Getting your first job out of university can be really tough. Not only does it seem like all the fun has come to an end and suddenly you’ve entered the real world, finding the right job can be a daunting and difficult experience. If you know you want to work in a digital agency, chances are you’ve got some good reasons why: you’ve got a particular skill set, you’re fascinated by the industry or you enjoy a fast paced environment and working with people. It can seem difficult to get your first foot in the door and get your ideal graduate job, but the good news is that recruiting at a digital agency is really hard too. Our straightforward tips will help you stand out from the crowd and secure that all important first job.
Having a good record of work experience is crucial. When you’re at university, try to get internships or work experience placements during the holidays. Not only does it give you a lot more to talk about on your CV than just the title of your Dissertation, work experience is an important networking opportunity and literally gives you experience of work. It sounds obvious, but for a lot of graduates, knowing what to expect and how to behave at their first “proper” job can be a shock. Having a strong record of work experience shows employers that you’re proactive, focused and keen to learn.
If you’re sending your CV to an agency or applying for a job, include a covering letter. Try to find out the name of the person who’ll be reviewing CVs and address it directly to them. The covering letter doesn’t have to be War and Peace but an introduction into who you are, why you want to work at that agency and the skills and experience you have can make a big impact.
Try to keep your CV relevant. An introduction summarising the key skills you have and why these are relevant, followed by your work experience and what it taught you, backed up by your qualifications and personal details is all it needs. You don’t need to go into enormous detail about previous jobs you’ve had or everything you did at university. Try to keep your CV to one page if possible.
When you hear back from an agency wanting to arrange an interview with you, make sure you have good email etiquette. Be responsive and polite. Don’t write an essay back, but don’t send a three word response either. Remember that an agency’s whole business is built on having good customer service, so you’ve got to prove that that’s a skill you’ve got, right from the start.
In preparation for an interview, learn as much as you can about the agency itself. One of my favourite interview questions is “What do you know about Plug and Play?” and I’d estimate that 70% of the time, the answer is “Not a lot.” This is also really important for you: you’re going to be spending about half your waking hours at this place, so finding out as much as you can will help decide if this is really the right company for you.
Many of these things might sound obvious, but it’s amazing how far being proactive, focused and polite can actually get you when applying for jobs. These are skills that every agency wants their team to have and it’s surprising how many applicants forget to demonstrate that they’ve got them.
Interested in working for Plug and Play? We’re always looking for good people, so please send through a CV and covering letter to [email protected].