Just one of the adverse effects of the pandemic is the situation of so many people who, very often through no fault of their own, are unemployed and looking for a new job.
More than at any previous time that we can remember, employers looking to recruit should be thinking more laterally about what constitute the most effective selection criteria.
A good degree or other relevant qualifications will, of course, continue to be important factors, but recruiters must also look beyond formal examinations to consider the value of an applicant’s broader skills and knowledge.
Less reliance on the conventional CV or application form would be a positive step. Details of employment history can very often point to a line of work that a person found unfulfilling but in which they felt trapped. Those seeking work in these times must be flexible in their job search, not only thinking about what work they would enjoy but, more importantly, what job they would be qualified to do using their broader skills and experience.
An application document should not only be a chronicle of a person’s past but should point, where possible, to their future job ambitions. In a conventional CV, the ‘Other Interests’ section can often contain a feast of hidden opportunities and significant evidence of a person’s value to the more enlightened employer. A Personal Statement is more appropriate for achieving this.
Unemployment is affecting all working ages, but young people looking for their first step on the employment ladder must be equipped with the broadest range of skills to offer employers. If there are to be any positives arising from this pandemic, one could well turn out to be the growing evidence of initiatives designed to augment a young person’s abilities during the period of school closures. It is hoped that in times to come, employers will be encouraged to embrace the total education experience that an applicant can offer.