Landing a job or an apprenticeship isn’t always easy, especially for young people who are new to the world of work. You may well want to get on with your career or even just land a job to get you started with earning some money of your own. In fact, even if you are planning on doing some more training or study, there will come a time when you will need to get your C.V. sorted and start looking for work. The last thing that you want to do, then, is hijack your own chances of getting the job (or apprenticeship) that you have been looking for. Doing the right thing can also mean not doing the wrong things, so we took a look at the top four reasons given by employers for not hiring certain young applicants.
Charity, Resurgo Trust are involved in working with young people who are not in employment, education or training (known as ‘NEETs’). They asked a number of employers for their main reasons for not giving jobs to young people, and the results were amazingly straightforward. In fact, the top reason for not giving applicants the job was…
This is all about making the right impression and showing that you are a conscientious and trustworthy person. Turning up late for your interview or on your first day at work gives completely the wrong impression to your (potential) employer. You may think you have a good reason for being late – but unfortunately most employers won’t be too bothered, since they can simply hire someone else who they know will be punctual. When you go for an interview remember that they don’t know you, and they owe you nothing, so don’t expect leniency over things like lateness. It is better to arrive far too early and wait around (a café around the corner might do), than to arrive late. Make sure you know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there. Give yourself plenty of time and make sure you have as much ready on the night before (what you are going to wear, etc) as possible to cut down on any last-minute rush or panic. If something will go wrong and make you late, you just know it is likely to happen when you need to be somewhere – so don’t get caught out!
- Not Doing Enough / Being Lazy
The bottom line is that any employer is basically paying you to do a job. If you can’t keep up with what you are supposed to do, or even if you just do the bare minimum then it is fair to say an employer may look for someone who is a bit more hard working. Not being bothered or being apathetic will mark you out as a poor employee. Compare this to someone who is willing to take on some extra responsibility now and again, is ready to get down to work, and will pull their weight to help colleagues or keep customers happy. Who would you employ?
- Not Following Orders
Your boss and colleagues will be busy and certainly won’t appreciate you arguing about why you should get something done or holding things up by refusing to follow instructions. Not following orders or questioning them will be seen as a bad attitude to work – even if it is down to a lack of confidence! You should ask for help if you need it or don’t understand how to do something, but make sure to pay attention (and make notes if you need to) so you only need to ask once. However, flat-out refusing to do something is seldom appreciated at work, so don’t mark yourself out as the sort of person who is not willing to chip in from time to time.
- Inappropriate Language Or Clothes
Your clothes certainly play an important part in defining who you are. It is what fashion and style is all about – and you can use it to send your image out to the world. However, when you are at work, you are also representing the company you work for. Suffice to say, if you are given a uniform, you are expected to wear it, and if you work in a space where formal office clothes is the norm, then you need to follow suit. Of course, you may be able to add a touch of style or flair to your dress, but don’t let this overpower the image of you as a competent and reliable worker. You may feel that your clothes should have no bearing on how well you can do your job, but like it or not people will make assumptions based on your appearance. Even if your workplace has a very relaxed dress code, you will need to consider what you wear. Leave that offensive t-shirt for the weekend. Of course, when it comes to an interview you should play it safe – it’s easier to take off a tie or jacket than it is to suddenly have to find one.
When it comes to communicating at work try to stay professional, relaxed, and confident. Easier said than done – especially when you are in an interview! However, you can learn how to do this with time. Watch how others interact – some will be better than others, so try to follow the lead of the best rather than the worst. This is all part of learning how the workplace works – and becoming ‘career smart.’ When it comes to interview, try to be on your best behaviour – which means (obviously) no swearing!
These may seem obvious, but given that so many employers highlighted them as issues, there is clearly some work to be done in these areas. Ultimately, it is about showing yourself in the best possible, professional, light – as well as being willing and able to do your job. Getting work may sometimes seem like a vicious circle – with experience needed to get the job in the first place. In this case, you may need to look for jobs for school leavers, or perhaps seek out an apprenticeship where you live to get the experience and training you need. However, there is no need to trip yourself up by being late, rude, poorly presented, lazy, or simply unwilling to work!