A students perspective on career opportunities

It is currently harder than ever for students to explore interesting and engaging career opportunities. With an extremely competitive employment market, the working world is becoming increasingly distant to those in their teenage years.

So how should employers raise awareness of their available career opportunities?

Our current post-modernised, digitally enhanced society revolves around the online universe, so tackling the internet can be the first step to success. An interesting and polished website gives an excellent first impression, particularly to younger generations who have seen plenty!! A website should have a contemporary and slick design, with regularly updated content. Make it almost excessively obvious as to what the company does and what the positions held in the firm entail. This is not only great for showcasing the opportunities an industry provides, but also for attracting the attention of business partners too. An outstanding website will always pay off….

Job Search

Major search engines such as Google and Bing receive over 240 million searches looking for employment on a monthly basis. Social media sites are also rapidly on the rise with more than 250 million people visiting Facebook every day. People have a constant need for surveillance and information. German academics Blumler and Katz’s “Uses and Gratifications” theory suggests this is a psychological requirement for every member of society, which explains the recent surge in social networking. Media giants such as Twitter and Facebook allow this information to be sourced almost instantly. Therefore, cracking the industry of social media is perhaps the easiest way to gather interest in career opportunities – and, best of all, it’s completely free!

Social media can be used to promote corporations in extremely innovative ways. If you’re looking to kick-start marketing on social media, take a leaf out of Microsoft’s book. They include behind the scenes looks at the company; question-and-answer posts; blogs, thought leadership and much more. LinkedIn is sometimes overlooked as a large social media channel, though it is actually the third most popular according to recent research. Another example is the Australian Metro. Their ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ video became a viral sensation on YouTube, with a comedic song alongside an animated video quickly becoming the site’s most shared. With a thought-provoking message in the final verse, this social media campaign is certainly a successful one. In terms of smaller businesses, a fun Twitter account evoking connections with employees of the future as well as other, similar companies can also be effective.

When searching for jobs, students look for a friendly, interesting environment; somewhere they’d enjoy working, rather than seeing it as a chore. Students want to explore their chosen industry, as well as gather experience for the future. How a company represents itself is one of the first things people look for, as well as understanding how such a role would benefit them and their career.

But is there enough information available in schools through career departments?

Work ExperienceOn the most part, no. Although some students are provided with brilliant opportunities to be involved with work first-hand through work experience, this is no longer an opportunity available to every young person. From experience, some schools are also given the chance to speak to employers on ‘career days’, however there appears a huge lack of understanding among adolescents as to how these roles are acquired. Make it easy for students to understand just what qualities are necessary for careers in your industry. Careers-based networking with schools and universities is an opportunity not to be missed by businesses. If they don’t come to you, go to them; offering work experience is a fantastic method in attracting workers of the future, often consolidating their decision as to what industry they’d like to work in.

A study conducted by RecruitingBlogs.com in 2012 revealed that a huge 80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking. Luckily, proactive engagement with students is fairly easy to achieve. So offering open days, discussions and work experience is an excellent way to allow students to develop an understanding of a particular company or a whole industry. Creating strong links with schools and students is fantastically beneficial for both parties.

Written by a Year 11 Student from The Forest School, Horsham