Most employers understand that you won’t have work experience before getting your first job, but there are still certain things that they look for in a young employee. These include being reliable, following instructions, and working in a team. Everyday things like being polite and well-presented are important too.
Use the right words to describe your skills and abilities
In job ads you’ll usually see employers list certain qualities as requirements. This might seem intimidating, but it’s easy to translate into your own experience. For example, when an employer says ‘punctual’ they mean ‘someone who turns up to their shifts on time’. If you belong to a sports team or have been in a school performance you probably had to be punctual in turning up to practice or rehearsal on time.
When an employer says ‘team focused’ they mean ‘someone who can work well with others’. If you belong to a sports team or school club you’ll have experience working as part of a group.
When an employer says ‘confident’ or ‘outgoing’ they probably mean ‘someone who can talk to customers’. If you were involved in a school production or have done any public speaking you could describe how that experience taught you how to communicate well.
Now it’s your turn. Have a look at these common job requirements in the My skills activity on the next page and come up with examples from your own experience. When you actually get to applying for jobs, these are the kinds of things you can list in your application and talk about more in your interview.
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