Can we turn our fortunes and confidence around for the coming decade? If I were an employer hiring at the start of 2011, what would I be looking for in a job hunter’s CV?

The Government has been driving initiatives to help keep businesses buoyant and to get the young back in employment. But what about the jobseekers themselves?

The recession has created a new calibre of jobseeker – a much more educated potential workforce who have experienced the rigours of unemployment and stared a heightened level of competition for work in the face.

Having spent months searching for a new job, candidates are aware that the stakes are high and they’ve had to up their game. And this is precisely what I, as an employer, would be looking for in a CV.

There’s no need to sugarcoat it: the UK job market as a whole is still in a bad way. And while we’re seeing green shoots, it’s still getting harder by the day for many businesses.

We’re seeing a nation of people working two jobs or additional part-time hours to pay the bills.

We’ve seen that the majority of sectors have been hit by the recession, most notably construction, finance and manufacturing.

Thousands of jobs have been shed and some blue chips are still crumbling, but it’s what jobseekers do in this period that will affect their future prospects in 2011.

I think one of our key priorities should be young people and their employment. If we’re not careful, this wave of fresh talent will be lost. I fear young people will miss the chance of getting into the employment market as employers opt for more experienced workers who are able to walk in and hit the ground running.

Employers must consider the talent in front of them, whatever age and experience. Who knows what value a fresh pair of eyes could add to your business.

If you’re a recent graduate trying to use the skills you’ve acquired at university, or you’re a senior manager with years under your belt who has been told countless times that you’re overqualified, I recommend demonstrating what you’ve done in this period.

Show that you’ve been proactive and I’d be surprised if your application was then dismissed.

If you decide to undergo unpaid work to build your CV, do so, but make sure you aren’t taken for granted.

Despite the doom and gloom, there are a number of entrepreneurs who’ve gone against the grain and proved that the recession is fertile ground for opening a new business.

Online retailers, consultancies, new media agencies and even recruiters have contacted me to say they’ve used the last 12 months to realign their aspirations and go for what they’ve always wanted. It’s precisely these characters that will be integral in leading us on to better things in this decade.

Source – The Daily Telegraph

Article by James Caan February 19 2011

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