Scouts and employability
How to tell others about the skills you’ve learned through Scouts, Explorers, and Network
Did anyone ever tell you that Scouts is all about skills for life? You’ve taken a deep breath and spoken up; thought on your feet and seen the big picture; ignored the butterflies, gone for it, and tried, tried again. You’ve got the skills. But how do you tell the employers (and admissions tutors) that you’ve got what they’re looking for?
1) Work out what skills you’ve developed
First things first, you need to work out exactly what you’ve done, how you explain it to someone outside Scouts, and how you can talk about the skills and personal qualities you’ve developed.
Finding it tricky to know where to start? We’ve put together some common Scouts experiences, given you an example of how you could explain it to someone outside the movement, and given you the employability buzzwords for the skills you’ve developed. You can thank us later.
Once you’ve figured out what you’ve got to shout about, make sure you pack your CVs and application forms full of your experiences and skills.
Try to keep it concise and cut the long descriptions: lots of people will be applying for the same job or course as you, so make your skills and experience stand out and shine. When it comes to an interview, you’ll have more time to go into detail about everything you’ve learned and achieved.
On forms and in interviews, the best answers have three parts. They:
- say what you’ve done
- explain (briefly) what it means
- and highlight the skills it demonstrates.
These three parts correspond to the way we laid out the experiences above: name the experience, explain it to someone outside of the movement, and tell them the skills you learned along the way.
2) Give it a go
We’ve shown you how to do it: now it’s over to you. We’ve put together a list of questions that are likely to come up on application forms and in interviews. Use your own Scout experiences (and what we’ve written above) to help you find answer each question. Remember, your answer should explain:
- what you’ve done
- what it means
- and the skills it demonstrates.
3) Put it all together in the application process
You probably know loads about writing CVs, filling in application forms, dealing with UCAS, and preparing for interviews. If you’re feeling unsure, schools and universities are great places to go for support.
There are a few different places you could mention Scouts on your CV – it depends on your structure. Being a Young Leader or adult volunteer could go under ‘positions of responsibility’ or ‘volunteering’. Being part of Scouts (and activities you’ve discovered through Scouts) could come under ‘interests’, while you could include badges and awards under ‘achievements’.
Wherever you showcase what you’ve done through Scouts, you should give the employer a brief explanation of what you mean.
When it comes to application forms, you’ll have to think on your feet. There’s no set place to include your Scouts experiences, but see if there’s a space for volunteer roles or other awards.
You’re well-practised at putting together answers that explain what you’ve done, what it means, and the skills it demonstrates, so keep an eye out for opportunities to use this formula to answer questions and show your skills and qualities.
Remember: keep it concise. You can give more information (and more examples) if you’re invited to interview. You may need to draft your response a few times to pick out the most impactful experiences.
After all that, you’ve made it to interview! Nice one. There’s no specific place to mention Scouts in an interview, as each one will be different. Practise using your Scouts experiences in interview answers, and remember to explain what you mean and what the experience involved in enough detail. Tell the interviewer about the important skills your Scouts experiences have given you: don’t leave it to them to make the connection.
- Don’t underestimate just how much you’ve learned from Scouts.
- Give examples: say what you’ve done, explain what it means, and highlight the skills it demonstrates.
- Make your CV concise so your skills stand out; save the details for your interview.
- Research the job (and the organisation) before your interview.
- Practise common interview questions so you’re prepared.