Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in edtech

Is the 'selfie' generation too shy to self-promote?

Barclays research shows six in 10 young people are intimidated by writing a CV

Posted by Stephanie Broad | November 27, 2015 | People, policy, politics

New research from career support tool LifeSkills, created by Barclays, has revealed that young people in Britain are embarrassed by promoting their achievements professionally, despite being known as ‘Generation Selfie’. 

Whilst young people post to social media on average more than eight times a day, they were much less confident when it came to promoting themselves professionally. Six in ten (60%) of the 14-25 year olds surveyed said that they were intimidated by the prospect of writing a CV, with over half (55%) saying they feel so shy they avoid working on it altogether. 

The most common reasons young people feel intimidated by the thought of working on their CV include nearly half (47%) feeling self-conscious and embarrassed talking themselves up, over a third (36%) not knowing how to promote themselves without sounding boastful and more than three in ten (31%) 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 (46 per cent) admitted that they don’t know how to translate their skills and achievements into appropriate language for employers and nearly two fifths (37 per cent) believe they don’t have any that are relevant for the workplace. 

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

Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills, said: “In a competitive job market, it’s important to present yourself in the best possible way, and your CV is normally the first encounter with a potential employer. Our research shows that there is a significant number of young people without a CV or who would like help formulating one.  That is why LifeSkills has created a smart CV Builder, to provide practical help to young people to present their best self and skills to employers so they can successfully transition into work”.    

Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in edtech

Related stories

Five trends for education in 2019

Information deficit on digital careers, reveals survey

Nesta egg to boost the development of key skills

Market place - view all


Zengenti builds the Contensis CMS – the powerhouse behind the websi...

Solardome Industries Limited

At Solardome Industries we are the UK's only manufacturer of glass and...

Action Storage

Action Storage was formed in April 1986 to supply new & used st...