How to get a graduate job in London

How to get a graduate job in London

Millenium Bridge and St Paul's

It’s time. Graduation’s over, your most organised friends are starting their graduate schemes on Monday, and you’re still left wondering where on earth to start.

Well, you’re in luck. With almost 80% of the top graduate employers offering graduate jobs in London, the capital is the place to be if you want to land your first entry-level role. What’s more, there’s thousands of small businesses and start-ups in London looking to bolster their team with talented young people too.

With that in mind, here’s our guide to landing your dream role in the capital.

1) What should you do?

If you really don’t know where to start with the career hunt, you’re not alone. Many people leave university without much idea of what they want to do, or a concept of how their skills can be applied to a job.

The job-hunting process begins with educating yourself about the options. Talk to as many people as possible about their careers and you’ll find jobs exist in areas you never even knew about. Use the Holy Grail that is Google to find out about as many different jobs as you can. Many of them won’t be for you, but with each realisation, you’ll get closer to the kind of sector or job that you are passionate about.

Also, don’t forget that you’re not committing to a career for the next 45 (or maybe even 55) years of your life. When you’re young, you have the opportunity to test drive different careers and if you don’t like them, well, that’s just one more item off the dream job checklist. Think about your passions and don’t be afraid to pursue them while you’re young; it might not be so easy to chase your dream job when you’re all grown up.

2) We need to talk about your CV…

Now that you have some idea of the kind of job you want to do, you need to think about your CV.

The most difficult thing to grasp with a CV is that there is no chance that anyone will give it the same level of scrutiny that you do. A good CV can take hours of work, and constant revision. By contrast, studies suggest that the average hiring manager spends only 6 seconds looking at each one. When you think about the stack of CVs they’ll be facing, it’s easy to understand why.

This doesn’t mean all hope is lost, we’re talking about very experienced people here, who can quickly work out if someone is right to be considered for the role. However, you need to make the information as accessible as possible and cut out anything that might get you immediately thrown in the bin.

Think of it like CV real estate. The stuff at the top is really valuable, as it’s where people will immediately be drawn to. There’s nothing wrong per say with including a personal statement, but it should only give context to your experience, summing up your degree and what you’re looking for. Lengthy prose about how motivated and innovative you are is unlikely to be much use.

Try to keep describe your experience in terms of your achievements and skills, not responsibilities, and keep the format clear, with headings and enough white space to make the good stuff stand out. The more the reader can take in in those precious 6 seconds, the better.

As for what to exclude? It’s been found that in the UK CVs with photos are thrown on the ‘no’ pile 88% of the time, while any spelling or grammar errors will be the end of the process for you too. Google yourself and see what you can do to clean up your online image as well. Most hiring managers will do exactly the same thing…

3) Take the initiative

One thing that will always stand out on a graduate CV is someone who has taken their career into their own hands.

Whether this is setting up a blog to show your writing ability, building your own website or even starting up your own small company, any kind of proactive approach is likely to go down well with a whole range of employers.

It’s a particularly good approach if you feel like your CV has a bit too much blank space. This way, you make your own experience.

4) Small and perfectly formed

Much of the clamour for positions before graduation surrounds landing a spot on a graduate scheme with the big graduate employers. Yet, while these schemes can be an amazing way of learning the ropes and progressing up the ladder, they’re not for everyone. So don’t worry if you’ve missed the boat!

One thing many graduates fail to consider is the attractiveness of small business or start-ups. In fact, as an inexperienced graduate, working somewhere like this might just be the best thing for your career.

For one, you’ll assume control quickly; graduates on a training scheme may find that it takes years before they start making any real decisions, while at a start-up you may find yourself in charge of budgets and advising on strategy almost immediately.

What’s more, the diverse and often in-at-the-deep-end style of training you’ll receive at a start-up can actually be much better preparation if you ever want to go it alone and set up your own business in the future. No matter what you go on to do, it’s also likely to stand you in good stead for the rest of your career.

5) Quantity and Quality

Next it’s time to look at your approach to your job hunt. Yes you may need to fire off a number of applications before you get a response, but applying a scattergun style is unlikely to work. It may feel like you’re increasing your chances, but copy and pasting applications is not going to allow you to represent yourself as well as you deserve.

Don’t be afraid to stand out either. Let your personality come across in your application, or maybe even consider filming a video CV or video cover letter. It works for us!

Having said that, do be aware that it’s all good practice and applying to lots of different jobs will help you when that perfect role comes along. You need to stay resilient too, and use any rejection as a chance to learn and improve. Make sure you also organise some fun things to do around your time job-hunting, so you don’t burn out or start suffering from cabin fever.

6) Research

Once you’ve identified the right companies for you, it’s time to do some research. Whether it’s your application or the interview, tailoring the process to the company is crucial to impressing them. They’ll want to know that you’ve actively engaged with them and understand how they operate, as well as understand what they’re looking for in a candidate.

Start with their website, social media and see if they have a company blog. All of this will give you a good idea of how the company operates, as well as exactly what they do and the kind of culture that they might have. After this you should be able to easily and concisely describe what the company does, and the chances are that they’ll ask you to do this at some point.

From here, consider looking at any news stories relating to the company, and reviews left by employees on websites like Glassdoor to get an in depth insight into what the company is actually like beyond the image they are trying to project.

7) The Big Day

OK, so you’ve landed the dream job interview and you’ve researched the company to death. It’s time to show them what you’ve got!

Preparation is again key here. Take a look at the information you have on the role and see what kind of skills and competencies they expect from their ideal candidate. The chances are that they’re going to ask you to tell them a time that you displayed some of these skills so it’s worth having a good example to demonstrate all of them.

Don’t forget to rehearse some standard questions too, and pay attention to your body language. Many studies have shown that retaining eye contact is essential to building trust, and a relaxed, upright posture is most effective to help you look approachable and confident. Presenting yourself well requires you to be dressed well and appropriately for the company vibe. If they’re a start-up where the founder wears t-shirts and flip-flops aim to dress a bit more formally, but steer clear of a full suit and tie.

Other than that, just be yourself. Cultural fit is one of the biggest buzzwords in recruitment nowadays and it means that ensuring that a candidate fits into their company environment is a number one priority for interviewers. So don’t be afraid of showing your personality; a buzzword-toting, uptight graduate is unlikely to be the person that the company is going to want to hire.

Final piece of advice? For goodness sake, don’t be late.

 

If you are interesting in making a start in your career, we’re here to help too! With over 200 live graduate jobs in London, let us connect you with the job of your dreams.

Obsessed with Pokémon Go? Find your dream job in the gaming industry

Obsessed with Pokémon Go? Find your dream job in the gaming industry

Chalkboard
Gotta catch those jobs (sorry)

If you’re anything like the team at Inspiring Interns HQ, Pokémon Go is taking up an awful lot of your time right now. If we’re right, then there’s a couple of pretty exciting things we want to tell you about.

First things first, swing by our office and collect experience at our newly installed Pokéstop. We have been obsessed with Pokémon Go since its launch last week, and the office has been deserted throughout lunch as the Inspiring crew have been exploring London for pokémon training and gym battling. We are lucky enough to be sat right on top of a Pokéstop, so check as you walk by and collect those much needed pokéballs, potions and experience.

The gaming industry is growing massively, and with the rise of E-Sports it is only getting bigger. So how do you break into such a competitive market? And what can we do to help?

We are lucky enough to be working with one of the top creative games agencies in the UK who boast clients like Ubisoft, Square Enix and Riot on their books, and they are always looking for talented individuals to join their design, production and research teams. They run marketing campaigns for some of the biggest titles out there, including League of Legends, Far Cry, and Assassin’s Creed.

So if you’re mad about gaming don’t worry, the opportunities are out there! Check out our latest gaming role here here to find out more about the kind of jobs you can apply for and take a look at our five top tips below to land that games industry job you always dreamed of:

1. Stay up to date

Keeping on top the latest news, big releases, and current trends could give you an edge in the interview showing your passion for the industry. Check out sites like Neogaff to keep on top of things and become an industry expert.

2. Meet people

The best way to get yourself out there is to network. Try heading to conventions like Rezzed or even MCM to meet industry professionals and get your name in the mix. Packed with everyone from small developers to the biggest names like Nintendo, they are the perfect opportunity to learn what the industry is all about. It’s probably the easiest networking you’ll ever do.

3. Make your application special.

To set yourself out from the crowd, don’t just send a CV. Personalise it! If gaming really is your passion, then you should be making sure you get that across. If you need some inspiration, this amazing CV has got to be one of the best we’ve ever seen.

4. Research

There are more jobs out there then you may think. As E-Sports and gaming grows, so do the companies who produce, market and sell them, and with growth comes more and more roles. Keep your ear to the ground and an eye on the Inspiring Interns website for more gaming opportunities.

5. Play games!

I know it might sound tough, but do keep playing video games. Maintaining the passion for the things you love is important. So, keep catching Pokémon, sneaking past guards, and collecting coins. Besides, your interviewer probably did the same thing last night too.

5 Careers Lessons from Pride and Prejudice

5 Careers Lessons from Pride and Prejudice

Row of books
Careers lessons from a book where no one has a career? Yes.
  1. Events are opportunities

Would Lizzie and Jane ever have found rich and eligible gentlemen to marry if they’d stayed at home rather than attending balls and accepting invitations to tea? No, in all likelihood they’d have remained spinsters, or been forced to accept proposals from the likes of the detestable Mr Collins in order to avoid destitution.

Take a leaf out of their book, and take every opportunity to network. Attending company and industry events might be your chance to connect with a new contact, find new business, or talk to someone who could help you land your dream job.

  1. Take a break

Whether you’re in work or on the job hunt, holidays and rest are very important. You need time away from the daily grind, to recharge your batteries and boost your spirits. If you burn the candle at both ends and don’t take time for yourself, you might lose all your energy and motivation.

Remember, good things come to those who accept they need a break every now and then – if Lizzie hadn’t taken some time away from the strains of gossip and needlework to go hiking in the Peak District, she would never have stumbled upon the beautiful grounds of Pemberly, and might never have realised Mr Darcy (and his house) was perfect for her.

  1. Consider the consequences of your actions

Putting something ill-advised on social media, losing your temper at work, leaving all your friends and throwing yourself into the power of Mr Wickham… Acting without a thought for the consequences can have serious ramifications. Always take the time to think an action through, to double-check your work, and if you’re still unsure about something, to ask for a second opinion.

  1. Be an empathetic worker

The clue is in the title: don’t let your own ego trip you up in the workplace. There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your work, but acting arrogantly will cause tension in your working relationships.

You should also work to break down any unconscious biases you have. Employers are on the lookout for graduates who can collaborate with people from a variety of backgrounds, and who can navigate potentially sensitive issues with aplomb.

  1. Work on your communications skills

Think how much quicker things might have been resolved if everyone had just managed to say what they really meant, in a constructive way. From Jane’s inability to let Mr Bingley know her true feelings, to Mr Darcy’s shockingly unflattering marriage proposal, there are a lot of failures to communicate.

When you’re communicating as work, make sure you express your points clearly and concisely, and listen carefully to what the other person has to say so you can respond appropriately and reach a meaningful conclusion.

 

Interested in getting your foot on the careers ladder? Check out our listings for graduate jobs in London.

The 6 best books for your career (recommended by us!)

The 6 best books for your career (recommended by us!)

Open book on sofa

Whether you’re looking for a spot of summer reading, or simply a way to make your job hunt procrastination seem more meaningful, Inspiring Interns is here to help.

We had a chat round the office and compiled a list of our favourite books to get your career into tip top shape.

Blink – Malcolm Gladwell

Matt Arnerich, Content Writer

This is a great book for anyone, like me, who is a bit rubbish at making decisions. Gladwell goes through exactly how experts around the world are capable of making split-second, correct decisions where years of analysis have failed.

It taught me a lot about the danger of over-deliberation and about trusting your instincts in areas that you know well. There are also some fantastic insights about advertising and marketing campaigns that succeeded or failed despite analysis on public opinion too. To top it all off it’s written in the usual, brilliant Gladwell way; intelligent, entertaining and absolutely convincing

Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg

Judy Ingber – Executive Search Consultant

Lean In is an inspiring and practical book about empowering women in the workplace and it sparked global debate about gender equality at work when it was released in 2013. I loved it because Sheryl uses lots of anecdotes from her own experiences and she offers lots of practical advice to help women solve problems, achieve goals and be the best they can be at work.

Nikki Wheeldon – Senior Recruiter

The book really opened up my eyes to how much women under value themselves in the workplace, in fact it really increased my own confidence. Whether you’re a man or woman it’s a really important read, both for yourself and how you work with those around you.

Interestingly, Sandberg has recently released a new book called Lean In for Graduates, enlisting the help of experts to offer advice to grads on everything from finding a job to negotiating your salary. Definitely worth checking out.

The Circle – Dave Eggers

-Claire Kilroy – Content Writer

It’s not only non-fiction that can change the way you think about your career. Good fiction can challenge you to think critically about what you do, and why and how you do it.

Dave Eggers 2013 novel is set in the near future, where a new Google/Facebook style company, The Circle, has achieved a near total technological monopoly. Eggers maintains a detached and neutral tone, describing the miraculous and devastating effects of the Circle’s rise, and taking us from a golden beginning to a descent into dystopia.

The book was reportedly a hot topic of lunchtime debates amongst Google employees, and it’s essential reading for anyone entering the worlds of marketing and technology. But the ethical matters at the heart of the book – regarding our rights to privacy and choice – are relevant to everyone. It’s a cautionary tale, and it certainly scared me, but it’s also a book that should inspire us to do better.

The Chimp Paradox – Professor Steve Peters

James McCallister – Recruitment Consultant

The Chimp Paradox is a mind management book, but not in the mould of those horrid ‘How to be happy, rich, successful and gorgeous while working a 2 hour work-week’ money spinners.

He starts by helping your explain the way your mind works, which gives you a great grounding for when you go on to work out how use it to your advantage. A great read if you’re concerned about managing your emotions and responses, regardless of the relevance to your career.

What Colour is your Parachute – Richard Nelson Bolles

Ben Rosen – Founder & CEO

With 10 million copies sold in 22 different languages, Bolles must have got something right. It’s the best book I’ve ever read about job hunting, whether you’re a graduate fresh out of university or looking for your first executive role.

It encourages networking, and tailoring everything you do to the person who makes the decisions, rather than sending out 100s of copy and paste applications. When employers are looking to take a chance on an untested graduate, this tailored approach is essential to everything we do at Inspiring, so you should be doing it too.

Who Moved My Cheese – Spencer Johnson

Sam Bloom – Co-Founder & Head of Sales

As an innovative agency, we’re always thinking about the next change and how to be more effective. This was a great read, explaining the importance of change in a corporate environment, and how to embrace it.

It helped me to look at change as an adventure, and an effective one at that, as opposed to something to worry about. Clocking in at 96 pages, you can get through it in an hour or two without sweating too. No excuse!

5 Career Lessons from Captain America: Civil War

5 Career Lessons from Captain America: Civil War

Captain America figurine
Because entertainment, escapism, and explosions aren’t all the movies are good for…
  1. “Compromise where you can. And where you can’t, don’t”.

At work, you’ll often find that you need to compromise. Balancing your needs with those of your co-workers and clients is key to professional success – you have to champion your own ideas and requirements, but respect other people’s and know where to give ground.

However, as Agent Carter teaches us, you shouldn’t compromise your values or integrity. If you’re asked to do something at work that you fundamentally cannot countenance, or that asks you to cross an ethical line, you should refuse and, if necessary, walk away.

It’s hard to stick to your guns when there’s pressure on you to do otherwise – especially if you’re an intern or in a very junior position – but ultimately it’s the best choice to make. If you don’t you’ll lose respect for yourself and, in the end, other people’s respect for you.

  1. Don’t let personal problems destroy your working relationships

Although the rift in the Avengers team stems from the Sokovia Accord – which would relocate the decision to intervene in a situation to external governing bodies – it’s widened by their individual agendas. Black Panther and Iron Man want to kill Captain America’s best friend because they blame him for their bereavements; Captain America objects. Violently.

Hopefully you won’t have disagreements with co-workers fuelled by the actions of brainwashed super-soldier assassins, but there is a chance that your personal dislike of someone could impact your working relationship. Alternatively, a problem at home could cause you to lash out at someone at work.

If you’re feeling angry, take some time to decompress before making any decisions – if you act purely on the basis of your emotional response, you’re more likely to regret it later.

  1. Make the most of everyone’s strengths

Perhaps you’re great at seeing the bigger picture, and your colleague is a details guy. Perhaps your strengths lie in your creatively. Perhaps you’re just really, really good at archery. Either way, while the best work environments push everyone to learn and grow, they also let you capitalise on your strengths.

When you’re collaborating with people on a project, make sure you get to know everyone’s skills and interests, and make sure they’re being used to their full potential. This will boost your chances of success, and help develop your leadership skills.

  1. Create a strong personal brand 

Say what you like about their taste for spandex, you have to admit that superheroes understand the power of a strong brand. Captain America and Iron Man both have incredibly recognisable symbols and outfits – and values associated with them.

Choosing to carry a shield rather than a weapon defines Steve Rogers as a protector rather than an aggressor (even if, let’s be honest, everyone he hits with it probably dies). He’s also known to be incredibly honest and sincere. Even though his position on the Accords is arguably quite worrying, our trust in him is so ingrained that the audience continues to identify with him.

It might not be the moment to go invest in a cape, but think carefully about the way you project yourself to the world. Everything from your social media profiles to your dress sense can inform those around your professionalism, skills, identity, and ambitions. Make sure your brand is saying what you want it to. 

  1. Take every chance to network

Whether at an industry event, after-work drinks, or a chance meeting with an ant-sized person breaking into your head office, you should make the most of every opportunity you have to foster new relationships. Getting to know people across your company and industry will help you spark connections that could help you land your dream job or bring in business.

And you never know, next time you’re in need of a helping hand, you might just find that you know a guy…

What is PR?

What is PR?

Man writing in notebook

In an age where an entire company’s business can be made or lost in a single news piece or social media post, PR is more important than ever.

Working in PR is all about working with companies to manage their public perception and reputation, with the aim of improving their profile and driving increased business.

So if forming and maintain lasting relationships and getting to the nitty gritty of how to build a business sounds like your bag, read on…

The what

Whether a customer, a supplier or an employee, everyone who comes into contact with your company tends to make a conscious decision to do so. What you do as a company, how you do it and what you say all alters public perception of your business, and with it, your success.

PR teams spend their days compiling news and reports, liaising with the media and forming relationships with key influencers. Companies also host events

As with other marketing disciplines, PR jobs exist both in-house, and as part of an agency dealing with a number of clients. Each offer different advantages and disadvantages for those looking at an entry level role:

Agency:

  • Larger teams
  • Lots of opportunities for training and learning
  • Start with basics and work your way up
  • Opportunity to work with huge clients
  • Working on large scale, big budget projects

In-house:

  • At larger firms – many similarities to agency work
  • Will be more involved in strategy and vision
  • At smaller firms – much more responsibility
  • Active involvement in strategy and direct implementation from the start
  • Opportunity to build your own relationships
  • Own entire projects
  • Learn on your feet and move up quickly

One of the best things about modern PR, is that the focus is no longer on making a business look squeaky clean. To separate themselves in competitive markets, many companies now choose to brand themselves as disruptive, visionary or look to get behind an ethical cause.

No longer are companies looking for generic, bland PR strategies, and so firms can be far more innovative with their approaches. On top of this, companies need to be able to stand out in a crowded marketplace, so are looking for ever more creative methods of communicating their message. Exciting indeed.

The who

As a graduate, you’re likely to start in a PR executive or assistant role. On this rung of the ladder, you’ll get the opportunity to work right across the spectrum, meaning that you get experience in all different areas. The job often involves being reactionary and so using your communication skills to respond to problems in the best way possible is essential

Having said this some standard responsibilities include:

  • Researching, writing a distributing press releases
  • Planning strategy and approach
  • Liaising with the media, other organisations and key influencers
  • Analysing and reporting on all coverage
  • Planning and organising events
  • Preparing and writing publicity magazines, brochures and other media materials
  • Ordering and supervising relevant market research

The how

PR is an area that is open to all types of graduate. Most degrees will stand you in good stead for a career in PR, particularly if they involved lots of writing, but specifically advantageous are:

  • PR & Communications
  • Marketing
  • Politics
  • English
  • Business Management

However, as a highly competitive sector, what really matters is your soft skills and how you impress them onto a potential employer.

Communication skills are absolutely central to PR. The message that you’re sending out needs to be crystal clear, and your ability to network and build relationships will often set the platform for your success. This will all come down to how well you manage to get yourself across in an interview situation, but you can certainly look to bolster your CV with public speaking or performance experience.

Writing, especially early on in your PR career, needs to be top of your agenda, as you’ll be doing a lot of it. Writing and editing press releases, press kits, brochures and general communications will all be part of the job. Your CV itself is always the best way place to start; make sure it’s concise, clear and completely free of waffle. Consider starting a blog or writing freelance to establish a portfolio of your work.

Time management and organisation skills will help when you need to prepare for events and coordinate different strategies. If you’ve taken a key role in a society, this could be invaluable evidence of your organisational skills.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to cope well under pressure. Imagine if it’s 5 o’clock on a Friday and a story breaks that a leading figure has publicly criticised your service. You need to be able to take in all the information, come up with a plan and execute the strategy professionally, carefully and quickly.

If this has got you interested in a career in Public Relations, check out our PR graduate jobs, or our jobs in writing & editorial. We also have a variety of marketing graduate jobs on offer, all looking to hire immediately!

Alternatively, take a look at our complete list of graduate jobs in London for a whole variety of roles.

What is content marketing?

What is content marketing?

Man writing by window

It’s one of the fast growing sectors within marketing at the moment, with 77% of brands intending to increase their content marketing in 2016. More importantly for graduates, it’s a sector that offers many graduate positions across a whole range of different skill sets. But what on earth is it?

The what

In a world where people are switching off to traditional advertising, content marketing is all about writing quality content that engages people and raises awareness for a brand, product or service. The idea is that instead of convincing people to care about what your company is offering, you engage with your potential customers on something that they’re passionate about so that they pay attention to you.

Content marketing includes writing blogs and articles, creating visual and video content and the strategy and analytics behind it all.

A great example of a brand that uses content marketing to great effect is Red Bull. Their website and social media have become a resource for extreme sports videos, for which the brand has become synonymous. Not only does this raise brand awareness, it also benefits brand identity by being so closely associated with a target audience. It’s been said that they’re actually just a media company that happens to make an energy drink.

The who

Because content marketing is all about targeting a specific audience, while still relying heavily on creativity to make great content, it’s an industry open to a whole range of people with different skill sets.

Content quality is still king, and so content marketing will always need writers, videographers and designers to create the content itself. Then you have people responsible for sharing the content; social media experts, webmasters and strategists to make sure that the right people are reading what you make. Finally you have the analysts, who pore over statistics to make sure that the campaigns are successful, finding out what aspects worked, and what didn’t.

On top of this, content marketing works with, affects and involves a large number of other areas, including PR, search engine marketing, and social media.

The how

Paper overflowing a bin

So, what skills do you need to break into the content marketing world? Of course writing and storytelling are hugely important but one thing that is absolutely key in the content game is listening.

Listening to, and understanding the habits of your audience is absolutely vital to gaining an understanding of the sort of content that they’re interested in. You’ll be able to understand the best format, length, quantity and what kind of discussions they want to hear about.

It also helps if you can be a jack of all trades. No matter what area of content you want to work in, many roles will involve cross overs and so if you can demonstrate a deep skill in one area, and a veneer of knowledge across everything else involved, it can really benefit your chances of succeeding.

Like many careers, the more you read, listen to and watch around the subject will be key to impressing in applications and interviews, but don’t be afraid to start doing either. Have a go at setting up a blog, creating, analysing and promoting your own content, and your chances of gaining a top entry level role go up and up and up!

Don’t worry about making it industry specific, or targeted to a role you’re interested in. Just write about something you’re passionate about; it’ll shine through in your writing and will make putting the time and effort into it much easier!

Sold? Search through our marketing jobs and internships to find your dream role today!

 

7 Things to consider before you start your graduate job hunt

7 Things to consider before you start your graduate job hunt

What are you motivated by?

Are you looking for an opportunity to learn key skills? Is the work culture important to you? Are you motivated by money? Write a checklist of the general attributes you want to take from your first job. As well as the above, it’s also worth consider how important it is that you find the work rewarding, or whether you’re keen on good opportunities for growth.

What size company do you want to work for?

Graduate jobs exist in everything from the biggest employers in the UK to the very smallest, freshest companies. The larger companies are much more likely to have a set training system in place, and there’ll be a much more defined career path. On the other hand if you want to work in an environment where you’ll be trusted to work independently with more responsibility more quickly, an SME could be for you.

What can I be flexible on?

Write a list of all the attributes and opportunities you want your first company to have and order them by importance. Decide at what point you’d be willing to be flexible; your first job might not have everything on your list, but so long as you’re willing to compromise you may be able to tick off a lot of them.?

What do you want long term?

If you know what your longer term career goals are it’s worth looking up the job requirements for your ideal role. That way you’ll know the kind of skills and experience you’ll need to get there and you can start the search for your first role based on what you’ll learn.

What type of industry suits your skills?

Try to think in detail about the skills you’ve developed, in education or outside of it. Certain sectors may need certain specific hard skills, while others will be happy to accept all kinds of graduates provided they have the right level of certain basic skills.

What type of role should you apply for?

Once you’ve worked out the kind of industry you’re interested in do your research. Whether you’re more analytical or creative there’s a huge variety of jobs in almost every sector. Look at the level someone with your experience should expect to enter at, but don’t be afraid to apply above that. At worst you’ll always learn something from the process.

Are you prepared?

You’ve worked out what and where you want to go, what next? Get that CV in tip top shape, prepare for your interview and it’ll be your first day in no time!

If you still have any questions the best thing to do is ask us on Facebook or Twitter and we will get back to you ASAP!

Interview: What its really like working at a Top 5 Tech Company

Interview: What its really like working at a Top 5 Tech Company

thomsons-online-benefits-office
Thomsons London Office

 

If you like the sound of what Will and Malaika are doing, good news! Thomsons Online Benefits is looking for more graduates to join its talented team! Check out the role here.

“My graduation was on the Thursday, I went into inspiring interns on the Monday, the Tuesday I got put on the assessment day for Thomsons, and then on the Thursday I got the job!” ‘Malaika Olayiwola

Sounds good huh? We popped into the Thomsons Online Benefits office  to meet up with two of Inspiring’s big success stories, Malaika Olayiwola and Will Patterson-Fox to find out more about how their last 6 months have been with top tech company Thomsons.

What do they do?

Thomsons people and values
Thomsons Values Map

Thomsons use technology to revolutionise benefits systems for business and both Will and Malaika work on the business development team. It’s not quite your traditional sales role though. “People think you’re literally going to be pitching the whole product over the phone, but it’s not like that at all” says Malaika.

“People forget that selling is a social thing” adds Will, “it’s about talking and interacting with people”. Their day to day involves phone calls, social selling, social media and emails, and they’re both keen to emphasise how much of the role is about building relationships, far from the stack ‘em high sell ‘em cheap attitude many people think of traditionally with sales.

More importantly, there’s an important balance between quality and quantity, according to Malaika who says “there’s no expectations of ‘you must make this many calls a day’, it’s not like that, productivity is important of course, but it’s not so strict”. Thomsons don’t impose any daily targets on their team, and monthly targets are introduced gently and only increased with experience and training.

There’s fantastic growth opportunities too, the pair say. “It’s a stepping stone to other areas of the business” Malaika points out, “in fact a lot of the people who work in different departments started off in the same role as us”.

Why Thomsons?

Thomsons break out area
Thomsons Break Out Area

 

“I think the thing that is really important and different about this company is that there is genuinely an open environment” explains Will, “the Chief Exec knows everybody, and he’ll walk around and talk to you.” It doesn’t get more open than that!

It’s easy for companies to claim they have an ‘open environment’ and a ‘work hard play hard attitude’. At Thomsons though it seems genuinely true, Malaika adding that, “Obviously everyone in the business puts a lot of pressure on themselves to overachieve, but everyone parties hard too so it’s a really fun culture to be in”.

It’s not just the environment that works at Thomsons, but the support and respect that they give their entry level employees. “You’re given respect and responsibilities straight away” according to Malaika, “people were so excited to meet us when we first joined and you feel important straight away, even though it’s your first grad job.”

The training too, is fantastic at Thomsons. Not only do you start with a week’s trip to Cluj in Romania for the company’s new hire academy, but the training program is consistent and thorough for the first 6 months, including 1-to-1 help and external training sessions.

“You can schedule time with really senior people in the company and say ‘look I’ve got this but I don’t understand it’” says Will, “and they will happily give half an hour of their time”. There’s genuine support, he points out, and it’s very much a team game, with everyone encouraged to ask each other if they have any problems or need advice.

Who Should Apply?

Thomsons London Office
Thomsons London Office

 

Convinced? We asked the pair their ideal candidate for the role. “I think that the thing about the role is that if you don’t necessarily visualise yourself in a sales position you could still be great” says Will. Malaika agrees saying “the person who I’d expect to be good in the position is someone who hasn’t necessarily thought about sales but has a lot of confidence and drive, maybe a bit competitive as well, but they are open-minded to it.”

“I didn’t necessarily have sales as my goal” Malaika finishes, “I thought, why not though, and for someone who’s not necessarily been thinking about sales for a while, it’s a great sales environment.”

If all this is starting to sound familiar, and you think you’d be a great fit for Thomsons, check out the role and apply today. If it’s piqued your interest in sales, check out our job listings for live graduate jobs in sales.