Industry Insights \ Interviews & Job Hunting \ Monthly Tips \ S4R News / 3rd Oct 2017

Advice from industry experts: top tips for graduates

When it comes to preparing for an interview, we’ve all been there, trawling the internet for tips on how to excel and make an awesome impact at that initial meeting with a potential employer. With this in mind, rather than just give you our advice, we thought it would be interesting to ask over 35,000 industry experts what their top tip for graduates looking for a job in the creative industries would be.

We were overwhelmed by the response and noticed some trends emerging. We have consolidated the advice into list of 12 top tips direct from industry professionals. We hope these will be of benefit as you prepare to embark on the first steps in your creative career. Enjoy!

  1. Research the company’s website and social media before the interview. There’s a lot to be learned from LinkedIn and Google. Employers respect those who know about their business and the industry.
  2. Be adaptable about the nature of role you focus on. There could be multiple roles or opportunities that will suit you. Don’t become too fixated on one.
  3. Contact a consultancy like S4R directly, rather than wait for a job to be advertised. They can then bear you in mind quickly for new roles.
  4. Be yourself and be authentic. First impressions are so important. Interviewers need to see if you will be a perfect fit for the job. If you present a false impression of yourself, you run the risk of coming across poorly or worse, end up in a job role or business that is not suited to you!
  5. Focus on the skills required for the job. If need be, dedicate more time to learning new skills and abilities.
  6. Spend time creating personalised covering letters for all of your applications. Ensure they demonstrate a knowledge and passion for the company you are applying to. Never apply for a job without a cover letter, even if it’s optional!
  7. Be persistent. Make sure you follow up your application with a call to ensure they have received your application and whether they need any further information.
  8. Make sure your portfolio is absolutely top notch, mounted neatly and you’ve rehearsed presenting it.
  9. Commitment to volunteering in the sector is really impressive, especially on the CV. It shows initiative, experience and determination to work in the industry. It also shows you’re able to balance your workload well with your studies and personal commitments.
  10. Build up your network of contacts via LinkedIn or other social media sites. Having a large contact base is viewed as an advantage by employers as it shows off your networking skills.
  11. Smile! It puts your interviewer at ease and in turn, puts you at ease and helps get rid of nerves. Just make sure it is not crazed!
  12. Turn the interview into a conversation and connect with the interviewer on a personal basis. You’ll become much more approachable and will allow the interviewer to determine whether you’ll be a good match for the job or not.

If you have any tips that you’ve found particularly effective, we’d love to hear them. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch and share.