Recruiters will be flooded with applications for certain jobs. There is no harm in attempting to make your candidacy stand out from the crowd, but be careful not to go too far.
"Think about being a bit more creative," says Charles. "Everybody sends through the bog standard CV so think of something creative you can add to it or maybe present yourself in a different way. However, bear in mind the culture of the agency so ensure you do your research to make sure you are pitching it correctly."
Establishing your own niche can be a significant string to your bow when trying to impress potential employers.
"People who have decided to specialise in a particular area can have an advantage," says Charles. "For example, digital communications is a major specialty and lots of agencies are looking for people with something different to add value to their teams. So if you've got a good understanding of digital communications and you may have run your own blog, for example, then that would be of interest."
Don't be the person who fails to follow simple instructions or includes spelling errors in their applications.
Charles says: "Typos are a common mistake. Not reading through what is required is another. For example, on our graduate page it clearly says you need to send a CV and photo as well as your application, and some people don't do that. Someone who hasn't read instructions clearly stands out."
Having an understanding of a company's ethos can give you the upper hand over other graduates and demonstrate your desire for the job.
"Researching the company is key," says Charles. "For example, in the PR industry, you can research different advertising campaigns, read PR Week, get to know who's who and understanding the different brands and what they do."
A graduate scheme with a respected company can give you the perfect start to your career.
"The benefit of applying for our graduate programme is that it is rotational," says Charles. "People come into the business and have preconceived ideas about what sport, healthcare or energy industrials is and they haven't got the opportunity to see what else there is out there. So through our scheme graduates get the opportunity to experience different sectors and then really build on skills they may not have previously considered."
Charles adds: "I think it's good for graduates to pursue internships and work experience where they can with a range of different agencies so they can get a good feel for the industry sector that they eventually want to specialise in. Most graduates have a good degree and come from good universities and will probably write a good application. But I think the people who stand out are those who have done something slightly different."
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