Job Search Being Taught in Schools? Is it Happening?

I’m just finishing another successful CV Clinic in Cardiff and had a little time to contemplate the main themes coming through from people meeting with me today while it was fresh in my mind.

There were many people speaking with me today in their late 20’s and early 30’s. Young indeed when compared with me and certainly in the main more tech savvy than me. It was shocking therefore to see that so few people understood the concept and application of keywords on a CV and also exactly how job boards or job search engines work.

CV Keywords

Only one person out of the 20 or so people I met with today had any concept of keyword importance within a CV. Once they had it explained to them then of course they understood and then applied the relatively simple fix. Of more concern was that people had no idea about the effect on their future job prospects (and therefore their lives) that this seemingly innocuous but essential part of the CV might have.

What are CV Keywords?

Let’s start with a simple example. If you have a broken toilet, you will probably need an emergency plumber or plumbing service. It stands to reason then that searching the internet for a solution for your very urgent problem using search phrases or keywords such as “emergency plumber in Cardiff” or “24/7 plumbing service” will provide you with some options. You wouldn’t be happy if the search results showed you electrician not plumbers I’m guessing?

If you think about a job board such as Reed, Monster or LinkedIn as a massive database of CVs and jobs then that will help. People looking for jobs upload their CVs and recruiters try to find people who match the needs of their client company by using keywords. Keywords are the bridge that connects the CV with the job on offer.

An example

If a recruiter is looking to place a person in a client company to do a Book Keeping role and they have no prior candidate knowledge to draw on then they will search their own CV database for candidate CVs. The keywords they use to search the database might include some of the following:

(1) Job title (book keeper, bookkeeper, accounts assistant, etc.).

(2) Elements of the role/ tasks involved (invoice reconciliation, banking, purchase ledger, invoicing, etc.).

(3) Location (City, Town, Country or radius from a location).

(4) Technology used, e.g. Excel Spreadsheets, Sage Accounts, Sage Payroll, etc.

(5) Qualities/ attributes, e.g. deadlines, accuracy, punctuality, etc.

A colleague of mine owns a recruitment consultancy and their own database has around 60,000 CVs in it. They buy in access to other databases such as CV Library if he can’t find suitable potential candidates from within their own database.

Recruiters and employers can be very specific when they are searching for people to fill their vacancy so it stands to reason that you really do need to have the correct keywords in your CV.

Why don’t they teach this in schools?

Frankly, I have no idea. This seems to me to be one of the most fundamental tools in the toolbox of a serious jobseeker. This should be taught in schools, colleges and throughout the Governmental world in places such as job centres and other agencies. It could be that the people I saw today were just unfortunate. I don’t believe that is the case as there were simply too many people involved.

If you are in Education, the Careers Service Local or National Government or in any position of authority, please get in touch. I can explain this concept pretty easily and we can really help those looking to get on in their lives. Maybe I should create a video course?




Author: Glenn Hughes

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