From #topperformer

How to Ask for an Informational Interview (and Get a “Yes”)

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | I am a HUGE LinkedIn fan, and it is a social media platform that is always in the background of my work. I use it to showcase my personal brand, to network, to source opportunities, to keep up to date on sector specific/company news, and to give something back to my network community in the forms of endorsements and recommendations. Basically, I could go on, and on, as to why I find LinkedIn such a fantastic networking/business development resource.

LinkedIn is now becoming a large part of my service delivery to under-graduates and graduates as well. This term I have been delivering LinkedIn Master Class sessions, and through my 1-2-1s, I now review include LinkedIn profile reviews/advice along with traditional CV, cover letter and application advice.

Informational interviews, was a brand new term to me before reading this article, but I have been sold straight away, and I can see such a great connection to LinkedIn, as by building your LinkedIn network, organising informational interviews should be a successful process. Give it a go, and see if it produces successful results to your job search.

What You Should Be Doing for Your Personal Brand Every Day, Week, and Month

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | As professionals, no matter what stage we are at in our careers, our personal brands are so important, and just like our CV needs regular upkeep. When it comes to career development, networking and applying for jobs, our online personal brands can be very powerful tools to help showcase our professional backgrounds, expertise, achievements and professional networks. They can be promoting us 24/7 whilst we concentrate on the application writing, interview and assessment centres.

As you can see I am a bit of a fan of personal branding, & it has proven to be my most popular lecture talk with students, which has led to LinkedIn Master Classes that I now deliver to our Manchester School of Art and Humanities students. What I love about delivering these masterclasses, is the change in students’ confidence once they start to reflect on who they are, and what they have achieved to date as young professionals/creatives. Just by reflecting on their studies, part-time jobs, volunteering, extra-curricular activities, and collaborative projects they are involved in, they start realising that the CV/LinkedIn Profile that they initially thought had nothing to showcase about them, is now full of experience, achievements, and a portfolio of work. Now that is a result, that makes me very happy.

Recent graduate, Jenna, shares her volunteer experience with charity “IntoUniversity”.

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | This article provides some great volunteering advice, and this opportunity in particular, is ideal for recent graduates who are considering volunteering this year. Most employers are keen to see volunteering on an under-grad/graduates CV /LinkedIn Profile, so if you have not yet got involved in volunteering, now is the perfect time to consider it.

PS. Chrome is the best web browser to use to access web link.

12 Ways Successful People Stand Out From the Pack on a Regular Basis

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | I believe that we are all capable of being successful in our careers, and personal life. Now I know that is a huge statement, but with a little bit of self reflection on what you have achieved to date, and what I personally feel helps, is building a strong networking team/mentors that will help you identify your successes, and also help you see all of your experiences from a different perspective.

Attitude has a big part to play when it comes to success, and being driven does not mean that you will be successful. Success requires us to go on a rollercoaster of a journey, we have good days, bad days, we have light bulb moments, and we hit brick walls. By finding positive ways to approach our work, how we work with others, and how we plan will enable us all to consistently be successful.

So go on, feed that inner superstar, and try these 12 top tips to being successful.

From ‘No Idea’ To ‘Ideal Career’: 3 Unexpected Lessons From Creatives On How To Start From Scratch

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | The early stages of the creative process can be enjoyable, researching, idea generating, setting out your mood-board, and then sometimes, we hit a barrier, we have the ideas, we are motivated, but how do we start formalising the idea, and committing to a plan. Sometimes that blank canvas, stays blank for far too long.

This article helps address how to get from a, to b, to c etc, and what I love about the planning processes, is that it is simple and achieveable. Bite size advice that can be practiced on a daily basis. My favourite piece of advice is ‘Building Your Village’, by surrounding yourself, and connecting with a broad range of talented individuals will help inspire you, and help you achieve your goals.

What I also like about this advice, is that it can be practiced independently, if you are seeking career goals, but also for teams, and perfect for project led work.

A model employee: how to stand out as a fashion graduate

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | This is an industry that so many of our creative graduates are keen to tap into. It is undertstandable that the idea of working within the fashion industry and the wide range of career opportunities available is so appealing. This is why so many creatives have invested 3 years of study, to identify their strengths/talents, grow as creatives and to build a successful career, but getting into the industry can be challenging and competitive.

So the question is, how can you make yourself stand out, from the hundreds of applicants who all have the same goals and ambitions as yourself? Obviously your talent is key, but this needs to be balanced with a broad skills-set, experience (direct and transferrable related experiences), extra-curricular experience and the ability to network. You need to have a factual story board, that you can regulary refer to that will remind you of your achievements as a graduate & your portfolio of work, and that will showcase all of your skill and work related experiences. Be proud of them, and let these experiences introduce you, as a young professional creative within your applications, and througout the interview and selection process.

110 essential resources for creative freelancers and small business owners

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | This is a must read article for all creatives, in the process of setting themselves up as a freelancer (which many of our 2015 graduates are currently working on) and for creatives starting, or in the fledgling years of a start-up business.

So many resources, that there is something for everyone, I particularly like the ‘Freelance Jobs Boards’ and ‘Blogs to follow’ sections. Plus the advice and resources on the business related aspects of being a freelancer or business owner are fantastic. As so many creatives quickly learn, it is not just about your creative talent. Many business hats will need to be worn in order for your business to be a success.

What to do if you can’t get an internship…

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | We are at the awkward time of year for students when it comes to organising internships or graduate schemes, as many employers are already thinking about their 2016/17 internships and graduate schemes, many of which will go live end of August/early September. For many employers the recruitment and selection process is a lengthy one, stretching over 3-4 months before they are in a position to start appointing interns.

The good news for all of this years students/graduates still keen to organise a summer internship, 12 month placement or graduate scheme for 2015/16 is that there are still plenty of opportunities availalbe, and some fabulous online service providers and employers to help you source that fantastic opportunity.

For some the recruitment and selection process can be a challenging one, and this can be confidence. lack of experience, or purely down to strong applicant competition, but for all that are currently going through this process, don’t be despair, there are still lots of things you can do to widen your job search, or find taster experiences to help make you a stronger candidate. This article will help provide you with advice, and encouragement to support you with your job search and future career.

Part Time Job, Full-Time Artist: Rethinking the Creative Career

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | Fantastic advice for all of our creatives who have graduated this Summer. I am a strong promoter of portfolio careers, and for those new to the creative sector, this is an ideal way to establish yourself in the industry, and build a long and successful career. It is so refreshing to hear that finding a second income to support yourself as a creative/designer/artist does not mean that you are turning your back on your artistic talent or career. In fact, what you are doing is feeding that talent/career to make sure that you meet all of your career goals.

For some, the second income jobs can be most helpful to help you network, develop soft skills as well as helping you improve your business skills, which are a key aspect of freelancing or running your own business – so these opportunities can be valuable, enjoyable and not a chore.

6 Thank You Note Mistakes That Could Very Easily Ruin Your Chances

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | Okay, so you have made great progress with your job application, and sailed through online testing, telephone interview, interview/assessment centre. After all of your hard work, researching and prepping, you are now at that painful stage of waiting to hear from the employer. Decision Time!!

Something I always recommend my students to do just before they leave the house to attend an interview/assessment centre, is to place a post it note on the fridge door/bedroom mirror with a ‘thank you email’ reminder. Most of us have adrenalin fallout after an interview, and all our good intentions to email go out the window. Even better set up a draft email and then amend after your interview to make sure it is personalised to all of the key points addressed during the interview.

Thank you notes are never a guarantee to a job offer, but they do make you memorable, for all the right reasons, showcase your professionalism, and on a personal note enable you the interview candidate to make closure to the interview and selection process.