Watching the news today reminds me of (eek) 15 years ago when I got my, to be honest, disappointing A-Level results.
Happily I have since discovered that this lack of good grades has never been a problem in the course of my career, nor I have actually been asked what my grades were.
So I thought I’d whip together a blog post with some advice on how to get a job in the media and PR industry (which is the only industry I know about). I know for sure it’s not about getting good A-level results.
1. Do work experience
Getting qualifications may well be essential but having paper certificates to your name is just part of the package. Get out there during your time at university and do as much work experience as you can.
Most companies will give work experience placements as long as you’re happy to get stuck in and help out. You may not be given the most glamorous jobs (any good at shredding documents?) but it’s a good idea to make friends with someone friendly and ask if you can help them out with some of the more interesting tasks.
2. Do your time
It’s great to come out of university raring to go, but sadly the chances are you’ll have to start at the bottom and work your way up. You may get a job at an PR agency but end up making the boss’s coffee and photocopying, but if you’re keen and you’re good you will get noticed.
If it’s a good company, you will absorb masses of knowledge and expertise just by listening to those around you. Soak it all up – and use it yourself!
3. Get your online profile sorted
You young ‘uns today have it sorted. When I went to university only a couple of rich kids had brick-sized mobile phones and I had yet to write my first electronic mail. But these days, we’re all using Facebook and Twitter on our smartphones and what-not.
Make sure you’re on LinkedIn and consider setting up your own blog or online CV to showcase your skills.
4. Check you’re Google-able
Ok, Google-able *perhaps* isn’t a real word, but it’s certainly one I use a lot. Following on from the last point, do a quick Google check of yourself. Make sure there’s no public Facebook photos of you mooning or passed out with regurgitated kebab all over your shirt.
Employers will Google you to find out what you’re been up to so make sure there’s no nasty surprises lurking out there in cyberspace.
5. Ignore the news
Forget about the doom and gloom out there telling you how hard it is to get a job. There was a recession when I finished my A-levels as well – it’s always tough for school-leavers and graduates.
BUT these are good times, people. All you need is your laptop and an internet connection and you can do anything. Start a business, start freelancing – just go for it!
Carolyn Hughes is a freelance copywriter, PR consultant and journalist based in Manchester.
Image used under creative commons licence from Flickr.