Junior to Junior…
This time last year I was surrounded by boxes. I’d packed up what seemed like my entire life, and moved back home after three years of cheerleading, partying and studying (of course!). Having what I thought was a well-rounded time at university, a steady job throughout and achieving a 2:1 in English, I assumed opportunities would be available left, right and centre. Graduate lesson number one, never just assume anything! The market is tough for graduates and with those 2.3m* mortarboard throws, down came reality. So what is a grad to do?
‘Opportunity favours the bold… If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!’ – Richard Branson
Branson’s wise words should be every graduate’s mantra. I stepped into recruitment bright-eyed and bushy-tailed; I knew my skills lay in communication and that I was good with people, and so I looked for roles that played to my strengths. When the opportunity to work at VMA Group – helping others find roles – came up, I grabbed it with both hands and didn’t let go. Reflecting, one year on, the two key things I’ve learned from being fresh to the world of work and being a recruitment consultant are: confidence is crucial and you have to have a well formatted CV (PLEASE!). The market is forever changing, it’s getting more and more competitive and, for junior candidates, they really have to force their way in, showing real positivity and the determination to succeed.
Recruiting for entry to mid-level, internal communications roles and speaking daily with large numbers of comms professionals, there are clear benefits to hiring a junior candidate. From interns to assistants, generally, junior employees are ready and willing to learn, with the view to working their way up. Recently I’ve spoken to a lot of fresh grads – it’s that time of year – all of whom are genuinely excited about and then grateful for their first step onto the career ladder, and for access to new opportunities. And going in at this level provides a starting point for your career and a projection for your future.
Being part of the process to find someone their first, ideal role in communications is what makes recruitment so fulfilling for me.
Junior to junior, here’s my top three tips:
- Make a good first impression: confidence is key, it sounds cliché but it’s true. Practise your ‘power poses’, and if you don’t know what they are take a tip from social psychologist Amy Cuddy – http://blog.ted.com/10-examples-of-how-power-posing-can-work-to-boost-your-confidence/
- Ensure your CV is up to date and well formatted. Use headings, keep everything at one font/size and take all snazzy charts/graphs out. I know it may seem you need a QR scanning code to make your CV stand out but your experience, well-articulated, will be more effective (promise!)
* Headline statistics 2013/14. Total UK students in universities and higher education colleges 2,299,355 https://www.hesa.ac.uk/
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