The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed a lot of things in life, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the struggle of finding a job as a young undergraduate. In this regard, ‘Future Ready’ – a webinar on CV writing and interview skills provided an educational experience for young job seekers to hone and develop their skills of presentation when it comes to seeking employment.
Organized by Rtr. Rasanjanee Polgampala, who is also the Goal 10 Ambassador of the G17 University Ambassadors’ Consortium under the Road to Rights, ‘Future Ready’ was conducted with the hopes that it would be a stepping stone towards achieving target 10.3 of the SDG: “to ensure equal opportunities and end discrimination” by equipping young job seekers with the knowledge required to increase their chances of employability in the future.
‘Future Ready’, along with the assistance and engagement of the Leo Club of the University of Colombo, Faculty of Arts, provided a convenient platform for youth to raise their doubts and concerns with regard to employability. The guest speakers Mr. Prageeth Wanigasekara and Ms. Bernadine Jayasinghe are both experts in the field of corporate training and were more than adept at outlining the essential skills with regard to CV writing and facing interviews.
Mr. Wanigasekara, a corporate trainer and the Assistant Manager for Talent Engagement and Development at Brandix, conducted the session on CV writing specifically, and outlined not only the key elements of a CV, but also the significance of creating an effective resume. In so doing, he highlighted how, in the context of a large company flooded by thousands of applicants, it is of utmost importance to grab the attention of employer at the onset. First impressions are created by resumes, and while qualifications and skills are the obvious tools of capturing an employer’s attention, the lesser known, subtle tools of captivation were also disclosed.
While an effective CV gets an applicant to the doors, the only way to enter is by nailing the interview, which is exactly what was dealt with by leading corporate trainer and Managing Director at the Institute of Essential Studies Pvt Ltd, Ms. Bernadine Jayasinghe. Facing an interview with ease is dependent on the ability to answer questions posed by an employer and when it comes to succeeding, Ms. Jayasinghe’s key ingredient is confidence. An applicant’s character is best displayed when there is confidence, which in turn instills faith in the employer. Thus, while acknowledging that interviews are often challenging and nerve-wracking for young applicants, Ms. Jayasinghe stressed on the importance of controlling one’s mind to embody confidence and ease.
Webinars are susceptible to losing the attention of their audience more often than not; the audience of ‘Future Ready’ however, were kept on their toes with the skill and expertise of the moderator, Rtr. Methmini Kariyakarawana. The webinar on CV writing and interview facing skills hosted with the support of its Community Partners, the Rotaract Clubs of Central Campus, Colombo Mid City, Excellence, NIBM and University of Colombo Faculty of Arts, provided an accessible means of disseminating knowledge with regard to employability of the youth. While ‘Future Ready’ helped steer young job seekers in the right direction, one can only hope that the efforts taken by Rtr. Rasanjanee Polgampala will have a ripple effect and inspire similar projects which may contribute towards addressing inequality pertaining the rate of employment in the nation.
– Rtr. Tharini Ratwatte
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