NOW WHAT? GRADUATES – HOW TO GET YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE ERA OF COVID-19
For most students, July marks the first month into the big bad world of first-job hunting!
But, with most businesses (including PR agencies) still going through difficult and worrying times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current lockdown, what’s the actual likelihood of getting a job?
Well, here at Brazen, like all PR agencies, we buttoned down the hatches and paused all recruitment when the pandemic hit, and we were forced to work from home and adapt to a ‘new normal’.
But now, as the world starts to slowly re-emerge (fingers crossed), and retailers and the hospitality industry plus destinations start to reopen slowly and cautiously, then we all hope the job market will start to pick up…..
So, if you’ve just graduated and you’re looking for your first full time job, how do you make yourself irresistible? Here are Brazen’s top tips and tricks to help you stand out to employers, plus guide you in the eventuality of a virtual interview…….
FIRST – WRITE A RED-HOT CV
This really goes without saying, but you’ll need your CV to be concise, informative and relevant to employers when applying for vacancies. Make sure you’ve covered all the essentials including personal information, a personal statement, work experience to date, education/ qualifications, any other achievements and of course, two references.
If you’re applying to work in a creative industry, like PR, think of how the delivery of your CV can make you stand out (without making an impromptu visit to the office, of course). Send with a short video message introducing yourself perhaps, or send it in a punchy email with an eye-catching subject? But thinking outside the box will almost always get you a thumbs up from an employer. At Brazen we’ve received CV’s on everything from cakes to balloons – the more daring and different the better!
CAN YOU UPSKILL?
This might sound counterintuitive if you’ve just graduated from university, but depending on what your degree’s in, you might want to gain skills in new areas to prove to your prospective employer that you’re passionate about their business.
Want to become a social media whizz? Check out courses on Facebook Blueprint where you can learn ‘The essential guide to Facebook Page posts’ or ‘How to advertise on Instagram’ all for FREE.
Google’s Digital Garage also offers a short course in the Fundamentals Digital Marketing, amongst others, which provides a solid overview of content marketing and social media for businesses. Adding something like this to your CV could give you the edge over other candidates, or simply show you how your current skill set is transferable to the industry.
Remember to keep an open mind when applying for roles – a job title can sometimes be deceptive so make sure you read the full description and research to company before ruling anything out.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
We’re working in a ‘new normal’ post lockdown, which means a lot of businesses, including Brazen, are still working from home. This means that most interviews will be done virtually over video call – including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Hangouts, Slack or good old Facetime and Whatsapp.
At Brazen, we recently had some personal impact training with top trainer, Chris Grimes, where he gave us a few pointers on how to make a good impression on camera. Here’s what they are, try them…..
Background – make sure you’re the main feature! Try and take video calls on plain backgrounds that don’t distract the eye. Better still – ‘stage’ your background so it’s attractive and/or says something about you Or, you can select a virtual background (although avoid looking like a hologram!)
Light – sit in a room that’s well-lit with natural light that’s in front of you (never behind else look like a suspect on a line-up). Plus, you can buy an LED light ring to put on top of your laptop for added glow (Insta ready anyone?)
Angle – make sure that the camera is pointing directly at your face and is at eye level. So put your laptop or phone on a pile of books if it’s too low. And look directly into the camera (not at yourself on the screen)
Distance – sit so that your shoulders and upper arms are in shot. Don’t lean in too close or sit too far away
Energy – keep your energy high at all times, be present be interested and, don’t forget….you’re on camera!
When you end your video call, simply close your laptop instead of fumbling for the “leave” or “end” button.
There’s a touch-up feature on Zoom to make yourself look even more camera-ready – try it!
And finally…..It’s definitely been a crazy, scary and strange few months, but as the UK gets back up and running, businesses will be on the lookout for fresh new talent, so keep the faith! Arm yourself with these skills when applying for jobs and you’ll definitely stand out from the crowd.
And remember. Always believe in yourself.
If you’re interested in work experience or getting your first job at the most creative PR agency in town, then give us a shout on email@example.com with a short CV and a note (and even better, a video message) about why you want to be Brazen.
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