I was recently invited to speak at a Careers event for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) about the challenges Marketing graduates face after University. I don’t consider myself a marketing expert as I’ve only been working in the field for a year. My topics were exclusively based on personal experience and on how I managed to get where I am today.
One theme that seemed to have resonated with the audience most, was “standing out from the crowd”. Easier said than done, right? Yeah… but not really. There’s a way to crack it. Here’s what I did: I took a close look at what made me, me. I knowwww, sounds fluffy. But allow me to put it into context.
Recruiters take, on average, 6 seconds to read a CV or application. That’s a Vine. That’s almost two eye blinks. If an applicant doesn’t stand out in two eye blinks, they will be forgotten. So, how can you stick into someone’s brain?
1. Tailoring an application to the company’s identity is essential. If it’s a digital marketing company you’re applying to, your interest in quantum physics may not be as relevant as you think.
2. Find your strengths and use them to your advantage. Are you a good presenter? Are you strong at creative writing? Do you have a passion for web design? Then why do you have to stick to a simple CV? Send in a video, a website you created, a story, a presentation on what makes you you and how you are the right person for that job.
That’s how I got my interview with Cheetham Bell. I sent an interactive presentation of my CV and my life to Dave Bell, our CEO (because, why not?). With music, colours, pictures and infographics. Creative, like the agency I was sending it to. If I were sending it to a law firm, it would have been a completely different story.
My advice isn’t written in stone, despite the biblical title of this piece. But it’s what helped me get the job I wanted and love. Amen.