It’s tough out there

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By Peter Jones of Foyne Jones:

Let’s be honest, job-seeking is hard, and I know better than most that it’s tough for everyone. But trust me, it’s even more challenging when you are trying to get employed for the very first time.

This is a reality for many apprentices as they approach the end of their training which makes for an especially daunting and nervous time when your entire future depends on finding a job.

So, where’s it going wrong?

To understand this better I have spoken to Employers, Apprenticeship Providers and even Apprentices themselves to find out why it’s breaking down.

Usually, it is during the actual interview where hopes and dreams are shattered. This is the stage where you have to make it count. You can’t rely on anyone other than yourself. That means neither Mum, Dad, your friends nor even your favourite celebrity can help.

The harsh reality is that it is now all about you.

Seven Steps to Success from Team Foyne Jones

1. Do your Homework
Just because you’ve nearly finished your course, it doesn’t mean you stop doing your homework.
To put things into perspective, a Premier League team doesn’t go onto the pitch without tactics and hours of training, otherwise they will lose.

2. Have a Plan
So, before your interview, search for the employer’s website and see exactly what they do and decide what impresses you the most about the company.
Research who you are meeting, find out their background and their interests and think about some questions that you want to ask during the interview.

3. Go the Extra Mile
From my experience 99% of job seekers will do just enough and it’s always those in the magical 1% who get noticed. Go to the interview with a positive attitude and show ambition to progress and succeed.

4. One chance to make a First Impression
Smart appearance, body language, being on time, good eye contact, asking the questions you’ve prepared and being enthusiastic are all factors you can control and are the first things the interviewers will notice.

5. Don’t forget to Show-off
Be prepared to bring proof of your talent or previous accomplishments.
The employer will understand your ability from your CV, but if you actively prove why you’re right for the job, it makes you an even better candidate.

6. Be the Best you can Be
Smile, relax and have fun. Whatever the outcome is you should be enjoying this potentially life changing experience.
Put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Think about how they’d want their new member of staff to come across and what would impress them.

7. Land the Job
When you arrive at the end of the interview, you want to give yourself the best chance possible of getting hired, so here’s what I suggest.
Smile, look in their eyes and if you really want it, tell the interviewer that you want the job. If you want to really impress them, offer to work through a few trial days without getting paid.

This is a win-win situation and shows the employer your commitment and gives you the chance to show them how good you are.

What do the apprentices say?

“Have patience as job seeking takes time and effort. I suggest you apply for as many roles as you can, even roles you might not want. At the very least, you will have gained valuable interview experience and feedback.”
Callum – Digital Marketing and Social Media Apprentice at Foyne Jones

“When you are talking to a possible employer, ask them to give examples of other young people that have joined them and ask how they progressed through the business. This shows your own ambition and helps you decide if the company is right for you.”
Harry – Senior Consultant and former Recruitment Apprentice at Foyne Jones


If you found this blog useful, you can download our ‘Seven Steps to Interview Success’ from the Foyne Jones website.

I would also encourage you to listen to Episode 6 of our podcast, The Foyne Jones Show, ‘Apprenticeships at Foyne Jones’.

You can download the podcast through these links:

In summary, the most simple and important advice I can give is that the only person that can make a difference is you.

Believe in yourself because YOU can make it happen!

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