Professional networking site for young people - like LinkedIn

2 AUG 2016 / BY LAINE MOGER, STUFF

Writing your first CV is a daunting task for young people; however, this could now be made easier with Youthhub - a youth-friendly equivalent to LinkedIn. The free networking website, which launched late July, is designed to track the users' successes, achievements and struggles on their pathway through education and towards employment. It is aimed at users from 12 to 24-years-old. They are responsible for updating CVs, testimonials, awards, work experiences and achievements on their profile page. Student Chris Balzat, 15, from Birkenhead College is one the first of 300 school students to sign up. Chris says it may take the pressure off applying for jobs in the future, considering all of his information will be readily available to businesses. "It's really cool. You can add in all of your stuff," he says. "You'd have to rewrite your CV for every job. This way we don't have to tailor it.“ Youthhub works as a triangle to connect young people, businesses and external navigators.

Navigators are youth professionals in communities that provide one-on-one assistance to users alongside Youthhub. Jobs4Youth project coordinator Sonia Nerheny is the navigator for the Kaipatiki community. "Because it is youth-owned, users must take the responsibility to connect with their local navigator," Nehrney says. "More navigators is the component we are looking for across the country.“ Youthhub director Senthil Perumal has spent five years developing Youthhub, working with experts like Nerheny to customise it to meet requirements. "I built the program for what Nerheny was doing," he says. "Our visions matched.“ Rotorua Youth Centre tried out for three months before it went live and manager Steve Holmes says it was successful. Photos from Instagram can also be shared on profiles, which can be a way to combine visual storytelling with traditional CV content. Guidance from navigators will help users to utilise their Instagram photos in a way that showcases skills identifiable to connected businesses. Nerheny says Youthhub is "more than just a CV, it's a character reference". The next step is approaching schools and career networks to get more communities connected to each other. Vist youthhub.co.nz to sign up.