Guest Post by Joshua Butler of YouthNet
In this Current Climate am I Employable?
TheSite.org says – Employability is a widely used word, but what does it mean? – in short, it means finding and maintaining a job that utilises ALL of your skills - not just what you’ve learnt to pass exams. It is about how you can make yourself stand out and be a competitive applicant.
In the past, it used to be that you’d finish university, give your CV a polish and secure a junior job or a place on a graduate scheme. Now, in the downturn and with around 2.5 million people unemployed in the UK, the job market has become even more competitive. It has left people wondering – ‘How do I give myself that edge?’ and in response everyone seems to be talking about internships with a third of 2012′s graduate jobs going to people who had them on their CVs!
So what is an internship? – They are short-term work placements that give you a brief glimpse into how a profession operates and the skills required. They can potentially give you that edge that in a tough job market like ours will add that sparkle to an otherwise generic CV. You will get hands-on experience, invaluable skills and you might even find that you are first in the queue for a permanent job within the company. It also means you have a wider network of contacts that may have access to other opportunities that they will pass to you.
But, why should I work for free? –
Firstly, not ALL internships are unpaid but are very competitive. Whilst at first it may not seem worth it, there is value in living on a limited budget and baked beans to give yourself that competitive edge and boost your opportunities. Particularly if there is a shot at a paid opportunities down the line.
Sadly not everyone has the luxury to be able to work for free, regardless of how they feel about it. So If you can’t find a paid internship and don’t fancy working for nothing, consider doing a shorter stint or interning part-time alongside another job to keep you. You could also try interning part-time alongside your job hunt – at least you still have the opportunity to build up your skills and apply some of your learning as well as ensuring there isn’t a gap of time on your CV between jobs.
How do I get a good internship?
- Look for employers who want to interview you – this shows commitment on their part as they have to take time out of their schedules.
- It may be an internship but take the interview seriously – be careful about Bad body language
- Don’t be afraid to tell employers what you’re after. Chances are they’ll be pleased you’re taking the opportunity seriously.
Internships provide a crucial link between academic learning and employment. It offers the chance to meet people working in that field, securing valuable references and if done correctly an internship will put you heads above all your competitors ensuring that you will be well on your way to securing your new job.