Guest blog written by David Cole, CEO of Pen Heaven
When it comes to applying for roles after you graduate it goes without saying that you want to stand out from the crowd. With figures last year at around 39 applicants per graduate job it can feel like it is harder than ever to find that perfect role. However this doesn’t mean that you have to work harder and apply for hundreds of jobs, it is really just a case of working smarter.
Broaden your horizons
Consider working for companies or brands that you may not have thought about in the past. If you wanted to work for a shoe retailer for example you don’t only have the option of the huge brands like Nike or Adidas, there is a wealth of smaller, independent retailers where you would be able to gain invaluable experience. I’m not saying don’t aim high, I’m simply saying consider all of the possibilities. The same goes for if you are aiming for a specific role. Say you want to work in PR, you don’t just have to apply for PR agencies, there are also in-house roles, digital agencies, events and marketing agencies etc. Be sure you’re not limiting yourself.
Know the business inside and out
When we ask you what you know about the business don’t just tell us the obvious, we know what we do. Take a look at our blog and our social media and really get a feel for the company. Understand what the company’s ethics and values are and then tell us why they’re important to you as well. Most importantly know how the company differs to their competitors and who their customers are.
Be ahead of the game
We are always looking for people that come in with lots of energy and enthusiasm and as an online company we’d expect you to be very competent online. If you have an interest in social media show us how you’ve used in the past, did you improve your own following or create a social media campaign at University – if so, show us. Don’t be afraid to share with us what you think the future possibilities are for online and us as a business. Don’t forget that employers now will look at your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter so make these an advert for yourself. Showcase your personality and your talents.
I think that you have to demonstrate your passion and you have to demonstrate that not only can you find problems, that you can solve them too. It is very easy to come in and say things that you don’t like but you’ve got to offer a solution and show us what you can do and why we need you.
Go over and above
This is where the working smarter part really comes in. If you go over and above the requirements your interviewer will remember you. Make sure it is still relevant to the role but don’t be afraid to show off. We’ve had people who have done a SWOT analysis and people who have brought in examples of our copy and how they would improve it. They really went the extra mile as they weren’t asked to do this so those are the ones that really stick in my mind long after the interview process is over.