Guest Blog – The Ultimate Guide to Landing a Job in PR

This guest blog comes from PR Fire a Press Release Distribution and Content Marketing Agency. Written by Director & Founder, Sam Allcock, he shares the knowledge he’s gained from 15 years in the industry. 

Are you thinking about getting a job in public relations?

Landing your first job can feel scary – especially if you’re doing a complete career change, or starting with no experience.

But it is possible; you can land a job in PR without tons of experience.

In fact, you’ve likely already got skills that can serve you in your first PR job. And, it’s easy to get some basic experience to prepare you for that first role.

In this guide, we’ll talk about:

Ready? Let’s get to it.

What is a job in public relations like?

Before we dive in, let’s start by taking a look at a day in the life of a PR professional.

It’s a PR person’s job to take care of a brand’s image. It’s their responsibility to get coverage in media such as newspapers or online publications, and think of new and exciting ideas to help them raise awareness for the brand.

(PR agencies are the same, except you might be doing that for a range of different businesses.)

Somebody working in PR typically works on jobs like:

  • Brainstorming new ideas
  • Creating surveys and collecting data
  • Writing press releases
  • Pitching those press releases to journalists (either by email or over the phone)
  • Forming ongoing relationships with journalists
  • Monitoring newspapers, social media, and print for media coverage
  • Finding unlinked brand mentions
  • Reporting on links and coverage (and delivering that to clients, if necessary)

The different types of PR jobs

Everybody on your PR team cobbles together to get those tasks done. But, the exact tasks each individual person does depends on their role.

Typically, there are four types of jobs when it comes to PR:

  1. PR Assistant: This is the entry-level job for someone just getting into the world of PR. They’ll be helping other executives on their team with smaller tasks—such as brainstorming new ideas, or pulling coverage.
  2. PR Junior Executive: A person at this level has a solid understanding of how PR works, but not much experience. Their tasks include finding brand mentions, and asking for those to be turned into links. They might also draft press releases for their PR Executive to review.
  3. PR Executive: At this stage, you’ll be able to do most of the PR tasks we talked about—such as writing press releases and forming relationships with journalists. You might also be involved with training your lower-level PR team.
  4. PR Manager or Director: This person is responsible for a brand’s entire PR strategy. It’s their job to approve campaigns, plan timelines, and report on success. They’re often the client-facing PR person if you’re working in an agency.

What skills do I need to get a job in PR?

There’s no doubt that working in PR means you’ll need to have a specific set of skills.

However, there is some good news: you probably already have those skills. You can pick them up through other non-PR-related jobs or side projects.

For example: an essential skill you’ll need for a successful PR career is communication. In your daily job, you’ll be talking on the phone with journalists, working with your team, and sometimes communicating with clients.

Poor communication can sabotage all of those tasks, and put your PR campaign on the back burner. Yet you might’ve already picked up and developed that skill from a previous job.

Somebody working in PR needs to be able to communicate not just face-to-face, but in written form, too.

You’ll be writing lots of content in your PR job, including emails, press releases, and coverage reports. Poor writing skills might mean you suffer with landing coverage, in the first place. After all, how can you land coverage for a press release that’s badly written?

The final important skill for a successful PR career is creativity. A huge part of your job is finding ways to secure coverage; you don’t always land that by taking the most obvious strategy.

For example: what happens when your great idea doesn’t perform as well as you’d expected? Or your press release gets overpowered by a breaking news story? Or your client pushes back on an idea you’re confident about?

Creativity will see you through all of those incidents.

Do PR qualifications matter?

Some universities offer degrees in public relations. They teach you the basics (like writing a press release and getting coverage), but also promise to dive deeper into psychology and brainstorm PR campaigns that are more likely to work, scientifically.

However, research shows that just 17% of PR practitioners have degrees in either PR or communications.

That’s because of the important skills we just talked about.

You can work on your writing, communication, and creativity skills with other jobs. They’re three versatile skills that you can develop from any job—hence why over half (57%) of people currently working in PR have degrees in a completely different subject.

The bottom line is that official PR qualifications don’t matter.

What’s more important is whether you’ve got the skills needed to be a successful PR executive—and the experience to back it up.

How to land your first PR job: 5 simple steps

Ready to get your first PR job?

Even if you’ve got no experience (and aren’t really sure where to start), here are five simple steps to help you land your first job in public relations.

1. Get some PR experience

Earlier, we mentioned that most PR professionals don’t actually have a qualification in public relations. So, how did they land their job?

The answer: through experience.

Experience is everything when it comes to PR. The people hiring for their PR team want to know that the person has some idea of what they’re doing—it’ll give them some confidence knowing they’re hiring someone with the basics.

But here’s where the good news really comes in: you can land your first PR job without any professional experience. You can take your experience into your own hands, and start to build your knowledge without an official PR job.

For example, you can:

  • Practice writing press releases and save them as samples to show the company you’re applying to work for (even if it’s for a fictional brand)
  • Play with popular PR tools and start learning how they work—especially those with a free or personal plan
  • Try getting press coverage for yourself using tactics like guest posting for sites like Huffington Post
  • Volunteer for charities or nonprofits and help them with their own PR
  • Read PR and marketing publications like PRWeek, Campaign Live, and PR Moment to see real-life examples, and stay updated with best practices

2. Start building relationships

Once you’ve got some PR experience, you should start to focus on building relationships.

This includes relationships with journalists—the people who’ll give your business coverage on their newspaper or website.

The easiest way to do this is to start following journalists on social media. Look at the publications you’d love to get coverage on (such as The Mirror or The Lad Bible), then search LinkedIn to find journalists who work there. Start engaging with their posts.

That way, you start to build recognition with them—which could help secure coverage when you start pitching press releases to them.

But you should also start to build relationships with other people, too.

The saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” really comes into full force when you’re working in public relations.

Why? Because you can get coverage (and help with PR ideas) from your network.

Let’s say you’re writing a press release for a client, for example. You can use your network to get quotes from other people—potentially boosting the chances of getting coverage because your content seems less biased.

(The same applies in reverse: you can contribute quotes to other people’s press releases and get coverage or links off the back of it.)

Strong relationships are the best-kept secret in PR. Remember that before you start applying for your first PR job; it’s a huge advantage to have a black book of contacts when trying to beat other people for the same job.

3. Browse PR job boards

You’ve got experience to back-up your skills. Next, you’ll need to search for a place to work (if you don’t already have one in mind, that is.)

You can find PR jobs by searching media job boards. Often run by the publications PR professionals read, it’s a great way to sift through job postings and see which companies are hiring.

Here are some popular PR job board options to help you get started:

Once you find one you like, shoot your CV and cover letter, making sure each plays to the skills and experience a hiring manager would want to see.

4. Research the company you’re applying to work for

Managed to land an interview for a PR job you recently applied for? Awesome!

Next, you’ll need to do some research on the company itself. This will help you during the interview process—and make sure you’re not caught off guard by any questions. (It’ll help you show off, too, because you’ll be able to talk about them.)

The simplest way to do this is by figuring out where they get coverage, and which type of content they use to do so.

Head over to Google and search their brand name in quotation marks.

Then, select the “News” tab. This shows all the pieces of coverage they’ve secured which contains their brand name:

Applying to work at a PR agency? You should also look at their clients, and scan the agency’s website for tips that might help you during the interview.

This includes answers to questions like:

  • What type of clients do they work with? (B2B, B2C, or a specific industry?)
  • Where do their clients usually get coverage?
  • Do they list their process on their website?
  • What results have they got for clients? How? (Check their case studies for this)

Knowing this before your interview means helps you prove you actually know what you’re talking about—even if you don’t have any PR experience.

Plus, you can prepare a list of questions to ask at the end of the job interview based on things you couldn’t find during your research.

5. Prepare for your PR job interview

Got an invite to interview? Great job—but you’re not finished yet.

You might have 8 other people interviewing for the same PR executive role. You’ll need to spend some time practising the common questions your interviewer might ask, including:

  1. Why do you want to work in PR? Show the interviewer that you’re able to communicate by giving them a handful of clear and concise reasons why you’d love to work in PR. These might be: you’re always reading newspapers and notice how bad coverage tends to be, or you’ve spent your childhood learning how to use social media, and now you want to apply that to a brand’s profile.
  2. How would you handle a social brand crisis? PR isn’t just about getting new coverage; you’ll also likely be handling brand crises when things go wrong. Think about how you’d handle this—you might get asked during the interview.
  3. What do you like about our business/PR agency? Prove you’ve done your research! Feedback to them about their process, coverage, or clients. For example: “I want to work for your PR agency because ABC is one of your clients, and your recent campaign got XYZ results on this publication—which I read every day.”
  4. Which PR tools do you know of? Again, your research sets you up for a perfect answer. You should’ve played around with certain PR tools (or at least have a vague idea of what they do) before your interview.
  5. What’s your favourite type of PR campaign? Spend some time learning about the different types of PR campaigns—such as news-related releases, content using original survey data, or newsjacking. Pick a favourite.

Use these tips to land your first PR job

As you can see, landing your first job in PR doesn’t have to be daunting.

You can pull skills from other areas, and create your own experience, to help you get your first professional role. Just make sure to rely on your connections, research the company you’re applying to work for, and prepare for your interview.

There’s no reason why you can’t land your dream public relations job.

Read the original article here 

Sam Allcock
Written by Sam Allcock
sam@prfire.com
Director & Founder of @prfire Press Release Distribution and Content Marketing Agency. As seen in @hubspot @marketingprofs @prweek and @smbizceo

Returning to Education

If your time spent in Covid-19 lockdown has been a time of reflection and left you thinking about a return to study our Graduate Advocate, Fiona Hough, a former mature student has some great advice…

Returning to Education

Thinking about returning to education as a mature learner can be a very scary prospect, with many prospective students put off. The ideas of organising student finance, not studying in an academic setting for a while and concern at “being the oldest” in class can be off putting for some. 

So why do it? 

Mature learners have several reasons for returning to education. These reasons can include wanting to change careers to something completely different (such as taking a postgraduate course in teaching, or taking an undergraduate course to become a social worker), wanting better prospects in a current career and a degree would therefore be beneficial, and sometimes, just wanting to learn a subject that’s always been of interest!

As well as those reasons for returning to do either an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, on average people with degrees earn more over their lifetimes than those without, so this is another benefit to returning to study. 

It’s not just study

University also offers societies to join and many will have a Mature Students society to join where you can meet and chat. But there’s so many more to join than just that one. From Harry Potter Societies and David Attenborough Appreciation societies to traditional style societies such as sports, debate and film to more intriguing ones such as the 30 Minute Society (where you are simply sent a post code and have 30 minutes to get there and the activity there is free). There are societies that cover almost every interest, and if there isn’t one for your interest you can always create it!

Money money money….

Finance is always a concern for students of all ages, but for mature students, it’s generally the biggest concern and a huge barrier to returning to education, so this blog will concentrate on this barrier. 

For first time undergraduates, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to pay tuition fees up front. The majority of first time undergraduates will be eligible for the Tuition Fee loan from the Government and you don’t start repaying the loan until you’re employed and earning over £26,575.

You may also be eligible for a Maintenance Loan which is based if your personal circumstances, and depending on those personal living circumstances, may reduce the need to work whilst studying. However for some people stopping working is either not possible or they don’t want to stop working whilst studying. 

If you fall into this category, there’s plenty of other options. If you’re already working, you can ask to reduce your hours and study part-time to fit around that, maintaining an income whilst studying. You can also look at jobs that fit around your course hours. Supermarkets and bars are great for looking at part time hours. Jobs on the university campus are really great for this. There will be a range of roles and hours on the university campus, from student ambassadors to library assistants to catering assistants to sports centre staff. There’s pretty much a part time job for everyone. The best part about working for the university you attend is the understanding when you have an assignment or dissertation to complete and the dreaded deadlines are creeping up. Being employed by the university itself generally gives more leeway if you need to reduce your hours to spend more time completing assignments. 

Other places to look for financial help….

As well as working and Student Finance England, there can be other places to look for financial help. The internet is great for searching for charities that offer assistance for students from all circumstances. Charities such as The Princes Trust also offer a list of resources to use to apply for assistance when studying in Higher Education. 

Last advice

My last advice is this, if you want to do it, go for it. Returning to education after a period of time away can be daunting and scary to start with, but once you’re at graduation holding your degree certificate, it’s all worth it!

Making the Most of the summer and Keeping busy

It’s not that time of year again

The academic year is normally a predictable cycle of, starting in October, Christmas, Easter, Summer, repeat until graduation. This time round its different. I choose the word different because of Covid-19 means that we have to behave differently: socially isolating wherever practical. Consequently, this will have largely changed all of our plans for at least the summer.

Difference and change by their nature do not mean stop, shut-down or impossible, they mean adaption, improvisation and proactivity.


Making it count

Consequently, this blog is all about getting around the challenges Covid-19 has put in front of us while still improving your career portfolio by sourcing experience opportunities that:

  1. Can enhance your career prospects
  2. Do something truly meaningful

Ways to keep busy

  • Learning and development

Research Project: data-inputting, transcribing documents, mapping, monitoring wildlife videos, for projects across a range of disciplines.

Future Learn offers free short online courses on a range of topics delivered by universities around the world.

InsideSherpa offer free programmes for students to participate in hypothetical job simulations, completing tasks and accessing learning resources. They have worked with a number of companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Citi, KPMG, Deloitte and Linklatters. When signing up to their programmes please be mindful of their Data Collection Statement.

Free courses with the Open University

  • Work experience

Covid Mutual Aid is helping to co-ordinate community help and support activities.

Do-It.org provides a wide range of volunteering opportunities and provides a search engine to help find activities based on your career passions and helping interests.

Other virtual work experience providers

Accenture                        Baker McKenzie                 Citi                                    ClickDo

Deloitte                           EY                                           JP Morgan                       KPMG

Latham& Watkins          Pinsent Masons                  White & Case

  • Jobs

See Job Searching 101 blog post


Tips and updates

Prospects 7 ways to improve your graduate employment in lockdown

  1. Pick up a hobby
  2. Take an online short course
  3. Start reading
  4. Improve your online presence
  5. Sign-up as a volunteer
  6. Learn a language
  7. Craft a perfect CV

Next Step Support is a career resource dedicated to helping students and graduates from university careers services and graduate recruiters.

The New World Order: jobs for a post-pandemic future

GOV.UK: working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)


We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing careers@hope.ac.uk as well as My Careers Centre.


 

NQT Support During COVID-19

If you’re graduating from a QTS course or PGCE this year there’s still plenty of support from teaching agencies for your NQT year.

Remember, the Careers team are still here for students and graduates so if you feel unsure about your career, you can always get in touch with us for a chat. Email careers@hope.ac.uk and we’ll be able to help.


Agencies

CER

With offices across England and Wales, and teams specialising in permanent recruitment and long term and emergency supply cover, CER is the go-to education recruitment company.

From early years to further education, SEN to leaders in education, our experienced teams specialise in making sure every school, academy, college, nursery or free school has the temporary and permanent staff it needs to give their students the education they deserve.

Current roles with CER


Edustaff

EduStaff is a specialist education recruitment consultancy providing only long-term and permanent teaching roles in primary, secondary and SEN schools in the UK. We believe in the importance of long-term relationships and stability, which is why we do not work with daily supply.

We deliver the right candidate to the right school, every time.

View their flyer here

Current roles with Edustaff


Hays 

Hays Education has a team of 200 specialist consultants, in 32 offices, working with over 4,000 schools, colleges and nurseries across the UK; filling over 8,000 temporary and permanent, education and teaching jobs.

We work exclusively with over 1,000 schools and colleges giving you access to the latest supply teaching jobs, long term or permanent teaching jobs.

Current roles with Hays


Milk Education

Milk Education is a specialist education recruitment agency providing quality supply talent to nurseries & schools across Merseyside, Midlands and Greater Manchester.

Whether you are looking for a new teaching role, a new support position or want access to the right teaching personnel for your school, our specialist consultants will work with you to partner and deliver supply solutions that match.

Current roles with Milk


NQT Collaborative

We know from experience that your NQT year is a pivotal point in your career. We are here to ensure that your first permanent teaching position is the right one for you.

Our extensive pre-screening process will ensure that we only speak to you about positions that fall within the requirements that you initially specify.

View their message to Hope NQTs here

Available NQT roles with NQT Collaborative

Events/Training


Randstad

Success depends on the people around you. We believe in the power of people: our goal is to help unlock a world of exciting career opportunities for our candidates whilst ensuring our clients have top class support at all times.

At Randstad, we have been helping teachers and support staff just like you find temporary and permanent jobs in education for more than 20 years.

Current roles with Randstad


School Improvement Liverpool

We have an established reputation as one of the leading service providers in the North West. Our consultancy, training and professional development allows schools and settings to be the best they can be.

Developed in collaboration with Liverpool schools, we work with educational professionals at all stages of their career to find rewarding jobs across the phases in Liverpool and across Merseyside.

View their flyer here

Current roles with SIL

Events/Training


Supply Well 

SupplyWell is changing the way schools recruit teachers and keep all of their staff #TeachingHappy. We believe that ALL teachers should be treated and paid fairly, with access to perks and benefits they don’t usually get.

We want teachers to love teaching…all the time! At SupplyWell we work with our partner schools to ensure that wellbeing is central to both your and the schools success.

Read about #TeachersMatter – improving wellbeing for teachers

Blog – All About Teaching Written By Teachers


Vision for Education

We recruit and supply teachers and other support staff for primary, secondary and SEND schools and other learning institutions. Our branches are located all across the country. We are always looking to recruit experienced and newly qualified teachers, teaching assistants (TAs), higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs), cover supervisors and other school support staff for day-to-day supply, short and long-term placements and permanent jobs.

Our consultants are knowledgeable about the current educational climate and the challenges that teachers and support staff face. We develop close relationships with teachers and schools to understand their needs.

View their flyer here 

Current roles with Vision

Events/Training

How I got my job at Liverpool’s Growth Platform

About me:
My name is Jacob Sanderson, I completed a Business Management degree at Hope University between the period of 2016-2019. I am local to the Childwall area and stayed at home during my time at Hope. I completed my degree with a grade of a 2:1 and I am hoping to go back to complete a master’s at Hope in the future.

Who do I work for and what is my job role?

Growth PlatformI work for the organization Growth Platform; we are a non-profit organization with the aim to support people and businesses in the Liverpool City Region. Growth Platform has been established by the Liverpool City Region’s Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership to simplify and strengthen the City Region’s business investment and growth landscape, making it easier for business to invest, grow and generate more and better jobs for our residents.

I work within the business growth team in as a Business Growth Executive, which is a graduate role. The purpose of my role is to support my team members with day to day work and projects which gives me a wide wealth of experience in different sectors. Regarding personal job tasks, I currently gather business intelligence from each Liverpool City Region borough on a weekly basis about issues that are affecting businesses (most recently leaving the EU and COVID-19). The intelligence I gather is constructed into a report that is sent into government. I am also currently working on a project surrounding Inclusive growth and Good/Ethical Business within the region.

The Journey to my Job Read More

How to make the perfect skills-based CV

During this blog we will discuss travel, philosophy, cooking, mirrors and back again! All of which will be about how to make the perfect CV…trust me.


Picture1


For those of you who see a contrast between the title and quote above, firstly let me explain…some time ago a close friend of mine talked me out of an impulsive, expensive decision of a pretentious art trip to Paris to stay at home in Derby – believe me, even if you haven’t been there (Derby), there really is no contest! My friend recited the quote above, my initial response to her wasn’t repeatable for this blog but for one reason or another I decided not to go.

Some time later, I reflected back on the quote, which felt such a kop-out at the time, and realised its not about Paris or dreary Derby its about what’s inside me that matters. If I constantly search for external experiences to be perfect without addressing why I need them I will always fail.” Paris was never about enhancing my experience; it was about  me avoiding exploring myself first.

…if you’re still reading, what the hell does this have to do with CV writing? Actually a lot!

Answers are closer to home than you think!

The students we meet in search of the perfect CV template or worse still, have someone else write it for them miss the point…how can I best match myself to the opportunity. Only by drawing the best skills, knowledge and experience from yourself and being agile enough to adapt for each role will you succeed.

My point is this, external help is useful for inspiration and guidance but always in conjunction with the picture inside about how you will approach this.

Authenticity beats template!


What are your Skills, Knowledge and Experiences (SKE)?

Draft a list of these, perhaps five or six for each S.K.E. Try to include job/course-specific SKE and transferable (relevant to any occupation) SKE too. Include where you’ve acquired these and what they are?

it’s difficult isn’t it? Don’t let this put you off though because any new thinking feels uncomfortable first time round and this is the return home and find it stuff!


Be seen in the best light: skills-based CV

Specific beats generic!

Now, once you feel more informed of your SKE try comparing this to the type of opportunities you are interested in. What do you think are the three core requirements of the opportunity (or job functions)?

It’s like looking in the mirror

Can you find any strong connections between your SKE list and the core requirements? If the answer is yes then that means you are a suitable candidate to apply for the position. If the answer is no then perhaps it means going back to the drawing board and applying for an alternative and/or acquiring the required SKE for the job.


Back to the CV: convincing the reader is like baking a cake!

Now we have what I would call a CV-database what ingredients are required to make the perfect skills-based CV?

Picture1

The proportions you use with your ingredients and how you present them in terms of the medium and appearance is entirely up to you and the type of impact that you want to make.

Enjoy your own CV journey!


We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing careers@hope.ac.uk as well as My Careers Centre.


 

Job-Searching 101

Under the current cloud of Covid-19, sourcing and securing employment is a whole new challenge, both in terms of available jobs and the recruitment process per se. The purpose of today’s blog is:

  • to help enhance your approach during the outbreak.
  • prepare you for accessing the labour market for the future…it might not seem like it right now but better times do lay ahead!

I will broadly outline the different types of job-search sources, searching technique and some practical tips on planning…I expect it will be of no surprise to you that our focus will be on online sources.


Treat it like an assessment!


I hear transferable skills thrown around by academics, students and employers without any grounding on a daily basis. However, I do see strong similarities between the skills you use for assessed work at university and in securing employment.

  • The techniques you use to find books, journals and other literature require the same skills as knowing where to access information about employment opportunities.
  • Structuring an argument is synonymous with convincing a recruiter you are the best match for a position.
  • Lastly, a CV, application and interview will be scored using the same techniques as your lecturers use when grading your work.

What job(s) are you looking for?


This is a pivotal question and in the long run will be most effective. Having a specified range of jobs saves time in terms of knowing where to look, what to use and in some cases you can recycle elements of previous research and applications.

The purpose of work is also important. Are you looking for part-time, full-time, casual or temporary? Is it a short-term job while you study, a stepping stone role or a longer-term ‘career job’?


Use more than Indeed!


Searching online

Every job-search engine has its usages, so does Indeed. However, Indeed isn’t a one-stop shop (I’m not convinced that there is one) and shouldn’t be used as one. Below is a list of search-engines alongside how I recommend you use them.

1 General (Sweep) search-engines

 

Find a job (GOV.UK)    Picture1

Monster

Indeed

CV Library

Reed

Total Jobs

2 Graduate search-engines

My Careers Centre                                                           Prospects

Picture1

Target Jobs                                                                        Milkround

All About Careers                                                            Rate My Placement

Glassdoor                                                                          The Guardian

LinkedIn                                                                           Gradjobs.co.uk

3 Bespoke searches

Prospects: job profiles

At the bottom of each job profile you will find direct links to specialist recruitment sites and organisations. This is ideal for somebody with one profession in mind.

Picture1

Company websites

If you are aware of the type of profession you would like to work in and know some of the leading organisations that recruit them, then this could also be an effective tactic.


Don’t be put off if the job has a slightly different name


Job vacancies can vary in title name and level so don’t limit yourself before you’ve even started. Be creative with your word-searches and keep an open-mind to entry-level and junior roles too – in the long-run this could be the quickest way to your primary goal and further progression.

Picture1


The Hidden Job Market


Alternatives to search engines

The hidden job market describes recruitment that is typically not advertised and doesn’t usually follow the formal process of cv, application form and interview. Although there isn’t a fixed figure, at least 50% of all appointments to jobs are made this way. That can include:

Internal appointments                                                Friends and acquaintances

Head-hunted                                                                 Promotions

Experience workers                                                    Recruiters

Although I would certainly advocate for search-engines as your primary approach hidden jobs tell us that there are other techniques to consider such as:

Informal conversations and networking                 Incite days

Volunteering and shadowing                                     Training opportunities

Internships and placements                                       Recruiters

Internal jobs


Golden rule: have a clear aim and a plan of action


1. Be clear about the types of jobs that you are looking for. Use the most effective search platform or method for that.

2. Have a list of all possible differences in the job title name to avoid missing out.

3. Keep a job diary – this will come in handy when employers get back in touch with you regarding interviews. This is also a helpful way to determine how suitable you are for a type of job and if you are getting the most out of your CV and application form technique.

4. Maintain a consistent approach to your job search. For example, Monday could be your designated job-search day, Tuesday, networking and experience and the remainder of the week applying for jobs.

5. Make sure that you are suitable for the job you intend to apply for – check the person-specification for this.

6. Save all job descriptions, person specifications and application forms you’ve applied for, for the purpose of interview planning.


We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing careers@hope.ac.uk as well as My Careers Centre.


 

A student’s guide to networking

This week’s theme from Careers Steps to Success is all about student professional networking and has extracts taken from MilkRound by Matthew Galvin.

In today’s interconnected society, the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” has never been more true. While you are studying at university, you will be surrounded by people with similar interests. It’s important to take advantage of this opportunity to build relationships, which can be a great asset in your job hunt after you graduate.

Why?

Did you know that only around 40% of jobs are advertised? Promoting job vacancies is expensive and time consuming for businesses, resulting in many positions being promoted from within the organisation, or by employing people who have approached them directly.

Furthermore, networking isn’t just a great way to discover career opportunities, it is also a great way to learn about a particular career or industry. Acquiring this insider information will be invaluable in your job hunt, and you will be surprised how willing people are to share their experiences.

Where to start

First, get in contact with your existing network. Establishing who you know within your own network will help you understand what experience and knowledge is available to you in your own environment. Old friends, distant relatives and friends of your parents are a great way to begin to discover potential opportunities and resources. You don’t have to ask them about open positions at their company, simply talking to them about their experiences and listening to their advice will help point you in the right direction. They may even give you access to their contacts.

Where to look

Most universities will hold industry networking events or careers fairs. Use these opportunities to talk to students and recruiters about their company and ask about potential opportunities. If you have the time, take advantage of internships that are exclusive to students, where you can build relationships with students, mentors and employers, while improving your work experience. Additionally, joining student run organisations will also be a great opportunity to build your network with other students. Remember to get to know your lecturers too!

The importance of research

If you are attending a networking event, have a clear idea of who you want to talk to, why you are interested in the organisation, and why you are approaching them. Performing preliminary research on LinkedIn or Twitter will help you gain a better idea of this, and you can prepare some good questions to ask, such as their company application process or competencies you need to demonstrate. This will make you a more confident speaker, and give you further insight into their careers.

Tips on networking

Networking is all about communication, so when networking, it’s important to prepare what you want to say. Having a personal pitch that can be delivered quickly, and to the point, who you are, what you do, and what you want. Although networking may come more natural to you if you are an extrovert, if you are not, do not fear. Have a friend with you while you network to help keep the conversation running. At the start of a conversation, try and orientate the subject around a common interest, giving you confidence to ask questions. Don’t worry if it feels unnatural at first, just remember to listen carefully, be confident in your abilities, and to smile.

Social networking

Additionally, join business networking sites such as LinkedIn. These platforms are becoming an essential source of hiring, and are a crucial asset to networking. Start building a strong LinkedIn profile while you’re at university by adding your peers and lecturers as connections, and ensure that your profile is kept up to date and accurate. Use this opportunity to reflect on your image and online reputation, and tidy up any social media profiles that could be seen as “unprofessional”.

Use LinkedIn in to follow up people you meet, keep up to date with who you know, and track who you want to know. It can also be used to join industry groups, and keep updated on industry relevant information, to help in your networking.

Top tips

  • Try and leave a lasting impression
  • Consider creating business cards with all your contact information
  • Follow up people of interest
  • Don’t stop building your network

Finally, be friendly, be switched on, and don’t be afraid to join in.

Good luck!

Guest blog: What to Do Next – Careers Advice for New Graduates

Do What You Love text

After several years of hard work, you should now be armed with new skills, experiences and a drive to make your first steps into the working world as a graduate.

Transitioning from student to a graduate worker is by no means an easy process, but that’s OK. If you’re wondering what to do next, you’re not alone! While some people have their whole futures mapped out, others can come out of University feeling lost and overwhelmed.

Even if you don’t feel totally unprepared, we’ve put together a list of some quick tips on what to do next as a graduate.

Get writing those cover letters and CVs

Writing the perfect CV is a difficult skill to master, so much so that some Universities include it as part of the syllabus. As with all skills, it’s important you practice it often.

Your CV may even need to differ slightly, depending on the type of job you’re applying for. You may want to have a couple of CVs in your portfolio geared toward different industries – for example, one tailored to retail and another tailored to office work.

Remember, no CV should be sent off without a good covering letter. When it comes to writing cover letters, make sure these are tailored to the requirements of each job you apply for. While it can be a time consuming process, it’s very important that recruiters know you’re talking directly to them, and that this isn’t just a generic application.

These are the documents that tell prospective employers why you could be a good fit for the job. So tell them who you really are, rather than trying to second guess what they want to see!

Once you’ve perfected these, it’s definitely worth uploading them to job sites as a lot of recruiters will start their search there when looking for potential candidates.

Get on LinkedIn

If you’re not already on LinkedIn, it’s a great place to network with people and find opportunities. You can show off your knowledge and professionalism, and also interact with others. It’s also a great source for job adverts so it’s useful to keep on top of it.

Make sure you fill in your profile completely with all your qualifications and experience, even if it’s just volunteer work for now.

Clean up your social media

If you have social media, make sure that any potential recruiter who finds it won’t be horrified by what they see. Yes, it’s definitely impressive that you put away that many shots on a pub crawl, but prospective employers are likely to be worried about their clients seeing this side of you online.

It’s a good idea to lock up Facebook and Instagram like a fortress, and clean up where you can. If you want an idea of what recruiters can see, simply Google your name and see what comes up.

Find an internship

Internships are fairly common, and a useful way to get a foot in the door. While the ideal scenario is that you find a paid one, many businesses will expect you to work for free.

If you can avoid it, great, but if you’re really struggling, it might be worth accepting an unpaid internship and counting your losses. Just make sure you’re getting a lot of value out of it and learning as much as you can. Hopefully, if you impress, you’ll see a full-time job at the end of it.

Article by – The Accountancy Partnership