Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | Why I love my job, is that I have the opportunity to work with so many diverse, and inspiring creatives. My job is all about advising, guiding and sign-posting students/graduates and to support them personalise their job searches, and that could involve helping them source work experience, internships to introduce them to the creative sector, or to help them find their first ‘grown-up’ entry level job or graduate scheme.
I am a great believer in when you commit to your job search to set staggered goals, and the reason for this is that when it comes to job searches, we tend to focus on the end result, getting a job offer, and that can be extremely overwhelming. Plus, experiencing the highs and lows is an important part of the job seekers journey. Get to know what you enjoy, what opportunities are available within the industry of your choice, identify the hidden jobs, that no one else has found. & here is the important bit, find out what your skill-set is. Know what career you want to pursue, but don’t yet have the skills/experience? Start getting ‘taster experiences’ on your CV. Think big, go exploring with your job search and the experiences you pursue.
Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | Although we can never fully know what types of questions will be asked at an interview, or the interview style format, it is true when people say you can be prepared for an interview, and also have an understanding of what to expect. The success to being prepared for an interview is all down to investing quality research time in to the recruitment and selection process.
My advice is to start your research as soon as you see an opportunity and commit to the application process, and don’t worry about having too much information. You will not be using it all at the online application/CV & covering letter stage, instead, you will be using your research at application, telephone interview, assessment centre, interview, and presentation stages. Applying for jobs can feel like a full-time investment, and for many pro-active job seekers, we do not have the luxury of that amount of time, due to working full-time/part-time, volunteering, study, family commitments and extra-curricular activities. So, the more research you do at the beginning, will pay-off long-term, especially if your telephone interview, assessment centre/interview date, only gives you 24 or 48 hours time to prepare.
Prospective employers love to see that you have taken the time to research them, and that your answers clearly reflect that. Plus, through your research, you get to find a connection with the employer, it could be a creative, ethical, business related connection that informs the employer that you are serious about working for them. These 8 tips will make starting your research, a simple process, and it will generate great results for you.
Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | What type of work culture/environment do you work in, and what is your preferred environment to produce the best results for you, your team, and your business? I am a visual person, colour, textiles and images are really important to me on a personal and work related level. For me, I like to see beauty and creativity on a daily basis, and finding inspiration in day-to-day objects as well as the flamboyant and fabulous.
For me personally, a lean work environment does not inspire me, although I totally understand, that we are all different, and many will say ‘lean’ gets results for their business. Personalising work spaces, showcasing artwork, inspiring employees with colour and personality, for me are not a work distraction, and I hope my work environment will always be able to support this need to be inspired and creative.
Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | I am someone who always loves to have a back up plan, and this advice is perfect for anyone who is currently working on a job search. Job searches require us to stay pro-active and motivated, which can sometimes be difficult when you have pressed send on multiple online applications and are waiting to hear back from employers, which can sometimes feel like forever. It is usually at this stage that we start questioning how successful our application is, has it been shortlisted or, on this occasion, is it an unsuccessful application?
This is the time when your job search needs a back up plan, and this article will help keep you positive, motivated and ready to tackle the next application, or prepare for an interview.
Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | Although we never know exactly what type of interview questions we will be asked at an interview, candidates can prepare for styles of interviews, competency interviews being the most popular, as they enable a hiring manager to get a clear understanding of experience and background based on the supporting evidence a candidate provides.
Therefore, candidates do not need to go into interviews blindly, by gaining an understanding of the range of questions that can fall under each competency, will help the candidate reflect on their academic. work and extra-curricular experiences. This exercise will help you identify the skills/behaviours that you used or developed through all of these experiences, & guess what? You will feel much more confident when you are at the interview, your answers will be thorough and detailed, making it a straight forward process for the hiring manager.
Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | Many job searches involve us researching companies online, and identifying if they currently have opportunities available. For SME’s this sometimes means that they highlight on their website that they are happy to receive speculative enquiries. Others may not advertise opportunities, but you love the idea of working for them, or want to learn more about their business. This is where the speculative covering letter is required, and for some job seekers, approaching employers directly to organise work experience, this approach can prove to be very successful. However, there is a big, but, as you do need to personalise your speculative cover letter, and this means having a good insight about the company, who they are, what they do. Who are there clients, are they award winning? You also need to introduce you, and that means explaining your professional background, your skillset, and what type of work you are keen to get experience in, and, what style of work ie. work shadowing, short-term work experience, an internship, a 12 month placement.
This article will help you build a speculative cover letter which will grab the employer’s attention.
Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | Job searches can be a very lonely and long process for many job seekers, and that is why I love my job so much, providing an ongoing service delivery, which supports students build personalised job searches, providing career/application/recruitment and selection mentoring, with an end goal of seeing students get job offers, and a job offer to a student could be there first ever volunteering role, a part-time job, summer internship, 12 month placement or a graduate scheme/graduate entry level role.
Being a part of a student’s job search journey, helps me support, mentor and experience the highs and lows of the journey. It also allows me see so many students grow in confidence, be more focussed on what their job search means to them, and a stronger understanding of what roles/professions/sectors they are interested in, and that they feel they are best suited to. Getting to this stage, takes practice, research, and self-reflection of achievements, and achievements are work, academic, and extra-curricular related. All of these experiences provide a factual story board, to help build supporting evidence related to experience and competency.
I am a great believer that we learn from every experience, and even if the application/interview outcome was not what we had hoped for, we can learn so much, and that is how our CVs, LinkedIn profiles, applications, assessment centres and interviews, become more genuine, polished, professional and specific to the employers needs.
Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | All of us at some stage have moments when we feel we have hit a barrier or ideas/problem solving/creativity is not forthcoming, when we are working on a work project. This can be when we are working independently or collaboratively. Sometimes all it takes is to remove ourselves from the problem/creative block and before we know it we are approaching the task in a different way, or by having a coversation with a colleague or fellow creative we have a light bulb moment. Sounds familiar? On a daily basis we run themed daily topics to support our art school and Humanities students and Tuesdays is all about #CreativeTuesdays this article is very appropriate to support #CreativeTuesdays and I hope it will inspire and get your creativity flowing.
Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | LinkedIn is a big part of my service delivery when it comes to supporting under-graduates and graduates, and a 1-2-1 appointment is now split 50/50 with traditional CV guidance and LinkedIn Profile advice. Approaching both can be a daunting process for students, as it is usually at around Year two of their studies that they have had to seriously look at their CV and personal brand, and start filling in all of the blanks.
This slide-share takes all of the fear out of making those tentative steps to building your profile, and be warned LinkedIn can be a very rewarding professional networking platform to use, so be warned you will get the LinkedIn bug and before you know it, you will be using it on a daily basis.
Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | For under-graduate and graduates, the annual recruitment cycle for placement schemes, summer internships and graduate schemes is starting to hot up. The autumn term is when most employers have gone live with promoting there upcoming schemes, which means application deadline dates are approaching. The recruitment and selection process for most students is taking them to unknown territory which will include online testing, telephone interviews, assessment centres, formal interviews and group interviews. For many students they will go through 4-5 selection stages before they receive a job offer (which can be quite a daunting process for a newbie applicant).
At this time of year, I start to get a lot of student requests for help with preparing for a telephone interview. Personally, I feel telephone interviews are a good practice run for the face-to-face interview, and can prove to a great way to get to know the employer and find out more about the role/company. Employers can get a lot out of a telephone interview, so research and preparation is key, and be prepared for some competency questions. The hardest part is not seeing your interviewer, which means that it is hard to gauge how your answer is being received. Body language cannot be assessed, so this means that your voice has to promote you in a positive way. I am always telling my students to smile throughout a telephone interview, which sounds strange, as the interviewer cannot see you, but it lifts the tone of your voice, which can be a very powerful thing.