New research from LifeSkills created by Barclays has revealed that young people in Britain are embarrassed by promoting their achievements professionally, despite being supposedly obsessed with ‘selfies’ and self promotion via social media.

Whilst young people post to social media on average more than eight times a day, mostly with pictures of holidays, nights out and hobbies, they were much less confident when it came to promoting themselves professionally.

Six in ten of 14-25 year olds surveyed said that they were intimidated by the prospect of writing a CV, with over half saying they feel so shy they avoid working on it altogether. Of course, there is no job more boring than writing a CV, with many finding trumpeting ones own achievements mortifying, so procrastination may also be an issue here.

The most common reasons young people feel intimidated by the thought of working on their CV include nearly half feeling self-conscious and embarrassed talking themselves up, over a third not knowing how to promote themselves without sounding boastful and more than three in ten worrying they would be exaggerating their abilities by using professional language.

In addition to feeling self-conscious, the findings reveal that this generation lacks confidence in promoting their skills set professionally. Nearly half admit that they don’t know how to translate their skills and achievements into appropriate language for employers and nearly two fifths believe they don’t have any that are relevant for their workplace.

Despite this, the top skills and experience that young people admit to possessing, but wouldn’t think are appropriate to include in a CV, are:

Computing skills (76 percent)

Problem solving abilities such as overcoming an obstacle/managing a crisis (48 percent)

Organisational skills such as planning/coordinating (42 percent)

Being familiar with multiple social-media platforms (38 percent)

Good telephone manner (31 percent)

Photo-editing skills (27 percent)

First aid skills (20 per cent)

Video-editing skills (17 per cent)

Creating and managing a YouTube channel (14 percent)

Writing a long term blog (13 percent)

Two fifths (39 per cent) of young people across the UK have never written a CV and over two fifths (42 per cent) said they have never been offered help writing or presenting one, despite nearly half (49 per cent) revealing that they would benefit from the guidance and support.





Robert joined the HRreview editorial team in October 2015. After graduating from the University of Salford in 2009 with a BA in Politics, Robert has spent several years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past he has been part of editorial teams at Flux Magazine, Mondo*Arc Magazine and The Marine Professional.