Monday, August 20, 2007

Strathclyde Uni Students of MSc Marketing 2007 and 2008

More on pratical tips on getting a job.

Okay, so now you have a goal and a good idea of how OTHER people got there and what it takes of a person. You also have an idea of a route to get to this goal.

Now here are some tactical tips:

1) Make Business cards -branded for the class! Make a nice business card for as many of you as will want one,, have a project to do this and buy it from a printer- often they have spare 'kerf' around a nice colour print job and can pop say 6 business cards on the run. So you should be able to deck around all those you need for people interested at a couple of printers for small or NO cost! Brand it with the Uni of you are allowed or make your own brand for the 2007/2008 class mark!

This helps me! getting the course known. Put your photos on it in color...get a pro photographer in or make your own stuido...hire the stuff ! someone is bound to be a photo buff who can bring a camera and you can no doubt hire 'slave' flashes, warm tone filters and a nice background. Wear business dress for hte shoot! or do it agraduation. give them to each other as a mimento!

Now how to use this...well all those networking meetings you meant to send a CV from or they knew of someone who could... a CV is a private document- people don't really want it lying around as they knwoa bout the dataprotection crap. ....and let's face it you dopn't have much to pyut on it on average, just your education and part time / temp jobs, right?

So havign a card to leave,or a few, which is a quality one you can just write on, marketing vacancies? is ideal for informal meetings, passing on to friends or for more formal networking meetings. Furthermore, when you do get a client interview through an agency it can lead to the famous work-arounds!!!

Also offering a card immediately will lead to you getting a card, as a matter of business etiquette whereas being a student on a networking visit will often NOT get you a card. These are useful for calling them back, writing a thank you letter or askign them for a dvice later or checking when a job is advertised at them.

2) work around recruitment consultants...leading on from previous comment. They are no pals of yours but in a couple of years time you will struggle to get shot of them! Even though an employer may be willing to accept a new graduate because of your MSC and special first degree or other USP, the agency don't like this as it may reduce their fee and they think it wastes their time...they want a straight job-to-job with no more than a 10% payrise if they can. Riskyt young graduates who haven't done the australia thailand tour yet are not what they want.

Recruitment consultants work as follows:

AIM- to recruit the best possible person for the job at hand at the 'correct' price.

That is to keep wage expectations and rises by shifting jobs DOWN! often you will get suprisingly offered the same as you are on in a current role or the going rate - once I got offered less and I there was no company car as in my current role at that time.

Also in terms of 'the right person' they will often over look very talented people becuase of some fixed idea of 'must have' which they have maybe misinterpreted with the client. BUT this is a more underlying thing- they do not want a person who will not fulfill the job for a year because-

AIm 2- To hire a person who will perform and stick the job for the 6 months to one year prior to agency getting paid.

So as in the last paragraph, they will overlook people who are a bit riskier - and even re-advertise or begin head-hunting int heir old data base of 'paid for' candidates i.e. those who have worked the above time to fee date!!!

Aim 3- increase the number of clients and jobs at those clients outsourced, push up their fees, increase their income.

Standard business strategy- sell to more customers and sell more to those customers once you have them! "add value" in the recruiting field i.e. just tell the client they have to pay upfront fees, expensive ad' space costs and 'consultancy' before they even get the candidates on their chair.

Tactics- they don't like new graduates or people on training / placement schemes very much as there is uncertainty on pay level and hence the cash % they can reap- these candidates also are riskier as they have not proven they stick jobs for more than 6months and they have wander lust todo thailand and bondai beach!!!

Tactics- they will as said offer what you are on. They will find your other non financial motivation to leave the job and use that instead of offering a pay rise. This keeps their cost effective customer recruiting in line and means they get more business as they can say they recruited below the target cost!! It even happens that you go to a client interview and they are comfortable with a level of x, and then mysteriously later the recuntment cuntsultant comes back with a far lower offer or 'indication for you level of experience'.

so work around the fckers! Yep, find out who the employer is, who maybe their contact is and say you have already applied there or are not interested. Once you have this information get off the phone asap. Don't remind them of your name. Then send a spec' letter to the marketing director and one to the personnel, phjoning up.

Also you can second guess who they are advertising for on their web sites. Combine 'leading glasgow direct marketing agency' with your spec searcha nd call all three or four agencies up to find out! Send spec letters to all ten in the UK or whatever.

Where recruitment consultants can come in handy is

1) for sales- these often look for new graduates
2) for the very occiasional graduate recruitment programme

They are most handy at getting into big companies becuase they have done the ground work in finding the right HR and marketing decision maker to get you in front of. They have an "in" to some department you probably didn't come accross-- for example did you know the brewers sometimes have seperate trade channel marketing departments? i.e. either sales support for pubs, their own pubs or packaged beer promotions etc which are not always controlled by the brand manager, or 'off advertised' brands get a trade channel manager who is effectively a below the line brand manager- what a great "in" to a company? Some HR departments have their own marketing people! Some agencies have specialist IT or HR or trade channel departments!

The main aim of a recruitment consultant is to get two candidates who can slip into the job and are really motivated to LEAVE their last job. Thereafter they can have experienced person who is unemployed. Then the rest are just fillers to get 20 CVS infront of the cleint and then 6 people into interview. The other aim is to keep wages under control for the client, sot he reason to leave will be plausible but they won't really get much of a pay rise- tyranical boss, relocation to the dear-green place, divorce or a very minor promotion. So often the actuall offer for you can be disappointing. Also they are fond of 'quick fivers over slow tenners' the first two rungs of the ladder they would rather close the deal at a low overall salary to get the client's money in, than work for a candidate who is looking for top aware of this. If you bleet on about minimum wage expectations you may get thrown out early. Best to really talk about this directly with the client when you can, but throw the focus off this to begin with.

recruitment consultants usually hate graduate positions as they are inundated with calls, many from persistent no-hopers who think they can just get into a job from whatever degree. However some times there will be a specialist job they are recruting for or a whole new division/factory etc in a company which needs some of YOUR skills and attitudes. Now the 20 CV is likely to be maybe 30, and the interviewees say 12 your chances are a lot better of getting in front of them.

having your own business card is a very good plan because it means the client can discreetly keep your details ...tucking them in their wallet or

3) quantity of research over sheer number of apllications- quality in execution

you want to do a lot of reseathc into advertised employers and those who you have identified as good starters. You may find out foot in the door jobs as a temp or rep ect...make a good list of companies you really want to work for in the industry which you want to get into. Then go thorugh them and get a name to write to from reception. If they have a job title like ''office manager" it may be worth giving it a miss and in stead phining them up to 'network' to sya an account manager in an agnecy, a project manager in internet or a product manager in the work place. If it's a small company maybe just go to the top! Find out a bit more about the company from this first or second line of contact and find out who would really decide to take someone on and who may be building a team. Find out if they take from temps and if anyone is off on maternity etc. Then send a well formulated letter whcih states you overriding motivation to work for this company out of all others and why this general industry excites you. State you are prepared to 'put in a huge effort' to get a foothold in a career with them. Ask if you can come in to an informal first meeting uin the letter. DOn't send your CV ..yet!

You should at the same time write down a list of questions which are open ended...don't let them close ...avoid 'are you recruiting right now' ..Mention you wrote to them and are really interested to find out a little more about them, maybe just the chance to present yourself and what you can offer to get a foothold.

5) government schemes - work placements etc

These are very much a double edged sword. Usually they lead to a rather long period of doing work you should be paid for followed by a mediocre salary in the same effective job where people still expect you to make the tea. ....they are therefore what YOU make of are offering your mind, your skills, your ideas...and you really control a good deal more than you may presume for now.

...the truth is that the employers don't really know what to give you to do they go along with it out of goodwill and a sense of guilt and mayeb that they woudl like to do some more marketing or maybe bloster their small marketing dept.....unless they are just taking you as a free trainee which often happens, or as free extra stamp licking, telesales or what ever...

get a couple of projects to do. Give them some 'stratgic goals' stay clear of mailing customers and acllling them up. THen network for advice on how to do these, like to marketing agenices etc.

You may be lucky and have for example IBM down the road in Greenock from wher eyou can stay at Mums while this period of poverty plays it's way out towards a job as a junior assistant IKT interface trainnee!! which brings me to

6) walk down your happy street

Where do you want to have your first poorly paid job in advertising? You may have a good idea of employers and brands you want to work with, but maybe you knwo your first say 13K job is goign to have to be near your current student digs or your parents so you can slum it while you pay off some debts and get some experience to 'sell on' for a better job.

Take a walk down suachihall street, where-ever you want to live and work and start writing names down. Head out to the Gyle in Edinburgh, or just down your own town's high street, business estate or industrial area.

Then think of somewhere a bit of a commute away where it may be cheap to live. Ayr, Grivan , Dunoon? Find a local business directory or just the phone book and start looking. WHys top there? Aignon, Melbourne or sydney!

If it's sales you are after, you can be based just about anywhere, I based myself in Inverness for example. WHo would you like to sell to? What woudl you like to sell? Go to an indpenedent shop or a business who might see reps and get some cards if you can, photocopied. FInd out who the sales manager is from them, making sure you aren't looking lie you steal their job.

Also you mya like to try a day out with a rep if you get to know one a bit. Dress up and go out as a 'trainnee' ...often this is kind of on the wish list of recruitment constultans looking to employee someone.

If you end up going somewhere nice for an interview, walk around a bit, get some more leads. Findo ut what other functions they have there..perhaps you coudl start in the IT or customer services departments..

Tak notes when there are big company presentations on names of who runs what. These are all leads for your further contact..

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