Preeya’s story: Moving from volunteering to paid employment

Preeya, age 23 from West Yorkshire, was referred to the Making A Difference Programme by a National Careers Service advisor. She had experience volunteering at several different charity shops and felt that her volunteering had given her the skills and experience to apply these to a part time paid role.

Preeya joined Making A Difference seeking support with writing an effective CV and cover letter and support with application forms and interviews skills. Preeya met with Jolene, a Making A Difference Employment Coach. During her sessions with Jolene, Preeya had support with writing an effective CV which showcased her skills and experience fully. Jolene also gave advice on writing effective cover letters and how to tailor these letters to individual roles.

As part of her 1:1 sessions, Preeya and Jolene worked together to write strong applications for a variety of vacancies Preeya had sourced outside of her sessions. Jolene was able to tailor her support to suit Preeya’s specific areas for development, such as understanding exactly what application questions were asking. Completing applications with Jolene’s support helped to grow Preeya’s confidence in knowing how to sell her skills and experience effectively when she later completed applications independently. Jolene also helped Preeya to set up a LinkedIn account and share her CV within her profile.

When Preeya successfully secured an interview for a job, Jolene tailored their sessions to focus on interview preparation, including interview skills and practice questions. They discussed the STAR technique for answering interview questions and applied it to a range of practice questions. As Preeya was nervous about finding the location of the interview, Jolene was able to look at the directions with her and provide Preeya with a map and directions to use on the day.

During her final session with Jolene, Preeya was able to share the fantastic news that she had been offered the job she had interviewed for.

About the Making A Difference programme, Preeya said:

“When I joined the programme, I didn’t have the confidence in myself, I was very nervous and frustrated at the fact I wanted a job. My career coach Jolene helped me reach my potential and achieve my goal of finding a part time job this year.”

Her Employment Coach Jolene said:

“Preeya has been an extremely motivated participant which in turn has allowed our sessions to be very productive. Preeya was open to new ideas and made our sessions very easy and enjoyable.

I’m very happy that Preeya has managed to secure employment as this was her main goal when joining the Making A difference Programme so I’m very happy that I have been able to support her achieving this.”

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