More Is­raelis seek help to crack UK job mar­ket

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY BARRY TOBERMAN

IN­CREAS­ING NUM­BERS of Is­raelis are turn­ing to Jewish em­ploy­ment sup­port or­gan­i­sa­tion Re­source to help them into the job mar­ket.

Fifty-five Is­raelis are on the books of the Finch­ley-based char­ity, ac­count­ing for 22 per cent of its client base. Their av­er­age age is 39 and their pro­fes­sions in­clude fi­nance, law, IT, mar­ket­ing, teach­ing and events or­gan­is­ing.

Re­source chief ex­ec­u­tive Vic­to­ria Ster­man at­tributes the grow­ing de­mand partly to the char­ity’s height­ened so­cial me­dia pro­file. “A lot of them learn about us through Face­book.”

She finds the Is­raelis “very highly mo­ti­vated and qual­i­fied” but, in some cases, obliv­i­ous to cul­tural dif­fer­ences.

“They of­ten come to us with an Amer­i­can-style, one-page ‘re­sume’ which is not suit­able for the UK re­cruit­ment mar­ket. Typ­i­cally, we will help clients re­write their CV to make it at­trac­tive to Bri­tish re­cruiters.

“They also don’t have the con­cept of a for­mal in­ter­view. They go to an in­ter­view in jeans and are in­cred­i­bly ex­pres- sive. We lit­er­ally have to tell some of them to sit on their hands.”

There is also the is­sue of mil­i­tary ser­vice. Good skills are ac­quired which would bur­nish a CV. “But could the fact they have served in the IDF jeop­ar­dise their ap­pli­ca­tion to cer­tain em­ploy­ers? If the ex­pe­ri­ence is rel­e­vant, then we usu­ally rec­om­mend they in­clude it,” Ms Ster­man said. Over­all, Re­source reg­is­tered 400 clients in 2016, 70 per of whom found em­ploy­ment. The re­main­der have ben­e­fited from coach­ing and sup­port, such as ap­point­ments with an ad­viser, sem­i­nars, net­work­ing evenings and a mock in­ter­view. The char­ity es­ti­mates the free as­sis­tance to be worth around £2,200 per per­son, equiv­a­lent to £880,000 an­nu­ally. Around 200 va­can­cies were ad­ver­tised on its jobs board, which can be viewed by any­one on the Re­source web­site.

Re­cently ad­ver­tised jobs have been for a sur­veyor, so­lic­i­tor and restau­rant man­ager, as well as po­si­tions with the United Sy­n­a­gogue, Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Day and Jami.

Some of those who did not find work were “aim­ing too high or are very choosy”, Ms Ster­man said. Oth­ers had been pushed by fam­ily and were prob­a­bly not ready for the job mar­ket.

Where fi­nan­cial cir­cum­stances al­lowed, she rec­om­mended vol­un­teer­ing to those un­able to find paid work. “It can give them a foot in the door, some­thing to talk about in an in­ter­view and put on a CV.”

To in­crease its reach, the char­ity has set up the Re­source Com­mu­nity. The idea is for peo­ple it has helped to give back by alert­ing Re­source to va­can­cies in their com­pa­nies, or jobs they hear about within their com­mu­ni­ties.

They can also pass on in­for­ma­tion rel­e­vant to job-seek­ers. “For ex­am­ple, a client re­cently told us about a spe­cific jobs fair for Is­raelis.”

A fur­ther el­e­ment is im­proved net­work­ing through the con­tacts of those in em­ploy­ment. “The hid­den mar­ket is where the jobs are and net­work­ing is the only way to find out about them.”

They don’t have the con­cept of a for­mal in­ter­view’

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