It contains all the help and guidance you will need to prepare for and launch into the world of work for the first time. It may seem like a daunting prospect to begin with, but you’ll soon see that there are only a few steps to accessing a huge variety of opportunities at Hinkley Point C and beyond.
When you're looking for jobs, one of the first things a potential employer will do is see what they can find out about you outside of your CV. This is usually by Googling you, and one of the first pages that will pop up is all of your social media.
By making sure you follow simple dos and don'ts when it comes to social media, you can ensure your future employer only sees what you want them to see.
What is it you'd like not only your friends and family to see, but your potential employer too?
- Be yourself – this is still your social media page, so a great place to show off your personality.
- Be realistic about what people want to see – only posting about what you had for lunch could get a bit boring. Share relevant articles and videos, make thoughtful comments when you can and re-tweet interesting posts from people you follow. Employers will see you’re a rounded person – exactly what they will be after!
- Be upbeat and positive - share things that reflect what type of person you are and what matters to you. If you care about the rainforests of Borneo share some content about it. If you’re volunteering, tell people. Even little things, like making a cake for your grandparents, will show potential employers that you’re a caring person.
To put it simply, just don't post anything you wouldn't want your parents or grandparents to see.
- Be careful about the image you're portraying of yourself. If you went to a party recently, limit the number of photos and be careful of what you're doing in them. Remember, just because your Facebook profile has privacy settings doesn't mean you're invisible online.
- If you haven’t got something nice to say, don’t say anything at all! It’s easy to have a rant about someone or something that’s annoyed you in the heat of the moment, but when you’ve calmed down, do you really want everyone knowing you’ve had an argument with your best friend? Take the moral high ground and keep it away from social media. Remember the Cyberbullying Protection Law made it a crime to harass, stalk or bully another person.
- Sharing isn't always caring. People don’t want to know every little personal detail of your life, so while it might be funny to tell your friends how rough you’re feeling, a potential employer will only see that you might be off sick a lot. Likewise if you post photos of you enjoying life while pulling a sickie, it will get back to people.
You will need basic English and Maths skills for whatever job you decide to go for. Employers use GCSE grade English and Maths as a marker of ability and willingness to learn, so don’t underestimate how important it is. With employers taking these subjects seriously, you should too.
It might seem obvious, but you need English in order to properly communicate with people - from when you’re applying for a job online, or writing an email, talking to somebody or asking for something. Whether it’s written or spoken, you’ll need to understand and make yourself understood.
Whatever job you’re doing, you’ll also need to be able to work things out and problem solve - things like working out percentages or costs, or volumes and weights… it all comes down to Maths! A chef will need to multiply up the ingredients in a recipe in order to make a larger batch of something. Someone in the commercial team will need to work out budgets and percentages… you’ll even need to have basic maths to work out if you’ve got enough cash to buy your mate a drink! So maths isn’t just about knowing your times tables, it's a way of thinking creatively about how you can solve a problem.
What can you do if you haven’t got GCSEs in them? Firstly, don’t panic! There are lots of organisations here in Somerset that can help you get the qualifications you need. So be proactive and take a positive step to get the qualifications you need to get ahead. If you’re over 16 and you’ve already left school, you won’t normally have to pay to do GCSE English or Maths.
Your work experience or internship will have got you more than just something to pop on your CV and talk about in your covering letter – it will have gained you transferable skills. It’s one of the main reasons for finding such opportunities.
Can you work in a group or team effectively and efficiently?
Being able to show that you can work excellently not only by yourself, but as part of a team is a great skill employers look for.
How can you show you’re a great team player? Have you worked in a team before? What about in a school project? Or a play you did after school? Or maybe the team sports you’re involved in? There are so many different ways you can show you’re a great team worker! Don’t forget to mention what made you great while working in the group – did you overcome any problems well? Or did you take the lead and develop your decision-making skills?
Do you have leadership skills? Can you use your initiative?
Even if you’re not applying for a managerial role, having leadership skills is still a great trait. There will still be times where you’ll need to demonstrate your capability to lead in certain situations.
How can you show you’ve got leadership skills? Think about if you’re able to motivate those around you. And what about taking responsibility – not only when things go well, but when they go wrong too? Do you know of any situations where you’ve delegated effectively, and are you happy to ask for help? Have you got a charismatic personality, and can you build strong relationships with people?
Personal Motivation, Organisation and Time Management
Can you manage and prioritise your workload and time effectively?
Although being a great team player is an essential part of many jobs, you’ve also got to be able to work by yourself too – you must be able to take responsibility for both your time and your work.
Think about last time you had a big deadline to meet – were you proactive or reactive? Did you procrastinate until the last minute? And what about managing your stress levels when you’re trying to meet deadlines or balance numerous jobs? We’ve all faced these issues at school – we’ve had one too many pieces of homework, and not enough time to do them. Did you manage to calm yourself down, and motivate yourself enough to get them done? These are tasks that employers want in their employees – although a certain amount of stress can be good, too much can be dangerous to both you and the organisation too.
Do you know yourself and can you find ways to develop?
No one wants to work alongside someone who thinks they’re the bee’s knees. Whether we want to admit it or not, we’ve all got room to improve somewhere. Employers like someone who is keen to learn, enthusiastic to take on new challenges, and has good self-awareness. This is where your strengths and weaknesses come in. Understanding yourself and where your strengths and weaknesses lie, can provide an employer with someone they can mould and train for the job.
Can you effectively use computers and technology?
Make sure you’re competent on both a PC as well as a Mac, and it’s not only apps you know how to use. Most jobs will also require that you use word processing, spreadsheet and web-based software on a daily basis. However, think beyond these basic IT skills. Are you confident using a computer? Can you learn how to use new software and new technology quickly? Can you troubleshoot basic computer problems and do you understand the importance of data security and privacy? Most of the more technical side, you’ll be taught on the job, however it’s always good to do some background information first.
Listening - Are you a good listener?
First off, you’ve got to understand the task you’ve been set, and especially when starting a new job, you’ll have to listen and learn to the ropes. In many job roles you will be required to understand and process important or complex information and not listening effectively can lead to potentially costly mistakes. Employers commonly complain about their staff’s inability to listen effectively – what can you do to ensure this isn’t about you? What examples do you have of being a good listener?
Written Communication – Can you write accurately, clearly and concisely in variety of styles?
Some job roles will require an element of writing skills. You may be required to adapt your writing style frequently, producing reports, press releases, marketing materials, letters or emails, and you may have to write for the web, for customers, shareholders and colleagues.
Think about when you’ve had to write in a certain style at school (probably for English), have you had to write stories for different age groups? Or what about when you write a professional email rather than a text you’d send to a mate?
Verbal Communication – Can you speak clearly and dynamically in a variety of situations?
The third part of excellent communication skills is your spoken language – employers require strong spoken communication skills, especially when it comes to things like health and safety. If you’ve told someone to do something, you need to know they have understood you – this is all down to how you have explained it to them.
Have you done any presentations or talks at school? Are you polite and inspiring? Being able to communicate clearly and effectively is a great skill to have!
There are so many ways in which you are able to access your future career. From apprenticeships, through to job roles via college or university; making the right choice for you is sometimes difficult.
What we hope is that your experience as a member of Young HPC will provide you with the advice, guidance and support needed to help you make that decision.