How to help your child stand out

Updated: Aug 26

It doesn’t matter if your child is applying for a job, an apprenticeship, a university or college place, training or an internship – the bottom line is always the same: they’re more likely to get the interview if their application stands out from others and they’ll get the place if they are likeable and impress their interviewer.

It’s personality that differentiates one person from another. Positive, proactive, committed, resilient individuals make good students and great employees – they’re quick to learn, quick to forgive and pleasant to be around. And that makes them attractive.

Preparation is key; nothing beats preparation in improving confidence. Here are our top five ways to help your children prepare for their future, while they’re at home.

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Femal teen student sitting and listening to a podcast with headphones and a laptop The Parents' Guide to helping your child stand out from the crowd
Listening to a podcast

1. Listen to Ted talks

An absolute blessing if your child has a short attention span. Most Ted Talks are around 15 minutes long, covering diverse subject ranges from science to business to global issues and feature some of the most eloquent, thought-leaders of our times. It’s a great place for your child to develop their interests without a huge time commitment.

2. Enjoy some podcasts

Not every teenager loves to read, so Podcasts are a fabulous way to discover interesting themes and topics. The length of podcasts vary significantly from 15-20 minutes to feature length episodes; some are very long and split into series, others are broadcast regularly as complete episodes but an overarching theme linking them all together. Podcasts are a relatively new media and very popular with teenagers.

3. Stay up-to-date

It’s a good idea for your child to be able to demonstrate relevant general knowledge. They should keep an eye on the news to be aware of headline stories. During interviews, this can very often be “elevator talk” – i.e. something that is mentioned when someone meets them at reception to take them to the interview room. It may not be part of the interview, but it can have an influence. Not knowing anything about world events suggests a lack of interest, which may not be true but does not reflect well.

If they’re not sure about news articles or are struggling to get a balanced view, they could try reading opinion articles to see what other people are saying so they can develop their own thoughts on the matter.

4. Take an online course

If there’s something that really interests them, why not take a course? Choosing to study outside of the school curriculum, and taking assessments/exams to prove knowledge, is very impressive. It shows initiative, commitment, and an ability to follow through – all desirable qualities whether the next stage is further education or finding a job.

This doesn’t have to require massive commitment; some courses and modules are very short – others are longer. What’s on offer is vast, and lots of the courses are free during lockdown. This sort of activity will stand your child in good stead when asked by potential universities or employers how they used their extra time during lockdown.

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