I know there are countless websites dedicated to finding a job. But at the end of the day Twitter is my favourite. Not designed as a job hunting site, but in my opinion one of the best. Especially for the media jobs I’m looking for.
As we’re well into the social media age, it’s becoming easier and easier to find a job on sites you most likely visit every day for non-job hunting activities. In the mid-day sun of the social media age, nearly every company will have a Twitter account and the majority of them will be controlled by a person. A person who already has a job within the company you want to work for.
From my time being a Twitter job hunter I have devised three ways to use this social network for job hunting. Yes three, most actual job hunting sites only let you have one. Type in job/location and see what’s on offer. Twitter’s also really good to find one off jobs if you’re freelancing as well, something I’ve found to be difficult on job hunting sites.
The first one is for people who just want to see what jobs are floating round the twittersphere. Simply type in search words like you’d use on any job hunting site. Typing #job is a bit risky as the twittersphere spans not only counties, but countries. So be more location specific. It’s also advisable to know what industry you want to have a job in so you don’t have to sift through miles upon miles of tweets.
The second option is to follow users who feed is made up of job adverts. Many of these are job hunting websites. So at the end of the day you will still be applying through their website, but it’s useful for job hunting while on the go. Just favourite these tweets and you can apply for them at a more suitable time. The lovely people at Twitter will also give you some suggestions based on the job sites you’ve followed. Which is how I stumbled upon Inspiring Interns.
Way three is for people who know exactly what company they want to work for/ intern at and in what role. Within this there are a few ways to go about it. This is completely dependent upon the company. Firstly, read through the tweets to see if there are any jobs available. If they haven’t tweeted any recently have a nosey at their website, there might be something there. If there isn’t anything currently, you can always give them a quick tweet asking if they have any coming up. It’s always worth a try, and introduces you to them as an interested party. So if you do end up applying when a new post comes up they may remember you. Which is always good. I’ve found that many smaller companies list the Twitter handles of the people who contribute to the companies feed in their bio. It’s sometimes worth following the personal accounts of these people and even a good Twitter relationship with these people can be the deciding factor of getting an interview.
As mentioned before Twitter is fantastic for freelance and one off type jobs. Many of the companies I follow on Twitter are always looking for content for their blog and therefore guest bloggers. Which is brilliant for me as I love writing. And all these little bits I do get added to my portfolio which is helping me when I apply for jobs and also gives me, and my blog, a little more exposure.
Lucy is a film graduate from Falmouth University. She recently moved to London after a long stint in hospitality management and is currently a full-time blogger. She tweets from @zombielucy
This guest blog is written by Amy Wilson, who tells us her story of how an internship helped her into her dream career.
Job-hunting is never easy and knowing what you want to do is even harder. I now work in PR but to get here I’ve taken big financial hits, despised previous jobs and worked very hard! But I wouldn’t have got here if I hadn’t done an internship. Here’s my story:
I left university with a 2.2 in American Studies and no-one said it outright, but I know that the general feeling amongst my peers and I’m sure some of my family was that I would never get a job. The consensus was that you have to have a 2.1 these days, and if I’m honest, it really got on my nerves. Having a 2.1 is necessary for some career paths but definitely not for all of them. I wasn’t going to let my degree result hinder what I was going to do. Not knowing exactly what that was made job-hunting even tougher but I knew one thing for sure – my hometown Sheffield was not going to provide the answer. After endless rejected job applications for sales/admin/temp roles to get me on the payroll, I made the decision that I had to move to London.
Sifting through vacancies on the most prominent job search platforms I saw endless vacancies in recruitment. They only asked for a degree, paid well and allowed me to move to the Capital; it seemed like a great route to take. I applied to a graduate scheme with a large financial recruitment firm and after two trips down to London and an assessment day, I was offered a job.
Luckily, I had a friend with a flat where I could live temporarily so I packed my bags and moved to Bethnal Green. After no more than two weeks in the job, I realised that I hated it. This isn’t to say that everybody will hate recruitment because that just isn’t true. The prospects that a job in recruitment gives are great with opportunities to earn a well-above average salary, a structured career path, corporate benefits and more: for the right person I’m sure it could be great. But, for me it was just not right. I love communication, creativity, consumer brands, the media and being immersed in culture – a far cry from recruiting finance managers and payroll clerks. I was forced to stick with it for financial reasons and in a way I’m glad that I did. I experienced the corporate world and learnt a lot about client-facing work. But there was no way that I was sticking around doing something that I hated so I made a plan and emailed literally hundreds of media companies.
At this point I didn’t know that I wanted to be in PR, so anything and everything that differed from my role at the time was on the list. After a couple of long weeks contacting agencies, I was offered an internship at a food and drink PR company. After a lot of careful saving and a meeting with the bank, I handed in my notice at my recruitment job and began the internship.
Immediately it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I was interacting with like-minded people, using social media, working with food and drink brands, being creative and constantly connecting with the media. I loved it. My internship varied all the time and covered a huge range of fascinating things. My tick-boxes for what I wanted from work? I could tick them all. After interning for a few months I was offered a job and haven’t looked back since. It’s been a massive learning curve and I’ve been given amazing opportunities.
If I hadn’t taken on an internship there is no way that I would be where I am today. The majority of industries are moving towards internships as the way into their world due to the abundance of people applying for jobs without relevant experience. As far as I can tell, companies want to see what you’ve got to offer them before they offer you a job. If you don’t (like me) have financial help, you might have to work in something you hate for the short term to facilitate getting this experience, but, trust me, it’s worth it! I’m almost certain that you’ll appreciate where you end up more when you’ve got there from your own doing.
What to do when you’re interning:
• Make yourself indispensable
• Be alert, helpful, thorough and proactive – go above and beyond your role
• Show your enthusiasm – but not too much! Love everything you do but we all know it’s rubbish packaging 200 gift bags – do it without complaining and be humble
• Go to anything you’re invited to and get involved
• Speak to people in your agency – the chances are that colleagues will have worked in other
PR companies and they can talk to previous colleagues making them aware of you
• Have fun!
PR industry tips
• Read, read, read! Newspapers, blogs, magazines, online – familiarise yourself with journalists, columns and trends
• Be active on Twitter – follow inspirational and informative people as well as tweeting yourself – interact with the right people
Good luck and don’t give up!
We all know that the transformation from university to job is not an easy one – it is one of the biggest concerns faced by the twenty-somethings of today that have attended uni. Even bigger than your GCSEs, and your A-levels, and your final year exams. The final hurdle in the long obstacle course of life! For now, anyway.
One of the initial problems grads are faced with is trying to determine the career path to take. All those without a career plan or graduate scheme already in place are left with the mind-boggling decision of deciding what industry they’d be most suited to. After near enough 20 years of hand-held education, this can be pretty overwhelming. When discussing this issue over lunch the other day, post-graduate uncertainty turned out to be a shared feeling within the Inspiring team.
When looking at our HR team for example, (granted they’re a bunch of delightful ladies) their degrees are a pretty mixed bag. Our HR manager, Helen, knew HR was the path for her, choosing to study Labour, Organisational Psychology & Human Resource Management at the University of Cape Town (quite the mouthful). The rest of the team studied various subjects across the country…
Danielle reading Geography at the University of Southampton
Annie studying French and Russian at Nottingham
Nicola with a degree in Sociology from the University of Exeter
This theme of diversity is emulated within our account management team…
Katy studied English at Exeter
Alice spent 3 years in Bristol learning about Theology and Religious Studies
Christina studied Human Resource Management at the University of Hertfordshire
Their client services manager, Louise, read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Manchester
Another significant realisation is that throughout our marketing, sales, business development and finance departments, there is no correlation between degrees and job titles, bar one individual (me) who studied Business and Marketing Management. Language related degrees are a big feature in these departments with our marketing boys reading French and Hispanic Studies at Nottingham and German at Bristol, not forgetting our head of biz dev who read French and Spanish at UCL. Our fantastic finance manager, Miranda’s tops the charts with the biggest transformation from her degree in Biology and Management Studies.
So, it would seem that despite all those initial fears and doubt we all seem to have done pretty well! The key to thing to take away from this is reassurance in the fact that your degree field does not have to determine the direction you take post-university. Granted some sectors will have set prerequisites for entry, but this is not the case for all.
Take PR for example: a university qualification in this field is not a requirement for entry into this sector at most companies. The same goes for careers in sales where naturally, any form of business-related qualifications will equip you with an in-depth understanding of how companies operate. Ultimately, this is not essential and there are other qualifications allowing you to get a foothold in such competitive industries.
Instead, focus on the skills and attributes you have developed in during your time at university. Spoken communication skills developed in relevant modules, a demonstrable interest in your sector of interest, illustrating how your strong degree in your chosen area, coupled with your experience, has allowed you to enhance the your skillset; these are the factors that employers will be looking for, as demonstrated in many of our internship vacancies.
Having just reached the halfway point, this blog was going to be my half time report. But having spent a couple weeks in Varanasi, India’s holiest city, it’s only right to address one of the oldest cities in civilization and ‘the centre of the earth’, according to Hindu cosmology.
Intense and frenetic were the two main words used to describe Varanasi to me by other travellers. I wasn’t even out of the train doors when I got my first taste of this intensity and frenetic-ism! Rather naively I left half a yard gap between me and the person in front whilst getting off the train. I should have expected to be assaulted by a mass of saris, shawls, grey hair and bindis and pushed halfway back down the train. And I was. Indians don’t do patient queuing.
First impression lodged firmly into brain I didn’t feel too overwhelmed after that, I found Varanasi to be much the same as any other Indian city in terms of noise, rickshaw drivers and touts. Full on, but nothing I wasn’t used to. The only time I felt a bit overawed was during a Navaratri carnival in the old town, which, despite the music, dancing and vibrant colours, there was danger of it becoming unsafe. But I think this was more symptomatic of large groups of young Indian men getting overexcited than anything specific to Varanasi (see my experience at the Nehru Boat Race in Kerala for similarities ), but the tight spaces of the old town can make it quite intimating. The presence of policemen holding AK47s at every corner of the mazey old town isn’t particularly comforting But it would certainly be an experience to be in the city for the forthcoming Diwali celebrations, however oppressive and intense it might be.
The city though, in a word, is a mess. It is filthy, impoverished and in some places really does smell. The combination of litter, cow and goat dung (with some human), urine and so I was told, toxic leakages further down the river make for one hell of a smell. An attack on the senses, to say the least. Yet the city is a religious pilgrimage for Hindu’s all over India. Spirituality runs throughout India. You can’t go anywhere without noticing it. From people’s dashboards, to their clothing to their faces it really is inescapable. And Varanasi is the Hindu culmination of this. It is seen as the place to die as its offers moksha, ‘the liberation from the cycle of birth and death’. The way to die in Varanasi is to be cremated in public at a burning ghat and for your ashes to be slipped into the sacred Ganges, so add burning human flesh to the list of smells. On a lighter note Varanasi must have the highest density of cows per square kilometre in any urban area in the world. There was even one ready to welcome me on the platform in the train station.
Lining the Ganges are up to 80 bathing ghats, and several are the aforementioned burning ghats. Pilgrims come here to wash away their sins, yards from sewage drains, peoples ashes, litter and the bodies of children and priests who are not to be cremated. Despite these conditions the ritual is clearly still intimate and powerful and doesn’t seem to be being diminished in practice.
Reading this creates a pretty grim image but it creates a very vibrant and colourful atmosphere and was certainly intriguing to watch, particularly from the river and at the nightly Aarti ceremonies. From what I have seen, North India is more colourful than South India and Varanasi really encapsulates such vibrant colours. The buildings, the saris and shawls, and the markets create a blast of colour. One of my favourite photos so far shows a large area of the ghats ablaze with people’s washing, with colour after colour running along the Ganges.
So far I’ve not been able to enjoy most of the religious experiences I have been too. I’ve found them oppressive and unnerving, and feel uncomfortable with their intimacies, even in the smaller, quieter venues. One thing that has stood out is the blatant commercialization of what is supposed to sacred to so many in India. Temples are frequently surrounded by gift shops which you have to walk through to exit and shopkeepers even advertise inside these religious sites. Even the most famous ghat in India’s holiest city, Dasaswamedh Ghat is adorned with advertisements for silk businesses and worse, a maroon temple to the side has a yellow and blue sign advertising a national bank. Indian commercialism and opportunism has gone too far.
And that was Varanasi: interesting to say the least. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be making my way into the North East states. It seems I’m trying to go as far away from my original plan as possible. After experiencing Indian bureaucracy at its worst I finally managed to obtain a permit to get into Arunachal Pradesh, the least visited state in India. Meaning “land of the dawn-lit mountains” it borders Bhutan, Burma and China, which should be interesting too…
By Hannah Roberts
We may only be in the second week of November but Christmas is officially on its way. How do we know this? Because John Lewis has just released this year’s Christmas advert of course! We tweeted it this morning and had a delightful response so thought we’d put together a little blog on the magic that John Lewis brings to this time of year.
This year’s commercial entitled ‘The Bear & The Hare’ is based around the heart-warming animated story of The Bear who had never seen Christmas’ with Lilly Allen taking on Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ for the annual tradition of a recorded cover as a backing track.
With John Lewis spending a reported £7million on advertising for the Christmas season, The Bear & The Hare even has its own webpage giving some further depth to the story. The ad will debut on TV during The X Factor on Saturday November 9th but you can catch a preview of it below…
Fancy reminiscing over the previous years of John Lewis’ Christmas master pieces? Take a look below to see a rundown of their emotive festive creations…
As much as we enjoyed the touching tale of friendship portrayed in this year’s ad, John Lewis’ 2011 sensation of the little boy who couldn’t wait to give his presents remains our favourite two minute Christmas launcher!
By Hannah Roberts
Remember remember the fifth of November… It’s possible that after a mad weekend spent roaming the Capital dressed like a scary/sexy dead individual you may have neglected to celebrate Guy Fawkes. Whether it was a result of being so hung-over you were unable to make it out of bed (as with the majority of the Inspiring team) or because you were robbed of the chance of getting a ticket to Ally Pally’s show (sad face), it’s all insignificant. Why? Because we’re here with a brief run-down of Bonfire festivities that are taking place across London this week…
Cleveland Square Fireworks Display – £10
Tuesday 5th November 2013
Cleveland Square, W2 6DA, 6pm-9.30pm, display @ 7.30pm
Wimbledon Fireworks Display – £8
Tuesday 5th November 2013
Wimbledon Park, Revelstoke Road, SW19 7HU, first bonfire @ 6.30pm
Southwark’s Fireworks Night – free entry
Tuesday 5th November 2013
Southwark Park, Lower Road, SE16 2PA, display @ 7pm
Lambeth Fireworks Display – free entry
Tuesday 5th November 2013
Brockwell Park, Dulwich Road, SE24 0NG, from 5pm, display @ 8pm
Crystal Palace Fireworks – £6
Tuesday 5th November 2013
Crystal Palace Park (Terraces), SE19 2AA, from 6pm, main display @ 8.30pm
Walthamstow Fireworks Display – free entry
Tuesday 5th November 2013
Chestnuts Field, Forest Road, E17 4JF, from 6pm; display @ 8pm
Lord Mayor’s Show and Fireworks – free!
Saturday 9th November 2013
Mansion House, City of London, EC4N 8BH, from 11am, display @ 5pm over the river between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges.
Friendly reminder: mulled wine and setting off fireworks doesn’t make for the safest of celebrations, so leave it to the professionals! Whatever your plans this week, wrap up warm & enjoy!
By Hannah Roberts
The phrase don’t judge a book by its cover. So overused it’s almost a cliché. But there are times in which it best describes a scenario…
This YouTube video circulated our offices earlier this week and had such a positive response that we thought we’d with share it with all our lovely readers. In just over two minutes this man manages to successfully invert the negative expectations of his fellow passengers. It’s pretty uplifting viewing and makes for some funny and interesting food for thought… Enjoy.
After a corner shop-led build-up of at least 4 weeks, All Hallows’ Eve is finally upon us! For those of you a few months/years out of university it’s the perfect excuse to revisit your fancy dress box, don your creepiest of costumes and make like a mad wo/man. With London acting as a hub for some of the most unique, innovative and exciting events, this time of year naturally brings a cobweb of activities to get involved in. As always, we’ve put together a revolting recipe of Halloween happenings brewing in the Capital cauldron mix over the next coming days…
Kicking things off with two London classics; our beloved London Zoo is hosting their bloodcurdling Boo at the Zoo, giving you the chance to visit the City’s resident creepy creatures. Plus there’ll be a little extra subterranean scare factor with the London Dungeons opening their doors for an after dark Halloween special this Friday. Not one for the easily spooked.
Film fanatics should get themselves over to the West-side for Portobello’s pumpkin Movie Mash-Up weekender celebrating all the cult classics with a side of horrific happenings. East Enders can revel in Shoreditch Boxpark’s ghoulish glory this Halloween as they host an evening especially for “London’s freaks and goblins”, with a movie screening on the top deck, face and nail painting, gruesome grub and demon DJs to get you in the spirit of things. Note: dresser-uppers get a free drink, no better incentive than that!
Nightdwellers are spoilt for choice this weekend with London’s top clubs fully embracing the excuse for a party! Deep house lovers should get themselves down to London Bridge for a Halloween Rave with Troupe this Friday; No Artificial Colours, DJ EZ and some secret guests on the line up. If terrifying techno beats are more your bag there’s a mad line up at EGG this Friday as X Gets Darker with Boddika, Dense & Pika and Clockwork – this one will be big!
For a combo of ambient house/garage and electronic beats head to Crucifix Lane this Friday to catch The Other Tribe and Maribou State come together for Real Nice’s Tribal Halloween. And if it’s straight up terror you’re after get yourself over to Proud Camden for their Slaughter House Hospital promising a thrilling transformation of the venue into a cursed hospital.
With just over 24 hours to go until things start to get deadly, the majority of you are probably frantically trying to put together something vaguely gruesome. A few members of our team are in the midst of planning a lunchtime rush to Angels to panic buy excessive amounts of fake blood and stick on face wounds in a bid to out-do each other at a Hallows house party that two members of the team have foolishly agreed to host. FUN!
To top that all off, Bonfire night is fast approaching. The magnificent Ally Pally are returning after four years of silence this Saturday with their firework comeback, Back with a Bang!
Whatever you get up to over the coming dark days, have a great time! We’ve already got our pumpkins out…
By Hannah Roberts
Events present a platform of opportunity, whatever their purpose the possibilities that come as a result of attending can be endless. Over the past few months we at Inspiring have attended our fair share events. We attend events to spread the word of Inspiring to a broader spectrum of companies and industries in the hope of getting more great internships, as well as to introduce our services to the growing pool of candidates out there. Both play an equally significant role in getting more young people into jobs, helping organisations find great new employees and, of course, allowing Inspiring Interns to continue growing.
For those of you undertaking an internship, events are a great learning opportunity for you to grasp. If your company is attending an event, why not ask if you could go along and help to represent them. Not only does it provide you with the opportunity develop your communication skills but it’s a brilliant chance to gain exposure to another aspect of real working life.
Whether you’re a student, a graduate or an intern representing your company, the purpose of attending an event is simple: to network and publicise your product or service. As an intern, improving your networking skills is perhaps the most valuable exercise. Perfecting this art takes practise but once achieved can act as your key to boundless connections and prospects.
Your manner is the first point to consider. A personable individual that’s seen as approachable is what you’re aiming for. Getting the balance between the confidence to talk to others and avoiding being overly self-assured is key. Coupling this balance with the aesthetic elements of a warm smile and firm hand shake will complete your approach.
Start by introducing yourself with your name and a brief explanation of why you’re there, and then follow with a demonstrable interest in the person/company. If you’ve heard of them before, mention it. If you’re unsure of exactly what they do, ask them. Doing so will help to engage the other party. Bringing something different to the conversation is an effective way of leaving a lasting impression. That doesn’t mean to say cheesy jokes or risqué remarks are necessary; you’re aiming for a memorable yet positive exchange.
Demonstrating proactivity is another quality that will work in your favour. It’s likely that as a student, grad or intern you won’t have a business card of your own (if you do, great!) but this doesn’t mean to say you cannot ask for another person’s. If this is not a viable option, simply make a note of their details; name, company and job title, and email where possible. This can then be followed up a day or two later with a LinkedIn request or email recapping your meeting, highlighting anything you discussed or want to discuss further and expressing how you enjoyed meeting them/learning about their company etc.
For those final year students and recent graduates that are on the internship/job hunt, we recommend keeping an eye on up-and-coming graduate-related events. Over the next few weeks there’s the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibition (8th and 9th November) in Birmingham’s NEC bringing graduates face-to-face with top employers. Plus there’s the next instalment of the magnificent Silicon Milkroundabout weekender being held on the 16th and 17th November at Brick Lane’s The Old Truman Brewery. A perfect opportunity to meet and network with some of the coolest tech start-ups in the Capital and the chance to see some of our lovely faces – hopefully see you there!
Having been to Ooty and spent the weekend with Alan I knew I wanted to visit the region again. Like Ooty, Munnar is a scruffy little town but the surrounding area is what makes it. Koidikanal town is an upgrade on both. It has a lovely lake and most importantly has no rickshaws and therefore no rickshaw drivers. Taxi drivers do their best to be as annoying but they don’t do it with quite the same verve.
Along with two friends I took a local bus from Cochin to Munnar. I was happy as I’d secured the much sought after left back position but then had to contend with a toothless, spit shoveling local who first tried to steal my book whilst I was reading it and then proceeded to stroke my knee and face. I was half tempted to give him a wink and a lick of the lips but used my better judgment and let some responsible locals eject him from the bus.
The scenery in the last hour of the journey set us up for the main attraction of Munnar, the tea plantations. Terraced or running down, they straddle the sides of the majority of mountains in the area and although subtle, the top layer of tea leaves are a greeny yellow that I’ve never seen before which creates a really vibrant and striking colour. You have this colour on rolling smaller hills (which creates a rival for the setting of Hobbiton, I was just surprised it was small Indians coming out of the tiny bungalows and not Frodo and co) or on knife-edge precipices. Either way they are spectacular. The hills that aren’t straddled by tea leaves show what the area used to look like before the British started planting. And these are just as impressive. The vistas you get from the rugged mountains running down to the plains of Tamil Nadu are as dramatic as you’ll see. The Pambar River flows over massive waterfalls and through vast gorges in the middle of the valley, best seen from Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Having paid about £8 for a sightseeing tour which included entry into the Sanctuary we weren’t expecting much. Our guides said wild elephants had been seen the day before but none of us really believed them. Dennis, a Turkish guy I had been travelling with was saying as much as he turned round and stepped in fresh elephant dung. It was fascinating to see the guides in action when we were ‘tracking’. They picked up on the smell, (although it was pretty overwhelming, even I was adept at sniffing them out) but also the shape of bushes they had grazed on, what type of insects and creepy crawlies were around, as well as foot marks. It was a nerve tangling experience creeping round. This time I didn’t see any elephants but you could hear their roars and ungainly stomping. We did see a herd of wild bison though. I was assured they were more scared of us than we were of them, I can’t clarify that though as I was hiding behind a rock. Even with my rapid turn of pace I wasn’t confident of getting away from them at full pelt.
It was a few days later that I saw two wild elephants. I wasn’t aware there were any knocking around the area before coming but having come close in Chinnar, at every opportunity I asked, ‘will we see any elephants?’. In part this was curiosity and wanting to see some but more so because I really didn’t want to see any and wanted to know the best way to avoid certain death. FYI, the best way is to run down the steepest slope you can find. Elephants can’t run and aren’t very good on slopes…and can’t see. I asked the question before setting off on a trek and was promptly told there was no chance. So it was a surprise to see one, especially so high up, over 2400m, and at the time, alone. The guide then did his reconnaissance of the area and was ‘reasonably’ confident it was alone. That he asked me what I thought should probably have raised a concern. We had this view for about 20 minutes before getting a whiff and turned round to see another Elephant about 100 metres below us. It was time to go, so off we ran down the steepest slope. We weren’t in any real danger but it was close enough. The fact that my Dad had sent me an article about a British tourist being trampled to death by a wild elephant about 100km from where I was acted as enough incentive not to lurk around.
So combined with amazing scenery and abundant wildlife, the Western Ghats are highly recommended. Just don’t get the buses if you have weak stomach, the amount of vomiting by passengers is quite astonishing…