An essential element of policies promoting economic growth and better living conditions is helping young people to enter and stay in the labour market. Particular challenges are associated with the transition of young people from education to employment. As a result, there are relatively low employment rates, high unemployment rates and a high proportion of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs).

As newcomers to the market with limited work experience, young people are less likely to find a job, are often employed on a fixed-term and part-time contract or internship, and in the case of a poor business cycle it is easier to is to release them. Polarization is one of the challenges young people will face when entering the labour market. There are many reasons for high youth unemployment and they are usually structural. Although their importance varies from country to country, the most important are ineffective education systems and programs in supporting the transition of young people from education to work. Besides, in many countries, there are restrictive labour law regulations combined with high taxation of employment contracts and a high minimum wage at the national level, which concerning employee productivity makes it difficult to create attractive jobs for young people, especially in certain industries and regions.

In addition to the above-mentioned reasons, insufficient investment in ourselves and our abilities plays a very important role in the process of finding the first or better employment. Here are some practical tips on how to improve your presence in the job market and increase your chances of getting a good job.

  1. Be aware of hard vs soft competencies, and how to formulate them appropriately for future employers.

Hard competencies are primarily measurable skills that can be learned relatively quickly, for example at school, at courses or work. The employer can verify them based on experience, obtained certificates, during an interview or through tests. These traits are called basic, and without them, you might miss out on a job.

The issue of soft skills is completely different. These are competencies that are more difficult to measure and evaluate, often referred to as personal and interpersonal skills. These are psychophysical features and social skills that determine how we behave, get along with other people or organize our work.

  1. Take care of your image and visibility on the web.

Most employers want to know as much as possible who to hire and to whom they will pay. They, or the recruiters they employ, direct their first steps in searching for information about a candidate towards social media. It is worth developing contacts not only in the “real world”, but also on the Internet. When looking for a job, do not forget to leave your CV on job search websites.

  1. Prepare a professional CV and don’t underestimate the job interviews.

The CV itself should be prepared not only professionally, but also in an interesting way so that it stands out positively against other job applications. Preparing for an interview also seems to be a matter of course, but it often turns out that the candidates have no idea not only about the nature of the company, its corporate culture, but do not even know what they would like to do in it.

  1. Invest time in yourself.

Willingness to education, professional development, courses, acquiring new skills and entitlements – this is the best way to turn unemployment into attractive employment that meets expectations. Such employees are usually not looking for work, they are sought by employers. Even after graduation, do not disregard the offer of paid courses, internships as well as volunteering. In many cases, a well-done internship or apprenticeship turns out to be a ticket to proposing longer cooperation.

Zvonko Dimoski, Local Action Group AGRO LIDER