Is it your first time applying for a job? Or perhaps you’ve been out of work for a while. Here, we take a look at some job application tips for people who are NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

The number of NEET young people in the UK reached its peak in 2011 at nearly 1,250,000. This number fell to a record low of 644,000 in 2021 thanks to various government initiatives, training schemes, and a greater awareness of the issue. However, we’ve seen a rise in the number of people who are NEET again reaching 724,000 in the third quarter of 2022.

This issue doesn’t just affect the younger generation. There are many older workers who have been in the NEET category for a period of time. If you find yourself in this category, congratulations on taking positive steps towards finding employment by reading this guide. By following the advice on this page, you’ll greatly increase your chances of getting back to work.


Applying for a Job After an Extended Period of Unemployment

We’ve put together a list of some job application tips for people who are NEET to help set you up for success in your job search.

Go for Expanding Industries

From the get-go, if you’re unsure of which industry to enter or simply don’t mind, consider applying for jobs in expanding or fast-growing industries. That will give you scope to grow with the industry and, if you undertake any training, you’ll be set up for long-term stable employment.

Such industries include anything related to digital or emerging technologies. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in computing or IT. Many industries, such as financial services, healthcare, insurance, and telecommunications, use digital and emerging technologies like automation and AI.

This gives you a better idea of where you should focus any training efforts.

Open to Training

The rapid rise of skills gaps across the UK is a headache for companies, but a lifeline for those who have been out of work or education. If you are a potential candidate who’s willing to undertake further training, you could be their perfect solution to filling an emerging skills gap.

Keep an open mind if any job postings require induction training or ongoing training throughout the role. Those who are willing to put themselves out there and become lifelong learners are highly sought-after assets for employers.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

We can’t reiterate this enough. Preparation when applying for jobs comes in many forms, such as:

  • Researching the industry
  • Researching the company
  • Studying the job posting
  • Writing tailored CVs
  • Updating your LinkedIn profile
  • Cleaning up your social media
  • Prepare answers to interview questions

You can expect to be asked about your time out of work during the interview process. Therefore, have answers ready and concentrate on the technical and transferable skills you’ve gained during that period.

For a detailed guide, see our page dedicated to Applying for a job after a career break.

Transferable Skills

Due to the rapidly changing job market, the technical skills you possess from previous employment may not clearly translate to the jobs of today. That’s why it’s important to focus on your transferable skills. These are soft skills, such as communication, leadership, organisation, and dedication, that easily transfer to any job role.

These skills do not necessarily have to come from work experience. They can be life skills learnt through a whole range of situations including parenthood, caring for a loved one, or simply how you interact with others.

Interview Tips

As we mentioned before, prepare for an interview by doing your research. It’s not uncommon for hundreds of applicants to apply for a single role. So, do your best to stand out from the crowd by being punctual, dressing appropriately, and having a few well-researched questions to ask the interviewer on hand too.

In most cases, the employer doesn’t have much to go off in the interview. Therefore, seemingly minor details demonstrate your own attention to detail, time management, and motivation for success.

Try not to let your nerves get the better of you. Feeling nervous is completely normal; it shows that you care about the outcome of the interview. All you can do is be yourself, and the more relaxed you are about that, the more confident and competent you will come across. One tip is to prepare answers to the most commonly-asked interview questions. This will put you one step ahead of the interviewer and help settle any nerves on the day.


Key Takeaways

We hope these job application tips for people who are NEET have been helpful to you. As with many things in life, the hardest part is usually taking that first step. So, now that that’s out of the way, you might as well keep the ball rolling!

The next step is to start applying for jobs, keeping in mind all of the advice we’ve just shared with you. Check out the Refreshing a Career NEET jobs board for all the latest opportunities in your area.

If you need further help, head over to our dedicated NEET Support and Resources page.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter below for all the latest from Refreshing a Career.