How to sell yourself to employers

By Katie Appleby

The economy is growing, exciting new businesses are emerging and the job market is heating up. Competition for graduate internships and jobs is HIGH and it is more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. Here’s how:

Go digital
Technology is one of the fastest-growing industries – so embrace it! Get your skills endorsed by previous employers and co-workers on LinkedIn (not just your best mates liking every single one) and secure recommendations (also on LinkedIn) from people you have worked for/with highlighting your contribution, personality and skills. Be active online! From making videos, to blogging or contributing to a publication or website – a relevant, visible online presence can help you to market your brand; you!

Add a splash of colour
Consider jazzing up your CV by adding the logo of companies you have worked for or gained experience with next to their name. This is a simple, but effective way to give your application some colour. Research shows a picture is far more effective at getting a reaction than a block of text. This coupled with the fact that the ratio of applications to job opportunities has been recorded as high as 85:1 with top employers – all points towards the need to be memorable! Putting a small, passport-size photo on the top corner of your CV could also have a positive impact. If a recruiter or company is looking a multiple applications a day (very likely), they will be drawn to your application and remember what you look like if/when they meet you.

Stand out
It’s less about the extra-curricular activities and more about your involvement. Taking a leadership role says a lot about you as a person – as recently highlighted by law firm Norton Rose Fulbright in a Twitter Q&A about getting into the legal sector. Standing out is important in this day and age! Whether through what you achieve as a result of your extra-curricular activities, the unusual nature of the hobby or the in-demand skills you have gained as a result of your efforts. You can stand out in other ways too; inject some personality into your job applications, be original in your answers to interview questions or find new and innovative ways to get noticed by people in your industry(ies) of interest.

Presentation
Keep your eyes peeled for Inspiring’s Annie’s upcoming blog ‘What to wear to an interview’ – this will be especially helpful to those girls with a full-to-bursting wardrobe of potential! Until then, present yourself in a way that is relevant to your industry. If you are interviewing for a position in a corporate environment, looking smart is essential. Pay close attention to the job specification or any guidance you are given. If the description highlights a relaxed, start-up office environment, consider that smart/casual may be more appropriate. If in doubt, it’s always better to be overdressed. Presentation is more than just what you’re wearing; how you present yourself on paper, online or via email or telephone communications is as important.

Prove it
If your CV features an impressive list of desirable characteristics, traits and skills, think about how you can demonstrate or prove that you have these assets. When prepping for an interview for example, prepare examples of when you have had to use said skills in a real-life situation, how or why you did it and what the outcome was. For more interview advice and insights, have a look at this. You can also back up your statements with examples through your choice of extra-curricular activity (as previously mentioned) and your relevant qualifications or work experience.

See some of our other blog posts for tips on how to search for that dream job and how to interview.

Katie is an Inspiring Intern and a recent addition to our marketing team. A dancer and health & fitness enthusiast, you can follow her tweets here: @KatesApps or connect with Katie on Google+.

Editor’s note: All images are property of Inspiring Interns.

Summer solutions to boost your CV

By Katie Appleby

With the gown returned and certificate in-hand, as a recent grad – the world feels like your oyster! Many of you will want to take a (well earned) break after graduating, but here are a handful of things to consider during your few months of freedom.

Hobbies
In today’s competitive job market, employers are looking for more than just a great academic background or relevant work experience. A hobby highlights what you are passionate about and gives an insight into your personality. Performance experience, for example, demonstrates confidence and presentation skills. Interesting or impressive qualifications gained from pursuing a hobby can be a positive addition to any CV.

Skills
Adding strings to your bow outside of the office or classroom environment will help your application to stand out. Why not try learning another language? Inspiring have seen how highly sought-after such skills are. Bi-lingual or multi-lingual candidates dramatically increase their employment and earning potential, for example.

Education
Furthering your education doesn’t have to just mean postgraduate studies. If you are looking to boost your CV, local community colleges often offer educational or practical courses or introductory classes/workshops. This could be particularly useful if you are looking to get into an industry which you don’t have experience in.
Reading is another way to enhance your employability. Keeping up-to-date with industry-related news and reading relevant articles and texts will help you when it comes to impressing at an interview. Consider following industry leaders and relevant business figures on LinkedIn and engaging in discussions on Twitter.

Researching
If you are unsure of the career direction you want to go in, researching different industries and the job opportunities that they have to offer is a great place to start. Check out our graduate glossary for a detailed explanation of different career sectors and job titles.


Find an Internship
An internship is a great way of getting a foot in the door and kick-starting your career in the industry of your choice. However, an internship can be the pursuit of an interest rather than a career focus. Shadowing someone at work for a short period of time is less commitment, but still valuable experience. It’s also a brilliant opportunity to trail an industry of interest and see if it’s something that you could see yourself doing. Take a look at our vacancies page to see the kind of internship (and job) roles we currently have on offer.

International opportunities
As tempting as it to spend your extended post-graduation summer break lazing around on holiday, why not look into doing an internship or taking part in a volunteering project abroad? Get your fix of fun in the sun and add to your CV at the same time: win, win!

Volunteering
From coaching sport to preserving wildlife, there are a whole host of exciting volunteering opportunities available to those looking for an experience. Volunteering doesn’t have to mean travelling to a far away destination; it can be a way to engage with your local community which in turn, may appeal to (local) employers and you could be offered future volunteering opportunities, broadening your experience.


Events
Throw a wild party! OK maybe not, but the right kind of socialising can be a valuable addition to your CV. From industry-specific events to more general graduate recruitment fairs, networking and making important connections is an integral part of the job hunt process. It may reaffirm what you already knew about a particular career option or it could open your eyes to an opportunity you may not have previously considered.

Embrace these opportunities, improve your skillset and look forward to a fantastic welcome to the world of employment!

Katie is an Inspiring Intern and a recent addition to our marketing team. A dancer and health & fitness enthusiast, you can follow her tweets here: @KatesApps or connect with Katie on Google+.

Editor’s note: All images are property of Inspiring Interns.

Top ten graduate opportunities to apply for this weekend

By Hannah Roberts

New-comer to the graduate job hunt? Feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospect of finding a career? That’s where we step in! We at Inspiring are experts in helping you wanderers onto the path of career success. Which is why we’ve put together this selection of our greatest internship and job opportunities to get you on your way this weekend. These vacancies may be hot, but that’s not all we’ve got: be sure to check out our extensive list of roles available for application over on our site!

1. Marketing & PR Internship
This paid internship is the perfect opportunity for a recent graduate looking to gain commercial experience in a successful online business with a great track record!

2. Graphic Design Internship
Serious opportunity to gain extensive insight in design best practice from within the fashion retail sector at one of the largest high street clothing retailers in the UK.

3. Junior Programmatic Trader
Fancy working for the sixth biggest communications agency in the world? We’re looking for highly numerate grads with degrees in an analytical or quantitative discipline for this £19-22k graduate job.

4. PR & Executive Assistant Internship
Fantastic opportunity to get involved in and gain full training in PR tasks with this (£1-1.5k per month) internship at a full-service PR agency operating in the video game industry.

5. Sales Internship
This super sales internship is a brilliant opportunity to be part of an exciting new venture from one of the world’s biggest brands! This is a (£1,250 per month) initial three month placement with a view to a full-time graduate job.

6. Administration Internship
Looking to develop your administration skills? Get a load of this paid internship with an expanding mobile app backed by Richard Branson!

7. Global Marketing Technology Co-ordinator
Are you a talented self-motivated individual with a flair for digital innovation and tech? Check out this £25k graduate job with the largest music corporations in the world!

8. Mobile Media Graduate Scheme
18 month £21k graduate scheme opportunity with a widely respected, award-winning mobile marketing agency focusing on strategy, media, analytics and creative.

9. Media Analysis Internship
Fancy interning at an award-winning media planning and buying agency? Here’s your chance!

10. Graphic Design Internship
Learn from an experienced team who will guide, teach and help you develop best in class skills with this paid internship!

Remember, if you’re not sure of the exact career direction for you, you can always submit your CV direct to our HR team via our online application form. Whatever your method, proactivity is key – so get on it!

Hannah is a Digital Marketing Executive at Inspiring. She tweets about all things golden here: @hlcroberts and pins all things pretty here: gildthelilly. You can also connect with Hannah on Google+

Seven steps to prepare you for the job hunt!

By Katie Appleby

With graduation on the horizon, we thought we would put together a useful guide on how best to prepare yourself for the next step – searching for that dream job! Three or four years of hard work later, you may be left feeling a little lost and in need of some advice. Congrats on reaching the end! Now follow these useful steps and you could be well on your way to kick-starting a successful career.

1. Do your research
Try to have a clear idea of the industry that you want to work in and the specific roles that you are interested in before you start your search. To get more of an idea about different job titles and the work that they entail, take a look at our graduate glossary guide.

Identify a few areas of interest and tailor your job/internship search accordingly. You can search our opportunities by industry on our vacancies page – the left hand side has a search function allowing you to filter.

2. Be prepared to tailor your CV
The experiences and skills on your CV should be geared towards the industry you are interested in. A video CV is a great way of getting your personality across and relaying to a prospective employer the applicable skills that you have to offer and what you are interested in. Depending on whether or not you know which industry you want to go into, avoid focussing on a specific role. Emphasise the skills you have that an industry may want. The following link is a great video on “how to shoot one hell of a video CV”.

3. Consider your references
Confirm that your previous employer is prepared to give you a reference and ensure that you have the correct contact information for them.

4. Consider how you could improve your employability whilst searching for a job
There are a lot of volunteering opportunities around and voluntary work can be a great, positive addition to a CV. Industry-related experience or improving your knowledge of your industry of choice through reading and research is also beneficial! Another great way to enhance your CV is through online courses. With skills like Excel regularly sought after by employers, courses in computer software or other areas like languages could put your application ahead of the rest. There are a number of courses available online for free! The team at Inspiring Interns have put together a career resources guide to help you on your way, available for download here.

5. Create a professional email address
Your future employer doesn’t want to know if you think of yourself as a ‘princess’ or a ‘babe’! It is definitely a good idea to create a new account solely for your job search, just remember to check your emails regularly and be responsive. Even if you are not interested in an opportunity, it is important to communicate this. Giving feedback can be constructive for the recruiter and company.

6. Control your social media
For any career, following relevant industry figures and companies and tweeting industry-related content and news is a great way to get noticed. For more great advice on how this can aid your job hunt, click here.
Don’t be naïve! Social media has reached the masses and one of the first things a recruiter may do is search for you online to see if you are a good fit for the company. Delete anything you wouldn’t want to be seen, or ‘hide’ your profile if you do not want to remove content. If you are pursuing a career in digital marketing or media, for example, it is strongly advised to keep your Twitter profile open. Update your LinkedIn profile and add a link to that and your Twitter feed on your CV.

7. Think about setting yourself targets
To meet during your search e.g. a certain number of applications per week. A sense of direction can make your search more efficient. Remember that it is important to have regular breaks, exercise and remain positive!

If your search is a success and you’ve secured an interview – well done! Now check out our top tips on how you can nail that interview and bag yourself a role.

Katie is an Inspiring Intern and a recent addition to our marketing team. A dancer and health & fitness enthusiast, you can follow her tweets here: @KatesApps.

The graduate glossary: job descriptions translated

graduate-glossary
By Inesh Patel and Alex Townley

At Inspiring Interns we understand that it can be a nightmare trawling through hundreds of different job descriptions that are filled with industry-specific acronyms, abbreviations and other terms. It might feel like employers are talking in code, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together this graduate glossary to help make your transition from university to internship and ultimately, graduate job, slightly easier: we hope you find it useful.

Contents:

If you’re looking for help with a particular category, click on the title below and you’ll jump right to it.

1. Inspiring’s career sectors explained
2. Job titles – what do they mean?
3. General business terminology
4. Software tools
5. Let’s get technical
6. The world of finance
7. Marketing definitions
8. Salary

1. Inspiring’s career sectors explained

Tip: Click on your desired sectors to view the current opportunities Inspiring has to offer.

Advertising: The main objective of advertising is to increase awareness and promote purchase of a product or service by effectively conveying its attributes and other relevant information to businesses and consumers. In other words, encourage people to buy stuff. The advertising sector comprises a number of different roles, including creative positions geared towards idea generation and innovation; planning roles that involve scheduling and ad placement; analytical positions that focus on wading through and understanding data and business development roles that involve gaining new clients and progressing the firm. Advertising occupations usually require close collaboration with the marketing and design divisions.

Analytics: Roles in analytics revolve around collecting and analysing data to measure the success of business activities and making intelligent business decisions. Working in analysis often requires a high degree of logical thinking ability and relevant computer proficiency. For further information and advice on this career path, check out our graduate weapons.

Arts, Fashion & Music: These highly competitive career areas usually require a large amount of creativity and passion. Fashion roles can range from design to marketing, music positions can be in anything from events organisation to artist management and arts opportunities can span from gallery and museum positions to buying consultancy. There’s a lot of choice, so be prepared to make some big decisions!

Banking, Finance, Insurance: These sectors contain a wide variety of opportunities ranging from investment and trading to accounting and wealth management, as well as roles geared towards financial data analysis and financial strategy for businesses.

Business Administration: This career area is comprised of roles that are mainly concerned with keeping a business running and supporting its staff. Positions range from project and operations management to PA/office assistance and inventory.

Business Development (or biz dev) & Management Consultancy: Roles in these areas provide the opportunity to gain an understanding of a company’s workings and help you develop entrepreneurial skills. Positions can span from account and project management to B2B operations and data analysis. The main goal of business development is to collaborate with companies to improve their efficiency, productivity and relationships.

Charities: This sector contains careers within non-profit organisations that are usually meaningful and fulfilling. It is a popular choice for university graduates as it offers a massive variety of opportunities, with roles in everything from marketing and advertising to administration and management, as well as programme co-ordination and direct charity involvement. A career in charity sector requires a genuine passion for an organisation’s work and vision. For advice on getting started in the third sector click here.

Computing & IT: This sector is heavily integrated with the tech industry and roles within it usually require specific software and hardware know-how as well as extensive background knowledge in computing. Opportunities in this field range from technical IT support through to software development and engineering. Computing careers often require numerical, analytical employees, so graduates with a mathematical or science based degrees are highly sought after. If you’re computer literate then you could apply your numerical degree to a potentially lucrative career in this sector.

Digital: This is one of the fastest growing industries and roles in this sector span both technical and creative opportunities. These careers are mostly geared towards online involvement and use of internet applications, such as social media. This is the case with positions in digital marketing, SEO and digital design. However, roles may also involve design, mobile application development and analytics. See here for further information and advice on getting into a career in digital.

Environment: This industry encompasses opportunities in environmental science, the energy sector, sustainability, landscape development and environmental research. As such, careers in this area are suited to those with a background in geography, geo-environmental or research based degrees, although it is open to those who are passionate about the environment.

Events Management & Hospitality: Working in this sector is all about delivering successful events and client satisfaction. Roles involve event planning, co-ordination and management, client-side marketing, events research and events promotion. Events opportunities may also cross over into other sectors such as finance and business development. More information and advice on launching an events career is available here.

Graphic & Web Design: Roles in this industry are always highly sought after. Opportunities in this sector range from creative to technical and are often a combination of both. A career in this area usually requires specific design or software skills and a relevant degree, such as graphic design, product/industrial design or computer science. You might work in product design, graphic design, web design/development, mobile application design, digital and gaming design/development, UX/UI design (more on that later), the list goes on. If you’re looking to get into this industry there are some great tips here.

HR (Human Resources) & Recruitment: HR and recruitment functions are central to most businesses and organisations. These areas are similar in that the both deal with staffing and employment. However, recruitment is mostly concerned with gaining new contacts, maintaining relationships and selling recruitment services, while HR is usually more administration and support-focussed. Positions in these areas include staffing management, client services/support, administrative support, recruitment and account management. Follow here for more information and advice on breaking into these areas.

Legal: Not all roles in the legal sector involve being a barrister or solicitor. Whilst a law degree is desirable for most positions, including paralegal and legal secretary positions, many other opportunities in administration and legal support don’t require specific qualifications or experience.

Leisure, Sport & Tourism: Roles in this sector can include direct industry involvement in positions such as sport operations and tourism management, or in a range of positions in a related business, such as organisation and booking, finance, management, PR, promotion and events management.

Market Research: A career in this sector involves researching market trends and consumer behaviour in relation to a company’s targets, goals and services. This may be geared economically, socially or politically. Roles can include consumer research, financial research, questionnaire design and distribution, interviewer brief design, market research analysis and product analysis.

Marketing: This vibrant sector’s main objective is to communicate effectively with a selected audience to enable an organisation or brand to promote certain messages or products/services. It encompasses a wide variety of roles including digital marketing, branding and brand management, affiliate marketing, SEO, PPC, business engagement, marketing analytics, social media management, communications and online media. Marketing can be online or offline and plays an integral part in the vast majority of other sectors.

Media: There are a variety of career paths in this sector and both creative and technical roles are available. These can be within TV, journalism, publications and analytics with jobs ranging from media trading and media planning to digital media and media analytics. Responsibilities may include article/blog writing, publishing, publication content management, online media content management and engagement analytics. This is a highly competitive industry so passion is essential!

Mobile Sector: This rapidly growing sector is mainly concerned with the mobile technology industry. It offers a variety of opportunities that span other sectors, including mobile advertising, mobile UX/UI design, mobile business development and mobile marketing. Further information and advice on this sector is available here.

PR (Public Relations): This sector is very popular with graduates and another highly competitive industry. The objective of most PR roles is to promote positive messages around the brand or organisation and improve public perception. Opportunities could revolve around events, technology, marketing, etc. Roles may hold a variety of responsibilities, such as brand promotion, communication, public image development, organising press briefings, arranging events, liaising with journalists and writing press releases. See here for advice on breaking into this sector. Many PR roles incorporate social media and other digital platforms, so brush up on your Twitter know-how!

Sales, Retail & Customer Services: There are a number on different careers available in these sectors. They mainly revolve around making money for a business through the selling of products and services. Sales roles are usually heavily commission-based so the more effort you make for a company, the more money you should earn (in theory!). As such, sales positions are competitive and fast-paced. Opportunities in these areas range from shop floor assistance to B2B sales, with roles such as sales executive, merchandising, client services and financial sales. Sales is all about understanding clients, managing their requirements and closing a deal, with responsibilities including cold calling, developing relationships, securing clients and making sales. You can find more information and advice on getting involved in this area here.

2. Job titles – what do they mean?

Account Manager/Executive: An account manager/executive usually looks after the interests of a company’s clients and candidates and is the point of contact for the client. The main responsibilities of the role are managing client accounts and building and maintaining long-term relationships. There is also an element of business development in that an account manager also identifies new business opportunities and pitches to potential clients.

Administrator: An administrator performs a variety of tasks within a business; responsibilities may include performing office support, meeting preparation/organisation and reception tasks, as well as other ad hoc duties.

Ad Operations: An Ad Operations Executive is usually in charge of ensuring high performing advertising campaigns. Mobile, digital or online advertising is a division of the advertising industry that references electronic communication promotions and marketing. This can include website display, text, search, online video, mobile (SMS, WAP display ads, video, application ads) and email advertising. An Ad Operations Executive may also be responsible for other functions such as pricing, ad product creation, research, vendor management and maintaining hardware and software systems.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO): This is usually the highest position in an organisation’s management. The CEO reports to a board of directors who may set a range of responsibilities. These usually include high-level decision making, directing, press communications, leadership and employee motivation amongst many other things. They may also be known as the Managing Director (MD).

Chief Financial Officer (CFO): The CFO holds the highest position in a business’ finance department and is in charge of major financial decision making, financial planning and record-keeping. They are also responsible for the financial risks of the company ad report directly to the CEO and the board of directors. The CFO may also work closely with the COO (coming soon) on strategic and tactical matters as they relate to budget management, cost benefit analysis, forecasting needs and the securing of new funding. They may also be known as the Financial Director (FD).

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO): This role involves being in charge of all of the company’s marketing activities. The CMO’s responsibilities may fall within or be related to sales management, product development, distribution channel management, marketing communications (including advertising and promotions), pricing, market research, and customer service.

Chief Operations Officer (COO): The COO is responsible for the daily operation of the company and reports directly to the CEO. The responsibilities of the role completely depend on the company and the CEO’s requirements.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO): The CTO usually reports directly to the CEO and is responsible for all of an organisation’s technological issues. This position tends to exist in technology or science-based companies, such as game developers, social networking services and e-commerce providers. A CTO needs a deep technical knowledge of the relevant field and must be familiar with intellectual property issues, strategic planning and inter-company negotiations. Similar roles (depending on the company) are held by the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the Chief Science Officer (CSO).

Data Analyst: A Data Analyst collects, organises and analyses data from various sources. The role typically involves examining how changes in internal and external environmental factors, such as strategy and product changes, Government legislation and base rate changes could impact the business. The Data Analyst generally uses data management and reporting systems to collect and organise specific data drawn from relational databases.

Digital (marketing/website) Analyst: The role of a digital analyst is a more specific version of a Data Analyst. A Digital Analyst analyses online/digital marketing and website data. Typical daily tasks include; using Google Analytics to analyse web traffic; analysis for email marketing purposes and creating customer data lists to send promotional and informational emails. Email analytics involves looking at the performance of the email campaigns, split-testing subject lines (working out what works and what doesn’t), design, offers, and looking at open rates and click through rates (who’s actually clicking through to your email from their inbox and then engaging with it).

Executive Assistant: An Executive Assistant is usually involved in tasks revolving around organisation, scheduling and correspondence. Such activities may include; organising files, preparing emails, arranging meetings, scheduling events, calendar management, preparing briefs and presentations and keeping track of contacts.

Media Planner/Buyer: A Media Planner/Buyer delivers effective, innovative and integrated media planning and buying campaigns (purchasing online advertising space) for clients. Typical duties would include; ensuring media planning and buying campaign reports are accurately maintained and that key trends are identified for optimisation; conducting media and consumer research; analysing data for relevant insights. The role may also involve implementing online and offline media planning and buying campaigns, whilst ensuring trafficking runs smoothly.

Merchandising: A Merchandiser is the person responsible for deciding which products to buy (and why) and how they are displayed in shops. A merchandiser needs to know what’s new on the market, what the customers will like and which products will make a profit. Typical daily tasks are likely to include visiting suppliers and manufacturers, analysing sales information, negotiating prices with suppliers, ordering goods, helping with promotions and advertising campaigns and producing sales projections.

PA: A Personal Assistant is an Executive Secretary/Assistant who reports to one individual, usually a manager or director. Their responsibilities are mainly concerned with administrative tasks as their job is geared towards helping their manager/director to make the best use of their time.

3. General business terminology

Ad hoc: This is in reference to unofficial tasks that need to be performed as different situations arise. If you work in an office environment with a fridge, an ad hoc duty might be to make sure the fridge is stocked, but activities can vary depending on the situation. Random, but essential, we’re sure you’ll agree!

ASAP: As soon as possible! In other words, get on it.

Business to business (B2B): Businesses interacting directly with one another, i.e. one company selling another company a computer is classed as a B2B activity.

Business to consumer (B2C): This is where businesses interact with the buying public (consumers), i.e. a company selling a computer to a consumer is classed as B2C activity.

Business development (Biz dev): Business development involves tasks that are generally aimed at developing an organisation and implementing opportunities for growth within them. Its purpose is to use customers, markets and relationships to create long-term value for an organisation.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD): This is a professional association for human resource management professionals. It offers qualifications in HR development and management. This can be valuable when applying for HR or HR-related positions.

Client: A client is a customer who is purchasing or receiving the services of a company or organisation and can be businesses or people.

Client acquisition cost (CAC): CAC is effectively the overall sales and marketing cost associated with acquiring a new client. This takes into account the cost of everything from online advertising/marketing to B2B/B2C sales.

COB: Close of business is the end of the businesses daily activities. Home time!

Consultant: A consultant is an individual who offers professional advice in their field of expertise. For example, a management consultant may advise businesses on the structure and effectiveness of their employee roles, hierarchy and management. They may work freelance or as part of a consultancy (an organisation that provides consultants to businesses).

eCommerce: This is the industry of buying or selling products and services online. Examples of this include online banking, online shopping, group buying and teleconferencing.

Key performance indicators (KPIs): A KPI is a measurement of performance and can be used by an organisation to measure its success. A company usually sets its KPIs as the achievement of certain operational goals, such as zero defect products or 10/10 customer service.

Long-term value (LTV): This is usually relevant to sales and is related to the projected value of a client/customer over long-term period (as opposed to value of their first purchase). It is effectively the financial value of a business’ relationship with a client/customer.

Non-governmental Organisation (NGO): An NGO is a not-for-profit organisation that supports the public good by addressing issues on a local, national or international level.

POC: Proof of concept involves successfully demonstrating a method or idea to prove its feasibility.

Return on investment (ROI): Return on investment is a measure of performance that is used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or compare the efficiency of different investments. It is calculated as such: ROI = (gain from investment – cost of investment)/cost of investment).

Self-starter: This is a self-motivated individual with initiative, passion and a drive to work and succeed without the need for external direction. Is that you?

Small to medium enterprise (SME): A small business or organisation that employs up to 250 members of staff.

4. Software tools

Dropbox: Dropbox is an online file hosting service that allows users to upload, store, share and edit a large variety of file types. As a cloud storage and file synchronisation application, it gives users the ability to save and access files from anywhere and collaborate on documents from different locations. It is similar to Google Drive and may also be used in offices and at home.

Google Docs: Google Docs is a free web-based office suite offered by Google. It is part of Google Drive and enables users to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms and drawings online and work on them collaboratively. As such, it has become very useful in offices and facilitates team and project work.

Google Drive: This is a software as a service (SaaS) offered by Google. It is a file storage and synchronisation service that allows users to upload, store and share files, images, videos, music, etc. It replaced Google Docs but incorporates all of its features. This can be highly beneficial in offices as it provides an area where companies can save and back-up files as well as enabling them to access them anywhere with internet.

Microsoft Office: This is a suite of desktop applications and services by Microsoft and includes programs such as, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook and OneNote. These applications are commonly used in most offices as they facilitate tasks such as, writing documents, preparing presentations, designing posters and composing emails.

Prezi: Prezi is an online presentation service that allows users to create, edit and share engaging visual presentations. It offers more than its standard linear slide competitors as it gives users the ability to zoom in and out and move around slides in a 3D space. This Saas application can be a useful way of getting across ideas and presenting projects in the workplace.

Sage: Sage is a popular software package used in accounting, HR and payroll, enterprise resource planning (ERP), CRM and e-commerce. Businesses may use this to facilitate the effective and reliable running of their payroll and automate their financial and customer related activities.

Salesforce: Salesforce is a content management system used in CRM marketing and management. This is a useful tool for closing deals, optimising performance, improving products/services and increasing revenue. As such, it is used heavily by sales and marketing professionals.

Xero: This is an online accounting software package for small businesses that is growing in use and popularity. Small companies may use this to view their cashflow online and automate bank transactions and invoices in order to improve the running of the business.

5. Let’s get technical

Back-end: This refers to an application or program that indirectly supports a front-end application (a program that users interact with). An instance if this is the process behind launching a program.

Content Management System (CMS): Computer management systems are computer programs that enable the publishing, editing, modification and maintenance of online content. They are used to store and organise files and provide version-controlled access to their data. There are two different elements of a CMS’s functions: content management application (CMA) and content delivery application (CDA). CMA is the front-end user interface that allows a user to add, modify and remove content from a website without the intervention of a webmaster, whereas CDA compiles that information and updates the web site.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS): These define how to display HTML elements, turning the basic HTML code into a beautiful (or awful) website.

Front-end: This refers to an application or program that users interact with directly. This could be actual interface of the program, e.g. the visible display of a CMS application.

Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML): This is a standardised system for tagging text files to achieve font, colour, graphic, and hyperlink effects on web pages.

Java: Java is a programming language and computing platform that is often used to build web-based applications on your mobile, PC and everywhere else.

MySQL: My Structured Query Language is the world’s second most used database management system.

PHP: This is a server-side scripting language designed for web development but also used as a general-purpose programming language.

Software as a Service (SaaS): This is a distribution model for software in which applications are hosted by a service provider or vendor and made available to customers over a network such as the Internet.

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE): A virtual learning environment is an e-learning system (usually web based) that provides an educational service without the need for person-to-person interaction.

6. The world of finance

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA): CIMA is an educational organization that provides courses and qualifications in management accounting and accounting for business. Their qualifications are highly sought after worldwide and enable those who complete them to become chartered accountants. You need to be a chartered account to be allowed to perform certain accountancy practices.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): This is a professional credential for investment and finance professionals, which allows them to become chartered financial analysts or CFA charter holders. It is the professional equivalent of a Master’s degree and is a highly trusted and valued qualification, beneficial for anyone interested in getting into the financial sector.

7. Marketing definitions

Affiliate marketing: This is performance based marketing whereby the affiliate is rewarded for clients brought in via the affiliate’s own marketing efforts (commission based marketing). The role can include various elements on online marketing such as, SEO, PPC, email marketing, content marketing and display advertising.

Campaign: A campaign involves working in an organised and active way towards a goal and may exist in any number of sectors. For example, a marketing campaign could hold the goal of boosting social media reach or optimising SEO. Alternatively, an advertising campaign could simply be the organised effort to promote a certain product or service.

Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM): CIM is a UK based professional organisation that offers professional development to marketing practitioners and enables them to become chartered marketers. They develop a range of professional marketing qualifications that are beneficial to anyone looking to start or progress a career in marketing.

Cost-per-click (CPC)/Pay-per-click (PPC): This is a process in online advertising whereby the host website only bills the advertiser each time a link is clicked. This method is usually used if an advertiser has a set daily budget. When the budget is used up the ad is removed for the remainder of the period and not charged further. This is often an activity undertaken by those in ad operations, media buying and digital marketing.

Customer relationship management (CRM): These systems use technology to organise, automate and synchronise sales, marketing, technical support and customer service to effectively manage a company’s interactions with current and future customers. They can be used to measure and track marketing campaigns in areas such as social media and email marketing. As such, they are heavily used by those in digital marketing.

Call to action (CTA): A call to action is a button, banner or type of graphic that encourages a user to click it, hopefully turning them into a lead and then a customer. As a result, this is an essential part of inbound marketing and is likely to be an activity in digital marketing.

Click-through rate (CTR): This is a way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of an email campaign by the number of users that clicked on a specific link.

Cost per acquisition (CPA): This is a method of PPC/CPC whereby the advertiser only pays the host website when a user’s click leads to a sale or delivers an acquisition.

Experiential marketing: Experiential marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on helping consumers to experience a brand. This may be through appealing to a consumer’s senses to immerse the consumer within the elements of a product, service or brand. The goal of experiential marketing is to generate customer loyalty by creating a memorable and emotional connection between the consumer and the brand. A good example is M&M World in London, where customers are exposed to a building full of products, designs, smells and activities related to the chocolate product.

Google Analytics: This is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales. It is primarily used by online marketers for analysing the effectiveness of various online marketing activities (e.g. email marketing, online advertising, etc.).

Inbound marketing: This is the process of promoting an organisation to a target audience through online activities, such as social media marketing, blogs, SEO, newsletters, etc. Its purpose is to bring customers closer to a brand and maintain customer relationships.

Outbound marketing: Outbound marketing is the process of promoting a company through offline marketing activities, such as cold-calling, spam, traditional advertising, posters/flyers, telemarketing, etc. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the organisation and maintain its public presence.

Search engine marketing (SEM): SEM is the process that uses SEO and advertising to increase a website’s visibility on a search results page. This is a highly important part of digital marketing as a website’s online visibility is often vital to its success.

Search engine optimisation (SEO): SEO is a part of SEM and involves configuring a web page and its content so that it appears more prominently on a search results page. This can play a large role in governing the content of a webpage and what keywords are used.

Remarketing: Remarketing allows you to show adverts to users who have previously visited your website as they browse other websites, encouraging them to come back. Ever looked at a pair of shoes online and found yourself chased around the internet by those shoes in different ads? That’s remarketing!

SERPs: The search engine results position is the ranking of a search result/web page that affects how prominently (usually near the top) it is featured on a search results page.

8. Salary

Commission: Earning commission is where you get a certain portion of the money you make for your employer by doing your job (e.g. securing new clients/customers). This may be the basis of your salary or in addition to it.

Negotiable: A negotiable salary is where a base salary range is given (e.g. £18-25k), the candidate can negotiate their salary within that range depending on their level of experience relevant to the role (high experience – £23-25k, little/no experience – £18-22k). Impress for success!

National Minimum Wage (NMW): At the time of writing, NMW is £6.31 per hour, approx. £1000 per month or £12000 per year, depending on hours worked. NB: An internship that pays NMW or more will involve immediate responsibilities, independent work and targets. An expenses-only internship is a work shadowing learning experience, whereby you are assigned with a mentor and receive regular feedback sessions.

London Living Wage: The London Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay, calculated according to a combination of the costs of living in London and 60% of the median wage. It is £8.80 at the time of writing. This gives the wage rate needed to give a worker in London enough to provide their family with the essentials of life, including a cushion against unforeseen events.

OTE: On target earnings are bonus/reward payments for reaching your given job targets. This is usually applicable to sales roles.

Pro rata: This refers to the annual salary when the duration of the paid role is less than a year (e.g. a three month role at £18k pro rata would earn you (18/12) = 1.5k per month, therefore, £4.5K in three months, less tax).

Well done for reading all the way to the bottom! If you think there’s anything we’ve missed be sure to let us know.

This blog was written by Inspiring’s marketing intern, Inesh and our marketing manager, Alex. You can connect with Inesh on Google+ here. Alex occasionally blogs on plainhelvetica.com, tweets @agtownley or you can add him to your circles on Google+.


Editor’s note: All images are property of Inspiring Interns.

How to make the most of your last weeks at university

By Inesh Patel

The Easter eggs are eaten, the holiday is over and the weather is finally taking a turn for the better… It must be exam time! For final year students this may seem like the end of days, but the big, wide world of employment is just around the corner and it really does pay to be prepared! Here’s Inspiring’s five-step guide to setting yourself up before the big graduation…

1. Work hard for your exams:

Our first recommendation is something I’m sure you’ve been told countless times, but this doesn’t make it any less important. Work hard for your exams! Yes, obvious I know, but these exams represent the culmination of your years of study and are what your first employers will usually judge you the most on. Aiming for the best you can achieve and effectively working towards it should instil a sense of regret-free pride and put you in the best position to enter the job market.

2. Network with your lecturers:

In between your exam preparation and polishing off of final projects, be sure to network with your tutors and lecturers.These guys are experts in their fields and if you’re looking to get into a career related to your degree, they are the perfect people to talk to. They can give you an insight into what the industry is like, they can tell you how to prepare for it and they may even be able to recommend you to employers. Connecting with them on LinkedIn, obtaining their email addresses and maintaining good relationships with them can be immensely beneficial to you. What’s more, as professionals who have spent at least three years teaching and getting to know you, they are exactly who your first employer will want a reference from. Keep them happy and keep in touch!

3. Utilise your university’s career services:

You know those annoying careers emails that have been clogging up your inbox over the past few years? Now would be the time to stop ignoring them! Despite the fact that it is woefully under used by many students, you’re university’s careers office is brilliantly equipped to help you kick-start your career. It will have plenty of opportunities on offer in your field of interest and should be able to help you get involved with good employers. It will likely possess extensive industry links and they’re yours to use!

4. Get career hunting early:

Don’t think that others haven’t come to the same realisation; students tend to start panicking about their future at this stage of university and the careers office will soon be inundated with requests for employment. Be sure to beat the rush by getting your job applications in early. Not only will this give you more time to relax once exams are over, but if a role requires you to have achieved a certain degree classification, it will give you added incentive to do well. That extra push can make all the difference!

5. Register with Inspiring Interns!

You’ve had the time of your life, your degree is framed on your wall and you’re ready to apply for your dream job, but wait, they want you to have… experience? This may seem unfair after all your hard work, but with the job market being so competitive, more and more employers are requiring you to have some experience in their industry. How can I get my first job when it requires me to already have experience within it you may ask – this is where we can help!

Registering with Inspiring Interns enables you to bridge the gap between university and full-time employment by gaining experience in your chosen field through incredible internship and graduate job opportunities. We can help you to gain that all-essential work experience allowing you to discover where your true career passions lie and get you started on the path to success. You can view the abundance of opportunities we have in a range of sectors on our vacancies page. If you’re unsure of what to apply for, simply send your CV direct to our team, detailing your availability and we’ll be in touch if we have something suitable for you.

We wish you all the best of luck in your exams!

PS. Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy yourself. You’ve earned it!

This blog was written by Inspiring’s new marketing intern, Inesh! Hailing from Southgate, North London, Inesh is a recent product design graduate from the University of Nottingham, mad about all things music and drumming!

An Inspiring Interns review

By Hannah Roberts

There’s no denying that bridging that gap between university and your first career is tough. This is, after all, the reason that Inspiring Interns was born; as a solution to this problem. We at Inspiring are specialists in providing the stepping stones for graduates, helping you move into prosperous careers. In the past five years we’ve successfully placed over 3,500 graduates into internships and graduate jobs, with 66% of those internships leading to full-time employment.

We understand the importance of complimenting your degrees with that all important work experience that has become so pivotal in today’s path to career success. To highlight the value of our internships and how they can help graduates when faced with the impending vocation battle, we caught up with four interns that we placed within a division of the NHS!

Nomso, a University of Manchester graduate, started a freedom of information and publications internship with a salary of £22,914 in May last year.

“The best thing about my internship was my team! I was lucky enough to join a really great communications team; a friendly, tight-knit and outgoing group that helped me fit in and find my feet from the off. The most valuable thing I learnt was how to apply the Freedom of Information Act in practice and the correct way to use exemptions and apply the public interest test. At the end of my internship I was offered a permanent position and I am currently working as a full-time Freedom of Information Officer!”

Five months later, Freya, a University of Exeter graduate joined in the same internship…

“Gaining some genuine, real working-world experience was the most beneficial thing for me. My CV was pretty well populated with the usual unpaid internships and work experience at this-or-that family friend’s business, but with this internship I felt as though I was actually a part of my company. You might think you know exactly what you want from your career but you need to give it a test run. Not just the industry, but the everyday reality of a full-time job – the commute, the atmosphere, the size of the organisation… It’s just guess work until you actually start in a position!

“My internship is positioned within the Corporate Governance team who enable the rest of the organisation to carry out their work whilst complying with national guidelines and corporate processes. We were a team of 14 and the company has staff of 400+, so our work often intersects with another team with different expertise. I took a shine to a particular aspect of this work: Information Governance. IG focuses on the importance of keeping patient data and confidential information safe, and when IG was separated for the rest of Corporate Governance, I was able to transfer to the new, more externally facing IG team. There are only two of us so it’s a lot more responsibility!”

Freya’s hard work and enthusiasm for the role lead to an internship extension. We chatted to both Nomso and Freya about how they found the process of applying through Inspiring, and we’re pleased to say it was a positive response!

N: “Inspiring was very helpful, I was expecting it to take a while to be matched to the right internship, but within a day of recording my video CV they had lined me up with several job interviews, one of which was with the NHS!”

F: “Inspiring Interns took the time to present me with opportunities that I would genuinely be interested in. The turnaround when I applied for my position was very fast – I went from applying, to interviewing, to hired in about ten days! It’s worth doing your research and making sure it’s what you want when you first hear about it.”

This internship success has been emulated elsewhere within the business when Prina Shah, another University of Manchester graduate, began her paid corporate development and strategy internship:

“I received a lot of support from my line manager during my internship, guiding me and helping me to understand more about the business. Having only been there for a short time I was able to take on a significant amount of responsibility which I loved! I improved my communication skills and the ability to build professional relationships as well as prioritise work and meet conflicting deadlines. My role involved simultaneously managing various processes, including monthly performance reviews, minuting audit committees and managing various governance procedures.”

Like Freya, Prina impressed her team so much that they extended her internship a further few months. Around the same time, University of Sheffield graduate Rosanna Brunwin was settling into her £22,000 6 month HR support and training administration internship. We caught up with her in the final month of her time there to hear what she felt she had gained from the experience so far.

“The best thing about interning at my company is my colleagues. My team is really lovely, especially my line manager and they have been very welcoming and supportive; I feel like a valued employee! I enjoy my position and I like the organisation I am interning with. Having spoken to the other interns in the company and seen their progression, there is a definite sense of retaining talent which provides motivation.”

When chatting to her about what she learnt from her internship, her response was unique when compared the majority of interns we speak to:

“The most valuable thing I have learnt is that I do not want to work in HR. Whilst I have enjoyed my time here I’ve realised HR isn’t really for me. Instead I am going to do some volunteering and travelling in South America and then I am going to do a masters whilst training to be a firefighter. I think there is too much pressure on young people to get a job and start your career aged 21. Internships give you the opportunity to explore different avenues and gain valuable experience. Having left the comfort and security of university you are thrust into the world of work with the expectation that you know what you want to do. Across the different sectors and industries there is a notion of ‘getting your foot in the door’ and many university graduates end up in internships that go nowhere. I have been a lot more fortunate with this internship. When I graduated I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do but I knew that I needed a job. I never wanted to do an internship but I found myself on Inspiring’s website which, fortunately, has turned out to be a very good thing.”

We love Rosanna’s honesty and career vision; it demonstrated that internships are an opportunity to be grasped; some may lead to full-time jobs within the company, some may help you into other positions after dressing your CV with industry experience and some may act as a an insight into a life within a sector that can help you make critical career decisions.

Hannah is a Digital Marketing Executive at Inspiring. She tweets about all things golden here: @hlcroberts and pins all things pretty here: gildthelilly. You can also connect with Hannah on Google+

Building your professional online profile

By Denise Donnelly

Social media is an entrenched feature of our personal lives; your social circle will more than likely include (but will not be limited to) a Twitterati, a Facebook creeper, and most definitely an obsessive Instagram-er. We may have grown up with the internet but many of us have failed to utilise it as part of our professional lives. Social media is the rising star of the business world for three very good reasons:

1. Most businesses will have at least one social media page. Social media is a free marketing tool and has a high ROI (return on investment) if used correctly.
2. Social media marketing, management and operations is a huge job sector that is still growing!
3. When you apply for a job there is a good chance that the employer will Google your name and what they find may influence their decision.

You came in like a wrecking ball!
With this is mind you should start building your professional online profile. However, in order to build something amazing you might need to tear down some rubbish like that YouTube channel you made when you were 12 about how much you love cats. More importantly you should set your Facebook profile to private and make sure no incriminating pictures of your night out are available to the public. In this instance I went one step further and changed my second name to the Irish version so that no employer could find me, I’m clever like that. Once you have curbed the damage you did in your tweens you can now begin to rebuild your online self!

Build like Bob
LinkedIn is the best place to start, and it is more than likely that you already have a LinkedIn account that you set-up and was then confined to the online annals of the interwebs! Whether you are a LinkedIn virgin or the owner of a neglected account, this is your chance to start anew. There are roughly three million businesses on LinkedIn and two new users every minute, it is a cornucopia of professionals and job seekers and is your chance to present your skills and experiences is an economical, sleek and professional way.

The set up self explanatory but there are few very important sections of your profile but there is one in particular that you should pay particular attention to. I was always told that the most important part of your CV is the “personal” or “opening” statement, it is designed to engage the employer and sum up your relevant experiences, skills, and attributes. Apply this rule to your summary, only don’t make it too specific, in the first few glances they will want to know the following:

1. What you are currently doing.
2. Your key skills and attributes.
3. What your professional interests are.

My LinkedIn profile is by no means perfect but it might give you an idea of what I mean. However, don’t be afraid to show a bit of personality, you could say how you are fluent in LOLcat and how you run towards fires not away from them!

“Smart phones and social media expand our universe. We can connect with others or collect information easier and faster than ever.” Daniel Goleman

You are now a member of the Twitterati!
I joined Twitter three years ago and called myself after a Game of Thrones character (no I am not telling you which one). I connected with most of my friends and followed all my favourite celebrities. I treated it much like Facebook when it came to the content I would post; mainly cat pictures and quotes. When Restless Development told me that I had earned a place on their Sierra Leone trip I got rid of this account and set up a new one that would serve a much more professional purpose.

Twitter allows you to connect directly with businesses, politicians, celebrities, CEOs, and experts in every field from all over the world. It’s also an arena to showcase your talents for free. If you are relatively new to this side of Twitter then follow the steps below to get yourself off the ground:

1. Identify the sector e.g. communications, marketing, engineering
2. Search for the hashtags relevant to that sector.
3. Identify the key people tweeting about your sector and follow, tweet and retweet them!
4. Acknowledge people who retweet and follow you, it’s polite after all.
5. Start conversations with people about things that you’re interested in (development, food, fashion etc.)
6. Sit back and enjoy the most addictive ROI you will ever experience.

It doesn’t end here
Social media a sphere that specialises in individuality and uniqueness. I do believe that LinkedIn and Twitter are a must but you don’t need to be as active on these pages as I am. The fashion industry has a fantastic presence on Pinterest (a pin board-style photo-sharing website) and amateur and professional photographers share thousands of pictures a day on Instagram (photo editing, sharing app and website).

I have been using social media in this way for almost two years now and most of what I learned was through trial and error. Take some of the platforms for a spin and see if they add anything extra to your professional profile. It can be exhausting and patience is a must but the gains are immeasurable!

Denise is a University of York graduate with a degree in History and Politics. She is looking for a career in communications and PR and is currently Social Media Manager for Radio Coalisland and Head of Social Media for Model Westminster, both voluntary roles!

Becoming an Inspiring Intern

By Sophie Binskin-Barnes.

On a soggy day in January I decided the time was nigh for my big break. After what seemed like months, no wait, it was months, of traipsing through the internet looking for internships as a gateway into the events industry, I was royally stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The internships I wanted were either financially impossible, with no travel costs included, or I would never hear a peep after I applied, and a fair few were even completely illegitimate. I needed to ensure I wouldn’t be digging myself a monetary black hole whilst endeavouring on the only route to my dream career.

With a country full of highly educated twenty-something individuals what actually make us, well, individual? How do we get the opportunity to stand out in the crowd and be the rose amongst the thorns? Two sides of A4 and an application form (which basically asks you to regurgitate information from your CV) ain’t going to cut it! At the Undercover Recruiter they state an employer’s ‘average time spent looking at a CV is 5-7 seconds’. Then there are the recruitment companies adding a secondary blockade right in front of your first.

I fell upon Inspiring Interns on a recommendation from a friend who knew I was desperately seeking a great internship opportunity. After scouting through their user-friendly website I instantly applied for 3 internships in a row. Ever the optimist I had my reserve tank full of faith on this company to be my glimmer at the end of the tiring search tunnel.

If you are currently a career hunter like me, every email ping on your phone ignites a spark of hope of a company offering you that long awaited interview. Well, the very next day I actually ignited with a response from the Inspiring Intern team inviting me for an interview! I knew in no way it meant a job or a guaranteed internship, but it was hope and it felt great for my receding confidence.

After a brief chat (so good to actually speak to a human being on the phone) and an email stuffed with all the relevant information I headed to central London in anticipation of becoming an Inspiring Intern.

The office was a plethora of open plan chic, friends at work and professional planning; I instantly felt at ease and was greeted, informed and comfortable straight away. Sitting on the Inspiring Interns couch I started to read their ‘Book of Dreams’ which emerged me into the world of reality that I wasn’t the only one in this situation. Actually there are a damn lot of us wanting people to believe in us, invest in us and inspire us.

It appeared to me, Inspiring Interns were recruiting an army of hungry pre-professionals, prepared to get some experience under their belt and get noticed within a growing business. Now which company wouldn’t want a workforce that voracious, enthusiastic and dedicated to success? Inspiring Interns seemed to me to be our jury to ensure our fair trial into the professional world.

Inspiring Interns have, for 5 years now, been a beacon of light and fair trade for fresh faced post grads ready to do what they can to get into the right hands.
So I had an informal interview where they actually asked about ME; found out my interests and skills and what makes me tick. There is a lot to say for face-to-face communication in this day and age and I felt comfortable and confident to just be myself and talk about my history as well as express my hopes and dreams.

It was then time for my ‘elevator pitch’ filmed CV. It is basically a one minute long sales pitch about you to be sent out to interested employees and every candidate does one. Do not be frightened off my friends; this is an excellent opportunity in a friendly environment to really sell yourself in a happy and honest fashion. I had a few tongue-twister moments but my very patient advisor just let me start again and on my third try, I nailed it. They give you plenty of advice but it’s best to come fully-prepped and even learn a script if you wish, just don’t sound too robotic as it won’t sell you well. There are loads of examples on their website if you need a bit of a spur.

After that, you leave all the hard work to them. I know, right, sounds ace! They search and sort in your desired industry to find all your options for you then email you once they come up. They absolutely insist lunch and travel expenses are covered by your company and the internships in which you are given responsibilities are paid. So they seek out the placements, show the company your CV and video CV, and if the company are interested in meeting you, an interview is arranged. No one’s time is wasted and all interview experience is good experience for us anyway, hey!

After having been buried by a haze of questionable proposals and a complete lack of responses, the 20-strong team at Inspiring Interns HQ in London have taken me under their wing of wisdom and are well and truly holding my head above the clouds. It’s a pretty blue sky for this Inspired Intern!

If you’re looking for your dream internship opportunity, make Inspiring Interns your starting point.

Sophie, 26, lives in Kent but is soon relocating to London. She gained a BA in Managing Performance from the University of Leeds. She has travelled, volunteered and worked far and wide around the world and is now using these experiences to compliment her degree, pushing herself into a career in the events and experiential sector. You can connect with Sophie on Google+ and follow her on Twitter @SopheeBB!

The power of blogging

By Hannah Roberts

Image via success.com

Blogging! A phenomenon born in the 90s that has since become a mainstream hobby with the introduction of platforms such as Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger and Blogspot that enable people to broadcast their thoughts to a worldwide audience.

I took up blogging on the advice of a friend who recognised my passion and interest in music, trainers and fashion trends, and suggested that I try my hand at putting these thoughts into words. Not only as she knew it would be something I’d enjoy, but also to support my career hunt. I started off my writing with things that came easy to me, about things that I was interested in and had something to say about. The more I wrote the easier the process came. It was something I was able to add to my CV, giving solid evidence of my creativity, and in turn was something that I believe played a big part in landing my job at Inspiring Interns! It served as a positive talking point during my interview, and prepared me for the subsequent writing task that I was asked to complete prior to joining the company.

For today’s graduates, it’s something that I, and we as a recruitment agency, can’t recommend enough. When discussing this with our HR team who handle the hundreds of applications we receive on a daily basis, it’s clear they love to see a blogger’s CV. Blogging is an opportunity to demonstrate your initiative and proactivity whilst serving as a strong indication of your creativity (assuming you’re writing about a creative subject!), which is particularly invaluable to those looking to crack into creative careers.

For those of you considering putting hand to keyboard but unsure of where to start, it really isn’t something you should over-think. First you’ll need a topic; whether it’s something niche that you feel will give your blog a unique edge, or simply a personal interest/like that you feel you could write about. Find yourself a place in which you feel relaxed without distraction (I personally write best when in bed!) and let the words flow. It may take you a couple of attempts to produce something that you are happy with, but once you’ve managed to hit publish on your first piece, I can assure you it’ll come a lot easier. With practice, you’ll find that you will develop your own writing style, forming your own blog identity.

The next step is to grow this identity. As a product of the social generation it’s likely that you’re an active user of at least two of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest or Instagram – all brilliant platforms get involved in. Using these channels to link and share your content across your social networks not only broadens your audience but allows for the development of your personal online brand. In addition to this it demonstrates your awareness of the importance of self-promotion in today’s modern world, something which many employers favour. This experience will act as an invaluable addition to your CV, strengthening your applications, putting you in a better position when it comes to interviews and tasks and will in turn lead to a career (hopefully!).

Not convinced? Let’s look at the story of Pete Cashmore. Ever heard of the media kingdom, Mashable? If you don’t know…get to know! Mashable is a leading British-American source for news and information on the digital age. With around 100 employees and 34 million unique hits to date, and over 14 million social media followers, Cashmore created his blogging empire back in 2005, as a 19-year old blogging from his bedroom… Enough from us, get writing!

Hannah is a Digital Marketing Executive at Inspiring. She tweets about all things golden here: @hlcroberts and pins all things pretty here: gildthelilly. You can also connect with Hannah on Google+