FAO: Sarah Sands
London Evening Standard
Evening Standard Ltd
2 Derry Street
London W8 5TT
United Kingdom
19th September 2012

Dear Sarah,
I searched through the first 5 pages of your newspaper the Evening Standard today Wednesday 19th September edition, again and again to find the good news story around school leavers & graduates successfully finding jobs/starting a business and there wasn’t one. Not one around the 16 – 24 year olds that have been successful and landed a position. Instead what you served is utterly depressing. I know that bad news stories sell more papers however I think we need to think more about how we can truly serve our customers best. There are a record number of people between the ages of 16 – 24 unemployed that’s undeniable and we’re all too aware of it. Would your audience not have been better served if you had used at least one page or some of the pages to focus on the good news stories of school leavers and graduates finding positions? After all, 75% of school leavers and graduates are employed, not the other way around.

If I was a student and read your paper today, I would be well and truly depressed and defeated before I even started. I’d give up. I wouldn’t want to get out of bed. However that’s the exact opposite of what we need to help Britain get back on its feet.
Whereas if students had read about how other school leavers and graduates successful navigated the difficult job terrain and found a position, it would have given them some tips and most importantly – hope.

I am the MD of CPG Executive Consulting Ltd and CEO of Entrepreneurs Worldwide. I’m a career coach with 18 years- experience and have coached, mentored, trained and supported over 50,000 people in my career to date. I’m also an entrepreneur and have coached mentored trained and supported thousands of people to go in to business for themselves.
We are all too aware of just how tough the job market is out there for everyone, especially school leavers and graduates and one of the key determining factors of whether you will be successful in a job search, is your mind-set. It’s maintaining a positive attitude which is key – it’s getting up and bringing it, playing full out EVERY day no matter what. We need to encourage, motivate and support those unemployed every step of the way.

As the StartUp Britain Champion for Richmond one of the key areas we are focusing on is 18 – 24 year olds and encouraging them to think about starting a business. We provide a range of support services that can help get your business idea off the ground and in to a business very quickly. We will provide on-going, coaching, training, mentoring and support along the way. StartUp Loans is also a new initiative specifically targeted to help people between the ages of 18 – 24 years olds to get started in business. These loans are currently only available for people between the ages of 18 to 24. As of today 17544 businesses have been set up already this month – there has never been a better time to go in to business. Fortune favours the brave, if you want to find out more about the StartUp Britain campaign check out our website at: www.startupbritain.org or to get in contact with me and attend our local events at: www.startupbritain.org/richmond

There has been so much positivity around the Olympic games, London was such an inspirational and refreshing place to be. We should build on that momentum. Success inspires success. Look at what our athletes were able to create by working as a team and seeing each other succeed and inspiring each other to do better. That’s exactly what we need to do to for each and every school leaver or graduate or in fact anyone that is unemployed. We need to come together and develop a can do attitude and help and support each other to make it happen. We need to read about success stories which will inspire more success.

80% is attitude – 20% is technical for most interviews. There is increased competition so even more important that you play full out, that you prepare, look the part and present well. It can be nerve wracking and some people manage nerves better than others. It’s about practice, it’s about having a positive mental attitude, and it’s about believing that you will be successful, you will find that perfect job.

Come on London, I challenge every one of us to play a part and get behind a student TODAY. Let’s take them under our wing, let’s empower, inspire, motivate and support our youths to take action, to keep trying and to go after their dreams. Help them get clear on what they are looking for and encourage them every step of the way. The most important thing we can do is to help them stay focused and on track and encourage them not to give up and they will succeed.

You get what you focus on – positive or negative!

Yours faithfully

Helen Roberts
Tel: 0207 193 5885 & 07768 733 966

Here are some top tips to help navigate this difficult market and accelerate your return to the job market.
1) Make your job search your full time job
2) Create a well thought out, professional CV focusing on the experience required for each specific job.
3) 50% of CVs have typos and spelling mistakes – make sure yours doesn’t
4) Always tweak your CV to ensure its tailored specifically for each role you apply for
5) Only apply for jobs that you have at least 80% and above of the skills required
6) Focus on what makes you unique, different and your major achievements
7) Tell the client about who you are, what your values are and why they should hire you
8) Know your experience well – be able to talk about it fluidly
9) Create a cover letter for each application
10) Always follow up your application to ensure it has been received
11) Have a job search strategy – use at least 4 different avenues for your job search e.g. job boards, agencies, direct approaches, social media, newspapers, network etc.
12) Interview preparation is KEY – if you are not prepared you’ll flounder. Know what the interview process & style is in advance and prepare for it thoroughly. The more prepared you are the more control you have on having a successful outcome.
13) Practice, practice, practice your interview techniques. Ask people to do a ‘dummy’ interview with you.
14) Always ask for feedback on your interview and take it on board and improve on it
15). Take massive action each and every day
15) Look and dress the part.
16) If you don’t have any experience – volunteer

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About Helen

Helen Roberts is a gifted leader, a popular trainer at live events, a coach and a mentor. Her fast-paced, authentic style, her incredible energy and passion will not only inspire you, you will be empowered knowing you can overcome your personal obstacles to be the best that you can be and live an incredible life!

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