I have been sifting through CVs and application letters. Many of the applicants have come from the 20 something generation. Many of these young people have never held a full time job paying a sensible rate of pay. They have moved from temporary post to Job experience, from volunteer to Intern. They have found the job market of the last couple of years hostile. It is one of the tragedies of the Credit Crunch and the boom bust policies of the last decade that many of them are now languishing without a sound start to their working careers.
Many of the ones I have been reading about have degrees. They send in CVs which start with similar paragraphs that they have been taught to write. They usually claim to be excellent at team working, brilliant communicators,and to offer good leadership. They are all highly motivated, enthusiastic, pro-active with strong organisational and problem solving skills. The rest of the CV sometimes belies the standard phrases of the opening. Some are unable to write a sentence. There are usually spelling and typing errors – understandable in the rush of everyday communication but glaring in a considered and formal document like a CV. One example produced the following second sentence to the application: ” I fill the experience I have gained in past employment will put me in good persian for this role” . Often through no fault of their own a person who sounds as if they should at the very least be a senior executive has never held a more senior position than that of Intern or helper in the local cafe.
Probably because they send out so many applications, many fail to adapt their CV and application email to the post concerned. They do not think themselves into the job. They are usually still living at home with their parents, and will have trouble finding affordable accommodation for jobs in central London. Too many rejections can make them both fatalistic and very willing to adjust to what the potential employer wants. A few years ago anyone seeking work with an MP wanted to be the researcher/speech writer/Chief of Staff. Now more understand that dealing with the follow up to case work, pursuing the dialogue of the deaf with quangoland and helping with the endless demands of the new regulatory culture can be more useful for the MP who knows his own mind.
The current jobs market is not healthy. The way young people are trained to present themselves does not always help them. Too many of them present the tutor’s package, rather than telling prospective employers who they are, what they are good at and what they want to do.