres/customer service related, request an informal chat with you on the phone before offering an interview. This is not just a "chat", it's an interview! If they don't think you sound appropriate for the post on the phone you will not be invited to the next interview stage.

  • Look at a range of colleges. Courses may appear similar on paper but can be vastly different in reality.
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