Posted on 17th August 2016
If you’re getting your A-level results today, you might be celebrating the completion of another step towards your chosen career. If your results were not as you were hoping though, all is definitely not lost, as ‘there’s more than one road to Rome’…
When applying for a job, the most important issue for an employer is whether you have the skills and experience to do the role. As John Endersby (our Employment & Skills Director) pointed out in his recent blog Is Channel 4’s The Job Interview Making You Nervous?, there can be a chicken-and-egg situation in relation to getting the relevant skills and experience. It’s therefore crucial to create a good CV, identify and sell the skills you have, and keep your options open.
Create your CV
If you’re considering a gap year before uni or have decided you now want to start work, the first thing to do is to create your CV. In a recent employability workshop, Suleman Jamal, an adviser at our Leicester office, asked clients what they hoped to get from the session. The resounding response was CV support. Many people have never written a CV.
While employers often require you to apply for a job by completing an online application, having a CV to hand means you can complete the sections of the application quickly, without having to wrack your brains each time over what you’ve done before. A CV is also key for sending out speculative applications (along with a covering letter) to organisations you’d like to work for, in the hope they will keep you in mind for future vacancies.
Writing a CV enables you to think about how you want to come across in your applications as well. As Suleman explained, your CV is a "marketing tool to sell yourself to the employer”. It’s crucial in today’s competitive market to think about how your skills can be transferred to a variety of jobs. Have you worked as part of a team on a school project? Or in a part-time job which required using your own initiative? Many skills are crucial for a variety of roles; not just for the type of work you’ve done before.
If you don’t know where to start with your CV, advisers at Futures can take you through it step by step, or just help you improve what you’ve already created.
Keep an open mind
If it's broader advice you're after post A-Levels, we can help with this too. While many young people will go to university, others are increasingly turning to vocational routes into work, such as apprenticeships and traineeships, to get the experience that employers look for. Not only do they combine on-the-job experience with a qualification, but you also earn money while doing an apprenticeship. We can help you find a place on an apprenticeship, traineeship or a variety of other courses to meet your career needs.
Melissa Hopewell, an HR apprentice at Nottingham City Council shared a popular misconception before she applied for one herself: “I thought (they) were just for men… but it isn’t true”. Another common myth is that apprenticeships are only for people under 18, as funding is provided to anyone up to 24 years old.
Whatever the advice you need, Futures Advice will help you see that A-Levels are a stepping stone to the next phase of your life - whatever your results.