I get this question regularly from graduates, and here is my best advice.
1. Cover letter – Make it bespoke.
It’s no secret businesses often get 100’s of applications for one role. This is especially so when it’s a competitive industry such as media. Everyone has a different filter to get 100 CVs down to 6. My filter was the cover letter. If that didn’t grab my attention, rightly or wrongly, the CV didn’t even get a look-in. Make sure you address the person by their name, the exact position you are applying for, and the name of the business at minimum. Without these 3, I know I’m the recipient of a copy/paste job. If you can’t be arsed to address the person/business correctly, why should they bother to call you back….they’ll move on to the next application.
2. Be more sniper.
Don’t expect to get individual replies when you adopt a scatter-gun approach. Be more sniper. Spend time identifying your Top 5 or 10 targets and write your cover letter & CV to ensure it fits the business & the role like a glove.
3. Husband/Wife material
You’ll generally spend more time at work than with your partner, so do your research.
If you were about to go on a date, you would find everything out there is to know from their social channels. The wonderful thing is, businesses have a lot more information in the public domain. Do your research, and know them inside out.
4. Don’t be scared of the phone
I’ve never heard of a business who have turned down a pro-active candidate. Don’t be scared to make a follow up call. Skills can be a taught, attitude & passion can’t.
5. Experts are called experts for a reason
Here at TalentWorks, we want you to land the role just as much as you do. Pick our brains. My mobile number is on my card & email signature for a reason.
Final Thought - You’re a graduate. We know you don’t have any experience, so make up for that with enthusiasm, passion and a genuine interest in the business.