A new scheme is helping younger inexperienced Hongkongers make their CVs shine
The traditional CV provides potential employers with a summary of job applicants’ academic achievements and work experience, but this presents a problem for many young Hong Kong people who lack some of those qualifications.
But things could change with the help of a recently launched pilot scheme aimed at assisting young people aged 15 to 21 to gain a toehold in the local job market. Rather than putting emphasis on work experience and academic qualifications, the new type of CV – known as CV360 – highlights the values, attitude, skills and knowledge young people build up through unpaid activities, such as extracurricular work and volunteering.
The CV360 pilot scheme is part of the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) Clap for Youth @ JC career and life planning programme, created and funded by the club with support from strategic business and non-government partners. Winnie Ying, HKJC executive manager, charities (grant making – youth, education and training, poverty) says a prime objective of the scheme is to widen the definition of work experience in the minds of employers. “The goal is to encourage Hong Kong employers to hire young people based on their potential and character strengths instead of evaluating them on academic qualifications and work experience,” Ying says. Currently, employers across different industry sectors are being encouraged to participate in the scheme.
To help young people develop their CV360 profile and broaden their career horizons, school support networks and five district service teams have been established on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon and the New Territories. Trained professionals from strategic partner organisations including the Hong Kong Christian Service and the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong help to complete evaluations and assessments to build up profiles.
Clap for Youth, which includes the pilot scheme, is Hong Kong’s first comprehensive youth programme designed to benefit not only school students but also non-Chinese young people and out-of-school youth, including those who have left the education system early and those who have become disengaged from society.
As one of the first corporate partners to utilise CV360, Ian Choy, McDonald’s Hong Kong senior director, says the emphasis on values, attitude, skills and knowledge provides opportunities to align a job applicant’s interests with the vision of the company. Home furnishing firm, Pricerite is another corporate partner.
Professor Victor Wong, Clap for Youth @ JC principal investigator (Community) believes the initiative is a useful tool for highlighting abilities and passions normally absent on a traditional CV, such as online research. “Spending time online researching a hobby and communicating with like-minded people indicates dedication and an ability and passion to learn,” Wong says.
Welcoming the launch of the pilot scheme, David Li, president of the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resources Management says the framework could form the basis for constructive interviews. “The things often missing from a traditional CV are what drive candidates’ character and personality.”
Sixteen-year-old Hanson Jin says being introduced to the programme has boosted his confidence and ambitions. As a trainee barista with McCafe, a job he secured through CV360, Yin says the praise he has received for his coffee-making skills motivates him to learn more. “I want to learn as much as I can about coffee and the industry,” he says. He now has an ambition to one day run his own coffee shop.
Meanwhile, budding actor Grewal Tasminpreet Singh says the Clap and CV360 programme recognise that a growing number of Hong Kong’s young people want to try different things before they settle on a career choice. “The Clap programme helps you to discover and feel comfortable with the strengths you have to push yourself to try new things,” says Singh, who has appeared in several Hong Kong films.
Aspiring filmmaker Mohamed Rizwan echoes that sentiment. “I was told about the CLAP programme by a friend and as a result I found the confidence to start my own film and production company.”
At the CV360 launch event held last Monday, attendees were given an opportunity to try different assessment techniques designed to measure values, attitude, skills and knowledge. Participants were also able to experience mock interviews where the focus was on values and attitude.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Best foot forward.