Do young people really want to work?

27 October 2014

Do young people really want to work?

Do young people really want to work?

The press is littered with statistics documenting how many young people are currently unemployed. If you think that around 50% of 18-25 year olds have a degree, this should be of great concern to the nation. Too much money is being invested in our greatest asset for them to just sit at home playing on their Xbox or, my personal guilty pleasure, watching Homes under the Hammer. Currently Merlin Events are recruiting for an Event Manager; this is a junior role for which we have requested the applicant holds an Events Management degree and about a year’s worth of events experience.  I wanted to share with you some of the schoolboy errors that we found in the applications we received.


Our application process consists of an application form and CV. We then cross reference the ideal candidates with their LinkedIn account. Not having a LinkedIn account already marks the applicant down!


Here are my top eight errors!

No previous jobs on application

Having no previous jobs entered into the appropriate section of the applications form.

Mismatching education requirements

Possessing an A level qualification in Performing Arts and no degree when we clearly requested a degree in Event Management. Mr G from Summer Heights High springs to mind, a classic Australian mockumentary. One to watch if you have not seen it.

Not ensuring there are relocation schemes when applying abroad

Currently living in the USA, does not possess a work visa but did state that they could attend an assessment day in London for four hours the following week.

Having no experience

Having no events experience whatsoever.

Apply for roles relevant to your experience 

A director of their own company applying for what we clearly specified was a junior role

Ensure that your CV timeline is accurate!

Having three full time jobs on one CV that they were apparently working concurrently… no wonder there are no roles for the rest of the graduates!

Enough said

An unspent criminal conviction…at least they were honest!

Mysterious gaps

A gap of seven years on the application as well as various discrepancies with LinkedIn and the application form…at least get your past straight in your head!


We advertised the role on People Bank, my LinkedIn account which has approximately 7000 Event professionals, internally to Merlin Employees which reaches up to 22,000 people and on the Unique Venues of London website job section. We received just 38 applications which means that either the hundreds of event students who left university last year all have roles they love or that they simply do not want to work for one of the world’s top leisure companies. Any graduates able to answer this conundrum? We’d appreciate knowing.Next time a recent graduate states that there are no jobs, the foreigners are stealing them all or they cannot get any experience, take a look at their CV, recent applications and check and see if they are actually looking for jobs on a daily basis.


We have asked approximately 12 for our assessment day. From past experience I know that a few will arrive late and a couple will not turn up. Even if you do not think the job is right, what a great experience it is to attend an assessment day in central London for a global company? Even some of the individuals we have invited to the assessment day had applications with comical elements; however, I do not think it is appropriate to discuss these. I wish all the applicants luck as in past experience, these junior roles lead to more senior roles within Merlin Entertainments. See Samantha Burton’s story.


Read our blog on how to recruit the best people for roles here

Written by Michael Aldridge – Head of Events at Merlin Events