Are you a 2nd or 3rd year and already thinking about ways you can make your CV stand out? Or are you a recent grad and wondering how to make your CV stand out against the 100’s of other applicants? This blog is for you.
I’ve been both a recent grad looking for my first job, and also a recruiter! Albeit a strange blip in my career and not one I enjoyed so much, but I definitely learnt some tricks!
Let’s start at finding your point of difference. Then we can think about ways to stand out.
The difference is you
Sorry to start with such a cliche, but bear with me! Most paths to a career in media, marketing and advertising take a very similar route. From work experiences, to degree choices, internships and side projects. Not forgetting then everyone applying for the same grad schemes and desirable jobs!
If you’re a 3rd year and you haven’t done any work experience yet, or you’ve recently graduated and don’t have a plan, don’t panic. It can be really overwhelming when friends and those on your course around you are ticking boxes quicker than you.
Experience doesn’t have to come in the form of an internship or work placement. Think about things you’re good at, and turn that into a showcase of your skills. This might be photography or videography, writing, fashion, drawing, design & editing or cooking!
Create an Instagram page dedicated to what you’re good at! This could be a blog or website, and it will begin to show off your skills for you. This will show future employers your work ethic and you’ll also learn skills along the way.
This side project will give you something to talk about at interviews, and will look great on your CV. Who knows – maybe it’ll make you some money when you friends commission you!
Tailor your approach
This is time consuming, but worth it! Make sure your approach to jobs or work placements mirrors the role you are applying for. You can’t apply for a graphic designer position with no flare or creativity.
Here are some things to think about when writing your cover letter and CV, these will help you stand out.
- Make amends to your CV so it features the brand and identity of the company you’re applying for. (Colours, style, tone of voice!)
- Add the hiring manager (if you know a name) or person leading the department on LinkedIn, and engage with their content.
- At the top of your CV include a short skills summary that won’t take longer than 20 seconds to read.
- Make sure you follow up once you have applied!
- If you’re working with a recruiter, do your own research and don’t always rely on them to find you jobs or work placements. This will show the recruiter you are pro-active and they will have an easier job at selling you in.
Never stop learning
Reading industry news, taking free courses on Google and networking with people in a similar position to you will increase your knowledge.
By doing this, you’re giving yourself valuable talking points to discuss in interviews, meetings at work and future jobs!
Set up a new email and subscribe to a number of websites relevant to the industry you want to get into or progress in. Share posts you like on LinkedIn, and stay on top of trends within your industry.
When it comes to an interview, or even when you’re in your job and looking to stand out – nobody is you. It’s good to copy what successful people do and make it your own!
To summarise, here are my top 3 take-aways to finding your point of difference.
- Go at your own pace and do what you enjoy, don’t be phased by friends or colleagues,
- Use LinkedIn to show your work, thoughts and network! Be pro-active.
- Always find ways to increase your knowledge and read the industry news.