The prospect of taking that first step and looking for employment can be incredibly daunting for anyone, but it’s especially hard when you’ve never had a job before. How do you find out what employers expect from you as a candidate? How do you write a CV? And how should you get ready for a job interview? Our guide will answer all these questions.

It is packed full of advice which is directly based on what the people who recruit say – what they look for when they pick out the best job applications, the kind of questions they ask at interview and how they choose who to give the job, apprenticeship or work experience to. It also includes helpful hints from the people who have recently left school, college or university, and have successfully gone on to get a job or work experience. There’s also a section on what those without work experience can do to help boost their chances of finding a job, including information on youth volunteering.

The guide covers :

  • Exploring career options and considering the skills needed for work
  • How to get experience – volunteering, work experience placements, internships and starting a business
  • Where to look for job vacancies
  • How to plan job-hunting
  • How to apply for a job – writing a CV, covering letter and application, and how to stand out
  • What to expect from a job interview, how to prepare for it, how to dress and how to stand out
  • What to do after an interview – asking for feedback and how to use it
  • First jobs – what to expect and where to find out more

Section 4 of the guide includes information on how to plan a job hunt. We recommend that you set up your own spreadsheet to help you keep track of job vacancies. An example of how you can lay this out using Excel is available in the download below along with the guide.

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