Highlights and Advice for Candidates from Chinwag's Careers Day at #SMWLDN 2012
15 hiring companies, 20+ advice mentors, 1000+ job seekers!
Friday 28th September marked the end of the beast that is Social Media Week London with Chinwag's Careers Day supported by JobisJob at The Vinyl Factory Soho. Hundreds of highly qualified students, recent graduates, and experienced professionals came along to speak with a great lineup of companies looking to hire including Nokia, Dow Jones, Imagination, Milkround, Financial Times, News International, Ve Interactive, Tempero, General Assembly, Enternships, 1000heads, PutItOut and more.
Job seekers and careers movers were queuing for CVSurgeries and Portfolio Reviews from industry professionals and we could see a vibration of enthusiasm for all things digital spread throughout the room. Our Chill Out Lounge gave attendees an opportunity to recharge (physically and electronically!), make the suggested amendments to their CV/Portfolio from their advice sessions and network.
JobisJob's 'Generation S: The New CV - Social, Screen & Stamp' seminar was a huge hit with candidates with both morning and afternoon sessions selling out! We are Generation S: 'social' and JobisJob Sales and Marketing Manager, Christian Palau stressed the potential and importance of having a 'social CV' and the new ways of searching for jobs online:
"Now in 2012, 50% of recruitment is conducted via non traditional methods... a massive 86% of recruiters look at your social profiles. The digital revolution has made job hunting possible 24/7, with a worldwide reach."
Also, Hyper Island's 'LET'S MASH_UP' workshop certainly got all bums off seats for some creative, collaborative fun with two teams being given 5 minutes to cover the walls in post it notes with their favourite apps and services (very colourful as you can imagine)! The time then came to discuss the best ideas from a mashup of the apps and services. This resulted in things like 'YouSomething': combining YouTube with Draw Something to get a video charades game - genius or what!?
It was a great way to end the week - seeing both the future and current generation of media experts delve into their future career paths.
But wait - there's more! Our wonderful advice mentors have also put together some advice and hot tips for you to take advantage of below:
Rebecca Gloyne, Global Employer Branding & Social Media Manager, Nokia
"The @NokiaCareers team thoroughly enjoyed Chinwag's Careers Day at SMWLDN. The venue was busy all day with so many enthusiastic and engaging individuals, from graduates to experienced professionals. We loved speaking to everyone, getting feedback and giving people the opportunity to get to know us better. We have a GREAT story to share with our colleagues from this event!"
Top Tips: For your paper and Digital (LinkedIn) CV
- Use the profile section/summary area to demonstrate who you are. What’s your one sentence story? This is how you can differentiate yourself from others.
- Make sure you include ‘memorable info’. The type of information that could make you stand out from others and enhance your credibility e.g. unique skills and impressive achievements.
- Consistency is key. If you are using your paper CV and different social channels, make sure you are saying the same thing across them all e.g. do your job dates match what you've said on LinkedIn? Do your job titles match?
Sam Michel, Founder, Chinwag
"Like some of the other mentors, I noticed a big increase in the number of well-qualified overseas candidates. There's still a struggle for recent graduates to find relevant work experience. It appears, there's a strong correlation between this experience and getting hired, standing out from the crowd is getting tougher, as the crowd gets bigger. In contrast, the more technical roles are in huge demand, from coders to UX to mobile developers as well as the rise of new roles such as data scientists. It's a good time for mathematics and psychology grads."
- Think Like a Marketer - Your CV, resume and Linkedin profile are all advertising for you! What's the top of your CV look like? Does it make you shine, or do you have to wade through miscellany to get to the good stuff? Recruiters are inundated with applications, you may less than half the first page to make an impression.
- Specifics not generics - try and highlight specific achievements both in the summary at the top of your CV and also when describing job roles - clients handled, budgets run, sales achieved, awards won, etc. Says a lot more than 'Account Manager' can, and job roles with the same title can differ greatly between companies
- Personality - there's conflicting advice on this one, personally, a list of achievements help establish what you've done, but I'd like to see something that shows a little of your character - drunken Facebook photos, bad, that charity bike ride to France, good.
- Not all work experience is the same - a 3-yr long Sat job in M&S is good, but those two weeks interning/volunteering on a social media campaign is more relevant, highlight the experience that's relevant to the role.
Emma Haslam, Director of Analysis & Insights and Founder at Per4mance Insight
"There's definitely no shortage of desire from the candidates I saw and a willingness to learn and improve. I saw quite a few more people after a career change rather than recent graduates and also a fair number from all around the world. It was interesting learning the different expectations from CVs in different countries, which is an added obstacle foreign visitors have to grapple with. There's still quite a lack of understanding of the digital world and all the many aspects that make it up, not such a new industry anymore either."
- Do a lot of research of the area you're trying to get into so you can emphasise your relevant skills and achievements clearly.
- Use LinkedIn to find similar job adverts to what you're interested in so you can see what potential employers are after.
- Use Twitter and LinkedIn to follow companies you want to work for. Find out who the relevant people are in them, use social media to build relationships with them and find out about relevant meet-ups to go to.
- Have a few slightly different versions of your CV which prioritise and highlight different experiences and achievements so you can apply for different roles quickly.
Peter Hill, Managing Editor at Buongiorno UK and Presenter/Trainer at Media Trust
"In comparison with the last Chinwag's Careers Day (at Digital Shoreditch), there's an interesting shift away from British candidates to a truly international crowd. London is still a globally desirable place to work. The standard of candidates was very high, with many CVs requiring minor tweaks rather than wholesale changes. I advised every candidate to consider the importance of layout in guiding the eye and making an impression."
- The formatting of CVs in this country can be radically different to that of other nations, so please research best practice and don't assume that what works in one territory will automatically work in another.
- Personal profiles seem to trouble a lot of candidates. Aim to be laconic and avoid cliche and platitudes like "self-starter" or "team player". Economy and precision of language is an impressive skill.
- LinkedIn. This is non-negotiable: join, publish, connect. Do it now and discover a resource to see how those doing the kind of job you desire describe themselves and their work. This may inspire you to sharpen or refocus the content of your job applications.
- Online portfolio. This one never changes: follow the old Hollywood maxim of 'show, don't tell' by showing me your blog, portfolio or examples of your passion for the medium, especially if you are looking for editorial, graphic design or communications roles.
Keep an eye out on Chinwag.com for our future careers events! We'd like to thank all those who took part in the Careers Day @ SMWLDN - without our generous supporters, exhibitors, advice mentors and volunteers it simply would not be as great an opportunity for candidates as it is!