Careers Advice and Support

Selling Yourself – A Guide for those aged 16 and 18

With School effectively at an end for most 18 year olds and many 16 year olds for 2019/20 and Grading to be determined not by traditional means but by assessment internally, who knows how:

  • Employers, 
  • Universities, 
  • Colleges and 
  • Training Providers 

Are going to assess the best candidates for the courses and roles that are open when our lives get back to normal, hopefully sooner rather than later.

One thing is for sure, Grades awarded in 2020 will be taken with a large pinch of salt by many employers and the Universities continue to have far too many places chasing too few students so a place at your chosen University does not necessarily mean achievement or success.

The importance of ‘selling yourself’ through your CV has never been more important, coupled with thinking about and rehearsing your interview skills because or many employers it will be this demonstration that will contribute more than ever to a job offer, an Apprenticeship offer or offer of place at College or University.

In the potential absence of your Careers Advisor, the role of Parent becomes much more important. There are tools in the market that can help you build your Personality and Skills Profile and ultimately identify careers that may be suitable for you – a number of these tools are free to use such as

Building your CV will be critical and selling the skills, you have developed of vital importance. As an employer, the one question I would be asking would be ‘So what have you done with your time during the Coronavirus Outbreak’ – self isolation would not be a satisfactory answer. Those that can demonstrate doing something with their time will be the ones with the best chance of securing that Apprenticeship, Job or indeed University Place. 

It is also the time for many 16 year olds and 18 year olds to ‘think twice’ about the route, you think you are going to take. Some simple questions to ask yourself include:

  • Do I want £70,000 of debt by going to University and what career opportunities will it give me that I do not have taking another pathway?
  • Could I get an Apprenticeship rather than doing A levels or going to College for T Levels or going to University – remember Lawyers, Architects, Accountants, Police Officers, Nurses and most other professions can now be obtained through a Degree equivalent Apprenticeship 
  • Does going to College to study a full time programme or T Level really help me get a career at the end of the 1 or 2 year period and what guarantee will the Local College give me?

Whilst your ability to influence your final Grades in May and June has been taken away and that is devastating for many of you, the pressure to perform has been removed and you have the time to reflect on what is next, prepare your CV and sell yourself to the University, College, Training Provider or Employer of your choice. 

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail – do not lose the opportunity to impress. 

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