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What do employers look for when hiring young people?
It’s a question which many young people face when leaving school. Many have very little to no experience in the workplace, which can make the prospect of looking for a job, or even writing their first CV seem like a very daunting task. But how much does practical work experience matter to employers when recruiting young people?

“It’s your CV that gets you the interview but it’s your personality, and life experience, that gets you the job.”
– Rosi Prescott, Central YMCA

In a recent article, publication Recruiting Times discussed a study conducted by the Central YMCA (a leading UK health, education and wellbeing charity) which surveyed more than 200 businesses to ask what mattered to them in a young employee. When asked what aspects mattered most, senior managers revealed that 57% valued ‘learning new skills’ above all. This was closely followed by 47% of managers arguing that being ‘well-read’ would be considered advantageous and a further 43% agreeing that a ‘strong interest in a hobby’ can reflect well on a young candidate’s application.

Additionally to this, many saw being well-travelled or having knowledge and experiences of other cultures to be important factors. While 34% of those businesses asked also believed an interest in charity or community work was a quality desirable when hiring a young person.

Rosi Prescott, chief executive of Central YMCA concluded that "the findings of the survey have proven that it’s your CV that gets you the interview but it’s your personality, and life experience, that gets you the job. It’s interesting to see more and more employers recognising and seeking out transferrable skills developed outside the workplace, such as a desire to learn new skills, to read broadly, and to socialise, or keep active with a hobby. These young people will make attractive employees as they will likely be fast learners, knowledgeable of the world around them, and easier to work with on a personal level."

Read the full article here, or speak to Kings for help and advice on finding your first job.