The labor market is becoming increasingly competitive as each year passes. Getting your foot in the door to find a job, especially for students and recent graduates without prior work experience, can feel impossible.
You need to get creative and find ways of gaining work experience, to open those doors to the labor market. This includes your CV preparation and taking initiative.
We’ve compiled some tips to help you start working in your first internship within a creative company culture.
1- Prepare your CV
Your CV is the first impression a company gets of you before they even meet you. It’s not just about what’s in the CV, you also need to consider the formatting of it. Is it eye-catching?
Of course, the content matters. Once the formatting has caught the eye of a potential employer, they will read through your experience. Some key elements you need to include are:
- Contact details (email, phone)
- Professional experience
- Volunteer experience
- Extraordinary skills
- Technical tools
- Graduate training programs
In some cases, if you do have some work experience under your belt, you can create an online portfolio and include a link to that in your contact details.
Some other tips about writing an amazing CV include:
- It is recommended that a CV should fit onto 1 page and should never exceed 2 pages.
- Using descriptive words to start sentences is a great way to keep the reader engaged.
- There are loads of online resources for CV templates that can help you start yours.
2- Create Value
Creating value for an employer is key to getting yourself noticed. It’s not just about what getting that internship, or job, will do for you, but what you can bring to the company!
An innovative work environment will value the skills, attitude and creativity of a potential employee. This is partly because it’s important for companies that you’ll fit in with their innovative work culture, but also because they want to know how you will impact their business.
Think carefully about what you bring to the table. Are you inspiring, creative, or great with teamwork? Do you want to make an impact? Are you someone who is supportive? Are you a leader?
3- Take the initiative
Putting in that extra effort can make all the difference. You need to be proactive and get creative in your productivity. You could just search jobs online and send CVs, but consider how many other people are out there doing that same thing...how will you set yourself apart?
One of the best ways to figure out how to be a perfect candidate for any specialty is to read job descriptions - everything you need to know to get selected is in there. Everything from the job description to the professional or educational requirements. All of this can be used as your map for what initiatives to take.
Some of the ways you can show initiative include:
- Take online courses to fill in gaps you may have when it comes to work experience, e.g., Online or in-person leadership development training.
- Think about what skills you have from other experiences that are transferable to the new specialty you want to move to.
- Research multiple job offers for the same specialty at different companies.
- Read more about the specialty you want to enter, especially from a more practical aspect.
In an ever-changing world, employers are looking for employees who are able to process information, put new ideas into practice, and show initiative. These alone can sometimes trump some of the professional requirements in a job description.
4- Go to job fairs
Most major cities hold job fairs, and a simple google search will pull up a variety of results. On occasion, there are entrance fees, so it’s good to do some additional research to see what other people have said about that specific fair.
Some job fairs are more general, others are for specific areas of employment - so ensure you take a look at the list of companies set to appear. In some cases, companies like P&G hold a job fair for their company alone.
Usually held in large open rooms, you’ll walk into a variety of booths set up, each for a different company. Each company will have a couple of representatives there to hand out flyers, answer questions, and give you some information about what their company looks for, and how to apply for positions.
Job fairs are a fantastic way to get noticed and see what’s out there. They’re also a great opportunity to practice your interview and interpersonal skills. You’ll be in a high energy environment with the chance to make your impression on company representatives.
Some important tips for jobs fairs:
- Take a handful of CVs with you to give out.
- Dress to impress - as if you were already working in your specialty.
- When you meet someone, shake their hand firmly and make eye contact.
- If someone or a company interest you, make sure to ask for a business card.
After you’ve handed out your CV and collected business cards, it’s very important that a few days later you follow up with anyone you met. Call them up or send an email! This will help you stand out and show that you are eager and willing to put in that extra effort.
Note: Some job fairs are now being held virtually because of COVID-19. They continue to be a great way to engage with companies and can offer you different employment options, as remote work grows in popularity.
5- Try volunteering
There are loads of volunteering and internship opportunities out there, which are a great way to get professional experience if you don’t have any. In some cases, like at P&G, you can find paid internships!
Sometimes trying to go straight into a career or junior position can be challenging - there is a lot of competition out there and often junior positions ask for 1-3 years of professional experience.
Volunteering and internships are incredible tools to utilize. They provide you with practical work experience, give you the chance to see what it’s like to work in a company or in a specialty and allow you to make your mark. It’s your chance to show off your skills and take part in an amazing learning opportunity.
Most companies that offer internship programs prefer to then hire interns who show real initiative, rather than looking outside of the company for filling junior positions. Getting an internship is a real foot in the door for most students and recent graduates.
6- Access more internship opportunities with P&G careers
There are a variety of internship opportunities with P&G, where we look to hire the best talent to join our teams! Our hiring process is purposeful and thorough.
It’s important to us that you have a complete understanding of who we are, what we do, and what we’ll expect from you. This is to ensure that you’ll be the right cultural fit and that you’ll be able to follow your desired career path.
7- P&G is an innovative company
From the get-go, at P&G, you’ll be at the center of innovation. You’ll be given exciting initiatives that you can lead, take ownership and responsibility of. All this in a dynamic work culture where your ideas can flourish.
8- Develop your career path in P&G
We hire based on the potential we see in people and love to watch our employees grow - which is why we offer world-class training to help you on your way to becoming a leader in your field.
Leadership is one of our core values and is crucial to our internal and external success. We are committed to developing world-class leaders, through leadership development training, so our employees can achieve their dream jobs.
9- P&G offers challenging and creative work
Innovation drives our business. Your creativity and ingenuity will be an integral part of building billion-dollar brands that help make the world a better place. We offer meaningful work in an environment where creativity flourishes and you’ll consistently be offered opportunities to learn new skills.
10- Work in one of the fastest-growing companies
At P&G it’s not just about what you’ll do, but how you’ll feel. It’s important to us that you feel welcomed, valued, purposeful, challenged, heard, and inspired.
With an expanding team of talented and skilled professionals, across a wide variety of specialties, we are one of the fastest-growing companies worldwide.