Youngsters moving into the world of work should look to play up their personal attributes, hobbies and passions when they are filling in applications for jobs or sending out their CV, new research suggests. According to a study of over 900 line managers conducted by ICM Research, some 38 per cent are looking for candidates that not only put their personal achievements centre-stage, but also those who successfully show off real-life experience and soft skills in their applications.
This is particularly important given that approximately one-fifth (19 per cent) of line managers stated the belief that all CVs look the same, meaning that young adults must do everything they can to stand out from the pack. While your inclination may be to play it safe, as many as a third (33 per cent) could think back to interviews where strong candidates had ultimately missed out on jobs simply because their application was not exciting enough.
Highlighting just how important it is to get a CV right, the survey suggested that 18 per cent of line managers believe those with volunteering and community work to their name are much more likely to be successful. Among the most desirable skills are a strong work ethic (33 per cent), commitment (31 per cent), communication skills (29 per cent) and the ability to work well in teams (28 per cent).
Godfrey Owen, chief executive of Brathay Apprentice Challenge at Brathay Trust, which organised the ICM Research survey, said: "Qualifications alone are not enough to get a job. Employers are increasingly looking at the personal qualities candidates can bring to the table, both immediately and in the long term."
For a lot of people, it is hard knowing how to work in evidence of these soft skills into your CVs and applications even if you have them. Young adults also may not be aware just how strong their personal qualities are. Virtual College's course on Writing an Effective CV costs just £15 (excluding VAT) and is a great way to offer individuals a chance to brush up on their skills.