It seems like so long ago that I had to find my first job. Visiting shop after shop, handing out paper resumes. There was no online job search. There were no articles telling you what to include in your resume. It was hard. You had to scour the local paper. You had to create your own resume template instead of downloading one.
It’s still hard, just in a different way. There are fewer jobs available for young people, disillusionment about working is high and the motivation to work is low. I spent some time recently talking to Lorelle Pearse from Bendigo Senior Secondary College. Lorelle is the Managed Individual Pathways Coordinator – her role is to support the students in all things work and the world beyond BSSC.
The MIPS department is an important stepping stone into the real world for the students. The role can be infinitely rewarding when the students take the steps they need to find a job, or devastatingly sad when they refuse the offer of support – after leaving school the same level of support is no longer there. The kids are on their own.
One of the new and innovative ways the MIPS team is hoping to reach the students is through the ‘MYjOB’ app and website that holds so much of their combined years of job hunting knowledge – all available at the click of a button. Lorelle hopes the knowledge will be available to all young people, motivating them and helping them find work.
In 2011, Lorelle and her team won an award for outstanding education support team. Instead of the usual trip overseas to study ‘best practice’, the team wanted to spend the award in a way that would help reach the students they work with. They wanted to try something never done before.
The tedium of updating the job search booklet gave way to the idea that they could create something online. Kids are always looking at their phones so why not make an app? “The app is a collation of everything we know about work – what it is and how to get it. It is also about empowering young people to enter the workforce.”
Tired of continually repeating the same spiel to the students about how to go about finding a job, they created an app that the students could go through to build their resume, cover letter and find out more information about interviews.
“We decided we wanted to give something back to our college (and we thought our best practise reigned supreme!) It went from a booklet (students don’t read booklets!), to a USB (students don’t keep USB’S!) to a professional app and website that we hope students will utilise.”
Working with a disillusioned generation, it can be difficult to inspire them to take the necessary steps to getting a job. “The app’s invaluable – its current, youth friendly, detailed and, it actually works and gets results. There’s also a little bit of time saving.”
Communicating with the students using a medium they understand has changed the way the students work towards getting their first job. On one hand they have the support of the staff in the MIPS department at BSSC and on the other they can go through the app at a time that suits them.
“It’s the way of things to come – before long even resumes will be online. This is our core work harnessed in a medium that the team needs to keep up to date with as well.”
Thanks to Lorelle for having a chat to us about the app. If you know any young people looking for work get them to download the app (iTunes or Google Play) or visit the MYjOB website for all things job hunting.