By Hannah RobertsBlogging! 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!
So, you’ve finally finished university. The relief is overwhelming. What follows is a blur because obviously you need to make up for all those days you were slogging away in the library by celebrating constantly. However, before you know it your old nemesis, panic, returns. You’re realising that you have rapidly morphed from a joyful, elated student into just another unemployed graduate.
The speech given at my graduation ceremony, which I wrongly thought might be inspiring or full of hope, constantly mentioned that we were ‘the rebound generation’. Just a light reminder that many graduates can’t get jobs out of university so they have no choice but to return back home. Brilliant. After graduation I applied for a range of jobs and mostly heard nothing back. I would have actually preferred to be getting rejection emails. It’s the silence that bothered me, it left me in complete limbo. Every day checking emails, waiting to see if anyone had replied. To be honest, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I finished university. The future was looking bleak – family members and friends consistently asked me what my plan was and it was becoming frustrating /embarrassing that I actually had no idea. So, low and behold, I decided that the best thing to do was to apply for an MA in Religion and Political Life. This, I thought, was the way to successfully end the on-going limbo. I reassured myself over the summer months that this would give me time to think about what I really wanted to do and that it would make me ‘oh so’ employable. I started in September and it didn’t take me long to realise that although doing a master’s can be a great thing to do, it should not be used as a way to bridge a gap. Unsurprisingly, after a mere month, I quit.
Looking back I can see that there are a few questions I should have seriously thought about before committing to doing a postgrad degree. Hence the phrase; hindsight’s 20/20. So if you are thinking about doing a master’s here are a few questions you should consider before you commit:
1) Do you have a lot of work experience?
2) If you don’t have a lot of work experience, will your chances of getting a job increase if you do a postgrad instead of spending the time gaining experience through internships etc.?
3) Will doing a postgraduate degree help you figure out what you want to do?
The first two questions are important because many people you speak to about doing a master’s degree will tell you that firstly, ‘having a master’s degree is becoming the norm, you need it to be employable’ and secondly that ‘having a master’s will allow you to earn at least double the amount you would have earned without one’. I am not saying these people are lying, but these things are not true in ALL situations. Some job specifications will be looking for specific master’s but others will be looking for the candidate with the most experience in the field. Don’t underestimate how important experience can be, doing a master’s does not always equate to actual experience within the work place.
The question most relevant to my situation is the third question. I have always wanted to do a job where I was dealing with people but that doesn’t exactly narrow my job search down by much. Doing a master’s degree in Religion and Political Life was not going to help me figure this out. Getting experience through internships or work experience where I was dealing with people would firstly, help me decide what career path I wanted to go down and secondly, make me more employable.
After I quit, I started to apply for internships in HR. It was something I thought I might like but I had never had a chance to gain experience in the field. I have now started my Internship at Inspiring Interns and I am loving it!
How I feel now, after having worked for a month at Inspiring Interns, couldn’t differ more from how I felt after doing a month of my master’s. I’m excited about what I’m doing and learning every day and I really enjoy the atmosphere in the office. It’s the best decision I’ve made so far, so if you are having trouble deciding what you want to do or having difficulty getting a grad job I would definitely recommend applying for an internship.
This blog was provided by the lovely Hannah Ayres, one of Inspiring’s mighty Manchester team!
What? Beginner’s coding workshop
When? Monday 27th January
Where? Shepherd’s Bush, West London
The ability to read and write code (we’re talking the computer kind, not Morse) is an incredibly powerful skill. Any job which requires you to work closely with a developer (we’re talking digital marketing, advertising, account management in a media agency and many others) means you will most likely need to know about the fundamental elements of what a website is and how it is built, and this involves learning how to code. Even basic web development knowledge can give any job application a huge advantage – technical know-how is invaluable when paired with a bit of commercial nous and an awareness of the basics of marketing.As an intern recruitment agency with five years’ experience of placing over 3,000 graduates into internships and jobs, we at Inspiring Interns understand how crucial coding knowledge can be in differentiating your CV from stiff competition and getting a job, so we thought we’d recommend a short course to help you get started.
We have partnered with Coderwave to offer you the chance to take part in a one-day coding workshop for beginners at a discounted price taking place on Monday 27th January.
You will understand what it actually means to publish and create a website, familiarise with the technical terms, and in general learn more about software development practises. You’ll learn how to use HTML, CSS and a basic introduction to Ruby programming.
Sign up here and use our exclusive discount code ‘inspire’ for 20% discount. If you are an unemployed graduate and you claim JSA, check with your adviser at your job centre as you may be eligible for funding, but this is completely at their discretion.
The technical stuff the workshop will cover:
• Introduction: Internet, Client/Server Architecture and Programming.
• How to use the Terminal and Command Prompt.
• Basic Ruby Programming.
• Setting up working environment.
• Sublime Text Editor.
• Ruby Framework for Server Programming: Sinatra.
• HTML and CSS introduction.
• Publish your website: Setting up Heroku and Git.
• Responsive Web Design: Use Twitter Bootstrap to create a mobile friendly site.
• Grid System, and CSS styling.
If this all sounds alien to you, it’s time to learn to code.
And if you’re already up-to-scratch with the above, the discount code will give you a 20% discount on Coderwave’s more advanced courses too.
Please note: Inspiring Interns has no official affiliation with Coderwave and only recommends this third party service.
By Hannah Roberts
So it turns out the 12 days of Christmas actually begins on Christmas Day… Who knew?! To help get all you lovely grads in the festive spirit we at Inspiring have decided to do our very own 12 days before Christmas countdown, with seasonal treats across all our social channels from LinkedIn and Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, to Pinterest and Vine.
Every day in the lead up to Christmas we’ll be releasing not just festive fun but internship and job opportunities for you to get involved in over the holiday period. It may be a time to relax, eat drink and be merry with friends and family but there’s no need to completely forgo your career seeking efforts! If anything it’s the perfect excuse to escape from all the family madness. We’ll be shutting our wardrobe door for a short period from the 24th December, returning to you bright-eyed on the 2nd January. But our delightful website will remain as always, displaying all of our glorious opportunities and accepting all your brilliant applications!
I know there are countless websites dedicated to finding a job. But at the end of the day Twitter is my favourite. Not designed as a job hunting site, but in my opinion one of the best. Especially for the media jobs I’m looking for.
As we’re well into the social media age, it’s becoming easier and easier to find a job on sites you most likely visit every day for non-job hunting activities. In the mid-day sun of the social media age, nearly every company will have a Twitter account and the majority of them will be controlled by a person. A person who already has a job within the company you want to work for.
From my time being a Twitter job hunter I have devised three ways to use this social network for job hunting. Yes three, most actual job hunting sites only let you have one. Type in job/location and see what’s on offer. Twitter’s also really good to find one off jobs if you’re freelancing as well, something I’ve found to be difficult on job hunting sites.
The first one is for people who just want to see what jobs are floating round the twittersphere. Simply type in search words like you’d use on any job hunting site. Typing #job is a bit risky as the twittersphere spans not only counties, but countries. So be more location specific. It’s also advisable to know what industry you want to have a job in so you don’t have to sift through miles upon miles of tweets.
The second option is to follow users who feed is made up of job adverts. Many of these are job hunting websites. So at the end of the day you will still be applying through their website, but it’s useful for job hunting while on the go. Just favourite these tweets and you can apply for them at a more suitable time. The lovely people at Twitter will also give you some suggestions based on the job sites you’ve followed. Which is how I stumbled upon Inspiring Interns.
Way three is for people who know exactly what company they want to work for/ intern at and in what role. Within this there are a few ways to go about it. This is completely dependent upon the company. Firstly, read through the tweets to see if there are any jobs available. If they haven’t tweeted any recently have a nosey at their website, there might be something there. If there isn’t anything currently, you can always give them a quick tweet asking if they have any coming up. It’s always worth a try, and introduces you to them as an interested party. So if you do end up applying when a new post comes up they may remember you. Which is always good. I’ve found that many smaller companies list the Twitter handles of the people who contribute to the companies feed in their bio. It’s sometimes worth following the personal accounts of these people and even a good Twitter relationship with these people can be the deciding factor of getting an interview.
As mentioned before Twitter is fantastic for freelance and one off type jobs. Many of the companies I follow on Twitter are always looking for content for their blog and therefore guest bloggers. Which is brilliant for me as I love writing. And all these little bits I do get added to my portfolio which is helping me when I apply for jobs and also gives me, and my blog, a little more exposure.
Lucy is a film graduate from Falmouth University. She recently moved to London after a long stint in hospitality management and is currently a full-time blogger. She tweets from @zombielucy
This guest blog is written by Amy Wilson, who tells us her story of how an internship helped her into her dream career.
Job-hunting is never easy and knowing what you want to do is even harder. I now work in PR but to get here I’ve taken big financial hits, despised previous jobs and worked very hard! But I wouldn’t have got here if I hadn’t done an internship. Here’s my story:
I left university with a 2.2 in American Studies and no-one said it outright, but I know that the general feeling amongst my peers and I’m sure some of my family was that I would never get a job. The consensus was that you have to have a 2.1 these days, and if I’m honest, it really got on my nerves. Having a 2.1 is necessary for some career paths but definitely not for all of them. I wasn’t going to let my degree result hinder what I was going to do. Not knowing exactly what that was made job-hunting even tougher but I knew one thing for sure – my hometown Sheffield was not going to provide the answer. After endless rejected job applications for sales/admin/temp roles to get me on the payroll, I made the decision that I had to move to London.
Sifting through vacancies on the most prominent job search platforms I saw endless vacancies in recruitment. They only asked for a degree, paid well and allowed me to move to the Capital; it seemed like a great route to take. I applied to a graduate scheme with a large financial recruitment firm and after two trips down to London and an assessment day, I was offered a job.
Luckily, I had a friend with a flat where I could live temporarily so I packed my bags and moved to Bethnal Green. After no more than two weeks in the job, I realised that I hated it. This isn’t to say that everybody will hate recruitment because that just isn’t true. The prospects that a job in recruitment gives are great with opportunities to earn a well-above average salary, a structured career path, corporate benefits and more: for the right person I’m sure it could be great. But, for me it was just not right. I love communication, creativity, consumer brands, the media and being immersed in culture – a far cry from recruiting finance managers and payroll clerks. I was forced to stick with it for financial reasons and in a way I’m glad that I did. I experienced the corporate world and learnt a lot about client-facing work. But there was no way that I was sticking around doing something that I hated so I made a plan and emailed literally hundreds of media companies.
At this point I didn’t know that I wanted to be in PR, so anything and everything that differed from my role at the time was on the list. After a couple of long weeks contacting agencies, I was offered an internship at a food and drink PR company. After a lot of careful saving and a meeting with the bank, I handed in my notice at my recruitment job and began the internship.
Immediately it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I was interacting with like-minded people, using social media, working with food and drink brands, being creative and constantly connecting with the media. I loved it. My internship varied all the time and covered a huge range of fascinating things. My tick-boxes for what I wanted from work? I could tick them all. After interning for a few months I was offered a job and haven’t looked back since. It’s been a massive learning curve and I’ve been given amazing opportunities.
If I hadn’t taken on an internship there is no way that I would be where I am today. The majority of industries are moving towards internships as the way into their world due to the abundance of people applying for jobs without relevant experience. As far as I can tell, companies want to see what you’ve got to offer them before they offer you a job. If you don’t (like me) have financial help, you might have to work in something you hate for the short term to facilitate getting this experience, but, trust me, it’s worth it! I’m almost certain that you’ll appreciate where you end up more when you’ve got there from your own doing.
What to do when you’re interning:
• Make yourself indispensable
• Be alert, helpful, thorough and proactive – go above and beyond your role
• Show your enthusiasm – but not too much! Love everything you do but we all know it’s rubbish packaging 200 gift bags – do it without complaining and be humble
• Go to anything you’re invited to and get involved
• Speak to people in your agency – the chances are that colleagues will have worked in other
PR companies and they can talk to previous colleagues making them aware of you
• Have fun!
PR industry tips
• Read, read, read! Newspapers, blogs, magazines, online – familiarise yourself with journalists, columns and trends
• Be active on Twitter – follow inspirational and informative people as well as tweeting yourself – interact with the right people
Good luck and don’t give up!
We all know that the transformation from university to job is not an easy one – it is one of the biggest concerns faced by the twenty-somethings of today that have attended uni. Even bigger than your GCSEs, and your A-levels, and your final year exams. The final hurdle in the long obstacle course of life! For now, anyway.
One of the initial problems grads are faced with is trying to determine the career path to take. All those without a career plan or graduate scheme already in place are left with the mind-boggling decision of deciding what industry they’d be most suited to. After near enough 20 years of hand-held education, this can be pretty overwhelming. When discussing this issue over lunch the other day, post-graduate uncertainty turned out to be a shared feeling within the Inspiring team.
When looking at our HR team for example, (granted they’re a bunch of delightful ladies) their degrees are a pretty mixed bag. Our HR manager, Helen, knew HR was the path for her, choosing to study Labour, Organisational Psychology & Human Resource Management at the University of Cape Town (quite the mouthful). The rest of the team studied various subjects across the country…
Danielle reading Geography at the University of Southampton
Annie studying French and Russian at Nottingham
Nicola with a degree in Sociology from the University of Exeter
This theme of diversity is emulated within our account management team…
Katy studied English at Exeter
Alice spent 3 years in Bristol learning about Theology and Religious Studies
Christina studied Human Resource Management at the University of Hertfordshire
Their client services manager, Louise, read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Manchester
Another significant realisation is that throughout our marketing, sales, business development and finance departments, there is no correlation between degrees and job titles, bar one individual (me) who studied Business and Marketing Management. Language related degrees are a big feature in these departments with our marketing boys reading French and Hispanic Studies at Nottingham and German at Bristol, not forgetting our head of biz dev who read French and Spanish at UCL. Our fantastic finance manager, Miranda’s tops the charts with the biggest transformation from her degree in Biology and Management Studies.
So, it would seem that despite all those initial fears and doubt we all seem to have done pretty well! The key to thing to take away from this is reassurance in the fact that your degree field does not have to determine the direction you take post-university. Granted some sectors will have set prerequisites for entry, but this is not the case for all.
Take PR for example: a university qualification in this field is not a requirement for entry into this sector at most companies. The same goes for careers in sales where naturally, any form of business-related qualifications will equip you with an in-depth understanding of how companies operate. Ultimately, this is not essential and there are other qualifications allowing you to get a foothold in such competitive industries.
Instead, focus on the skills and attributes you have developed in during your time at university. Spoken communication skills developed in relevant modules, a demonstrable interest in your sector of interest, illustrating how your strong degree in your chosen area, coupled with your experience, has allowed you to enhance the your skillset; these are the factors that employers will be looking for, as demonstrated in many of our internship vacancies.
By Hannah Roberts
Events present a platform of opportunity, whatever their purpose the possibilities that come as a result of attending can be endless. Over the past few months we at Inspiring have attended our fair share events. We attend events to spread the word of Inspiring to a broader spectrum of companies and industries in the hope of getting more great internships, as well as to introduce our services to the growing pool of candidates out there. Both play an equally significant role in getting more young people into jobs, helping organisations find great new employees and, of course, allowing Inspiring Interns to continue growing.
For those of you undertaking an internship, events are a great learning opportunity for you to grasp. If your company is attending an event, why not ask if you could go along and help to represent them. Not only does it provide you with the opportunity develop your communication skills but it’s a brilliant chance to gain exposure to another aspect of real working life.
Whether you’re a student, a graduate or an intern representing your company, the purpose of attending an event is simple: to network and publicise your product or service. As an intern, improving your networking skills is perhaps the most valuable exercise. Perfecting this art takes practise but once achieved can act as your key to boundless connections and prospects.
Your manner is the first point to consider. A personable individual that’s seen as approachable is what you’re aiming for. Getting the balance between the confidence to talk to others and avoiding being overly self-assured is key. Coupling this balance with the aesthetic elements of a warm smile and firm hand shake will complete your approach.
Start by introducing yourself with your name and a brief explanation of why you’re there, and then follow with a demonstrable interest in the person/company. If you’ve heard of them before, mention it. If you’re unsure of exactly what they do, ask them. Doing so will help to engage the other party. Bringing something different to the conversation is an effective way of leaving a lasting impression. That doesn’t mean to say cheesy jokes or risqué remarks are necessary; you’re aiming for a memorable yet positive exchange.
Demonstrating proactivity is another quality that will work in your favour. It’s likely that as a student, grad or intern you won’t have a business card of your own (if you do, great!) but this doesn’t mean to say you cannot ask for another person’s. If this is not a viable option, simply make a note of their details; name, company and job title, and email where possible. This can then be followed up a day or two later with a LinkedIn request or email recapping your meeting, highlighting anything you discussed or want to discuss further and expressing how you enjoyed meeting them/learning about their company etc.
For those final year students and recent graduates that are on the internship/job hunt, we recommend keeping an eye on up-and-coming graduate-related events. Over the next few weeks there’s the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibition (8th and 9th November) in Birmingham’s NEC bringing graduates face-to-face with top employers. Plus there’s the next instalment of the magnificent Silicon Milkroundabout weekender being held on the 16th and 17th November at Brick Lane’s The Old Truman Brewery. A perfect opportunity to meet and network with some of the coolest tech start-ups in the Capital and the chance to see some of our lovely faces – hopefully see you there!
We know it can be tough as a graduate. It’s not easy working out what to do after uni; it’s even harder then trying to find the right job. Which is why we’re delighted to share something extra special with you: the launch of our exclusive Recruitment Training Workshop. Forget applying for jobs you’re only half-interested in, come along to our two-day programme that will give you the opportunity to receive (free) comprehensive training in a lucrative, rewarding business. In just one weekend you’ll find out if it’s the right industry for you and if you have what it takes you’ll be in interviews within a day or two and started your new career within a week. Sound like a plan? Good.
Of course, opportunities like this don’t get handed to you on a plate. We’re looking for star graduates and second jobbers to be a part of this unique course. We want to see hungry candidates, people who want to get stuck in and be rewarded for hard work. You’re bright and articulate, and want to start earning decent money. This weekend will be your golden stepping-stone, bridging the gap that so many are stuck trying to cross.
The workshop low down
It’s all pretty simple. Successful applicants will be invited to attend the workshop on the weekend of the 26th and 27th October. You’ll gain extensive training in everything from what makes people tick to the art of persuasion. Those that impress over the course of the weekend will have the opportunity to interview with multiple companies that work across finance, IT, legal and media recruitment on the following Monday and Tuesday. If all goes well you could be in a rewarding, well-paid job within a week. Madness!
Basic salaries for entry-level recruitment roles typically start at £18-20,000 with the opportunity to earn significant commission, taking overall (on-target) earnings up to around £35-45k in your first year alone.
The workshop will provide you with the following:
• A straight-up insight into what a job and career in recruitment is actually like.
• You’ll be taught about the huge variety of companies that operate in this market, from high growth start-ups to global giants; we’ll give you an overview that’ll help you find your place in this £26 billion UK market.
• We’ll teach you all the secret tekkers practised by some of the country’s leading head-hunters: how to approach and engage with anyone at any level; how to quickly and easily build trusting relationships with almost anyone; how to develop the ability to control and influence anyone in any situation.
• You’ll learn about advanced social media search techniques that will allow you to locate unique, hard-to-find candidates, giving you a competitive advantage in any market.
• Getting past the interview stage in recruitment is hard; getting the right job is even harder. This is a brilliant opportunity to find out exactly what it takes to be a successful recruitment consultant and to help you decide if you are that person.
How to get involved:
1. Submit an application to us via this page.
2. Places are limited, so every application will be put through a thorough selection process allowing us to determine whether you’re a suitable candidate.
3. Successful candidates will then be invited to attend the workshop gaining the opportunity to learn and develop skills that will benefit you in your job search and that you will be able to use in a variety of jobs and careers.
4. Those that demonstrate that they have what it takes to pursue a career in recruitment will then have the opportunity to interview with potential employers in the days following the workshop.
5. We will guide you through the interview and offer process, the rest is down to you!
Not everyone that attends the workshop will be suitable for a career in recruitment, but finding that out is part of the process. If we feel you may not be suitable for this industry, we’ll advise on other careers your talents should pursue and where possible set you up with interviews with relevant companies.
So if you think you’ve got what it takes to turbo-charge your career, get your application in ASAP!
By Hannah Roberts
Internships and job opportunities within ad operations are rife. It’s a job market that continues to prosper despite the unstable state of today’s economy. With a steady increase in entry-level opportunities, ad operations represents an attractive career path for the graduates of today to consider. Here at Inspiring we’re very familiar with the ins and outs of the role but often find that grads fresh out of university don’t fully appreciate what is involved in advertising operations positions. In order to ensure you grasp these fruitful opportunities with both hands, we’ve put together a little break down of exactly what “ad operations” is…
Ad operations refers to the processes and systems that support the sale and delivery of online advertising, focusing on the software systems and workflow processes used to sell, create, serve, target and analyse the performance of online ads.
Digital advertising refers to the online communication of promotions and marketing covering ads on Google, on websites, on your mobile phone and also on emails. Such advertisements are a method of generating revenue for the content providers (normally companies with healthy budgets).
Ad operations are usually represented by an individual department that exists either within an advertising agency, an ad network, an ad technology provider (such as Rocket Fuel) or a digital content publisher (check out zmags). These teams can be made up of a series of diverse roles from coordinators and campaign managers to technical operations and accounts management. Other department responsibilities can include research, ad product creation, client management and ensuring the ad servers/technology systems run smoothly. The responsibilities of an ad operations team is ultimately dependent on the type of the business and how it is structured. With such a diverse range of roles, ad operations can appeal to people with analytical skills, technical skills, management skills, you name it!
You can check out all our latest advertising related career opportunities right here.