Behind the Scenes of Social Media May 13, 2013Posted by TCG Info in : Industry Focus, Marketing, career profiles , add a comment
You’re part of the Internet generation; you’ve grown up with Facebook and communicating online is second nature. But aside from using social media to chat with friends and share your photos, it’s a vital tool for businesses to both promote their services and build relationships with customers. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, creative career social media could be the perfect industry for you. Sedge Beswick, Social Media Executive at ASOS, shares her story and some tips on how to bag a job in social media.
Firstly, how would you define social media?
Social media for me is an online dialogue between two parties – it’s based on their needs and ours. You could say its social democracy.
What made you get into social media?
How I got involved in social is quite a funny story. I entered a competition on a whim where you had to get the most fans on a Facebook group for a brand, to win £25K to throw the best party ever. I was thrown in as the entrant to make the competition look ‘normal’, up against DJ’s, event organizers – the works! I came second, (everyone at the time hated me as it was all I talked about and completely spammed everyone I know!) rallying together 6K fans within 5 days.
The agency that worked on the competition offered me a job there and then. I said no as I was still at uni, but the brand (Three UK) offered me a job as soon as I graduated.
There are so many different social media channels, the obvious being Facebook and Twitter, but what do ASOS use?
ASOS are on A LOT of social channels, I’m kept nice and busy! We have Facebook which has 2.3 million followers; G+ with 1.5 million followers then we have 67 Twitter accounts, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Spotify, YouTube… The list’s really quite endless but it’s what I love, we like to test things out to get a real feel of our customers wants and needs – once we work out what they’re engaging with, we can then put a strategy in place.
For someone thinking about a career in the industry, what do you love the most about your job?
The thing I love the most about working in social media is that it’s instantly rewarding. I know within a matter of seconds whether something has gone down well and whether it’s been a success. I can take that insight and immediately implement it into other pieces of activity – I hate to say it but I’ve become a numbers girl, I love looking at the reach, the revenue, the engagement. It’s fascinating!
You got into social media in an unusual way, but what tips could you give to others looking for a job in the industry?
Set up a Social channel, whether it’s a blog, a Tumblr account or a Flickr channel that you really focus your time on – this is the first place to look when I review CV’s.
There’s nothing worse than someone promoting Twitter accounts on their CV when they haven’t tweeted in months (sometimes even years!).
Social also takes a lot of TLC and dedication – it never sleeps so you need to know that people can really commit to updating something. I think LinkedIn is really important too, you have to sell yourself. Go get yourself some recommendations.
So if you’d like a career in the industry, set up a social media account and make sure to update it regularly. If you’re not comfortable sharing your personal opinions online, set up an account focussed on your interests, such as fashion or sports and publish updates on the latest hot topics. The main points are to engage with others and show your dedication, and that you’re willing to put the time and effort into it. Additionally, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest developments in this ever-changing industry by reading social media news and blogs, such as mashable.com
If you can, getting some professional industry experience with a brand or agency will put you ahead of the competition. Seek out internships or part-time work in your area. This will enable you to get hands on experience, giving you an insight into what it’s really like to work in social media – not only for the experience but also to work out if it’s the right career for you.
This is an interview with Sedge Beswick, Social Media Executive at ASOS, one of the UK’s largest online fashion retailers.
Handling those terrifying first day nerves April 24, 2013Posted by TCG Info in : The Careers Group Blogs , add a comment
Have you ever wondered why some people are capable of strolling into work on their first day and seem as though they just fit in? Well we walk you through on how best to approach your first day and how you can tackle those first day nerves. We can’t guarantee you will lose your nerves, but we can guarantee you will be armed with the right tools to handle them! The focus is preparation and confidence in yourself and your ability.
The week before
This is the real starting point where reality hits home. Whether the role is your first career job or your next step on the career ladder you will start to feel the nerves. Knowing that a change is coming can cause your nerves to stir. However, you will not have been given the job if the hiring manager and team manager did not believe you could do an exceptional job. Utilise this week to conduct extensive research on the organisation and your role. Read around your role and discover the recent developments and current trends. Arm yourself with the weapons you require to get off to a good start.
The night before
Remarkably, we recommend you relax and don’t do anything relating to your new job. Take part in activities you enjoy doing and help distract you from the next day. If you can, do plenty of exercise which will tire you out. The last thing you want to be doing the night before is staying awake worrying about your first day.
The Commute to work
The length of commute will vary depending on where your new role is located. However, we advise you to stop off for a coffee close to your new office. Take the time to relax and think over the day ahead. Remind yourself you are there for a reason and you have been given the role because they feel you can do the job. Utilising this time before you enter the office early can help you map out your day. The more prepared you arrive the easier your day will be. However don’t panic, you will not be expected to rip up trees on your first day.
The waiting room
So you made a good start to the day, you have arrived early and have some caffeine in your body. The waiting room is the last chance for you to ease those nerves. It is likely there will be some industry related magazines on the desk in front of you. Pick them up and have a quick read. Not only will this help pass the time and distract you but also start building your knowledge for your new role.
Alternatively, if there aren’t any magazines or you already know the industry inside out, then try and strike up a conversation with the secretary. Not only is the secretary a key part of the organisation but may also provide you with some insight on your upcoming day. The secretary will be able to shed some light on the general first day procedures. You have also handily created your first relationship within the organisation.
Handling your new desk
This is it, you have been preparing over the past week for this, your new desk (if you work at a desk that is). But how do you handle your new desk on your first day? Everything seems foreign, there is a weird mouse you haven’t seen before and the keyboard is significantly different. Do not panic, just like your previous computer, you will quickly become accustomed to the new devices. What to do now? You simply run through the procedures of the induction and use your knowledge and skills to be a success. Success will not be expected from day one. But finding your feet as early as possible will only help increase your chances of being successful.
If you simply can’t shake those nerves then keep reminding yourself one thing… they hired you for a reason! Because they feel you are the perfect fit for the job and will be a success.
This guest post has been supplied by Laurence Chandler on behalf of Gold Group. Gold Group are a recruitment consultancy providing you with specialist career advice. http://www.goldgroup.co.uk/career-advice/
Can Career Success be Measured in £££s? April 19, 2013Posted by pippamw in : Creative Industries, The Careers Group Blogs , add a comment
The hike in tuition fees has brought about an increasing focus on the concept of getting a good ROI (return on investment) on the money you fork out for your undergraduate studies. In economic terms, it is one way of considering profits in relation to capital invested. One of the repercussions of this is that students can feel pressured into adopting a reductive way of evaluating one degree course compared to another in purely monetary terms – “Over the course of my working life will I earn more if I do a Biology rather than a Drama degree?”
This struck me particularly hard when, during an employability conference I attended this week, the sizeable audience of students, employers and careers advisors were shown a slide with a graph illustrating this point precisely. It showed Medical degrees at one end, Arts degrees at the other and everything else falling somewhere in between these two broad subject areas. As you can imagine, the arc dropped fairly dramatically from the heady heights of serious money at one end to a fairly paltry sum at the other.
I flinched at this slide. What message did it give to the several hundred students amongst the audience? What a very small part of the picture it showed. Did it factor in career fulfilment? Did it tell us anything about the repercussions on mental, physical and spiritual well-being that careers following on from these very different types of degree subjects resulted in? Did it reveal anything about any correlations that might exist between degree subject studied, career path followed and divorce rates? Were we in any way enlightened about the greater chances of achieving a better work-life balance depending on what degree subject we study and what sector of the job-market that might then lead us into? No, of course we weren’t.
If we had been, the graph may have looked very different indeed. I don’t want to scaremonger but if you google something like ‘depression rates by job’ it throws up all sorts of interesting (and sometimes not at all surprising) information. And it may cause any aspiring financial advisors to think again! But of course, if you spend enough time trying and you have a sufficient mastery of statistics, you can probably find information to support any number of theories about careers.
Do go for the highly paid career if that’s what you want – there are of course many wealthy, fulfilled people out there! But do so because of informed choices based on a whole range of issues rather than as a result of the graphs of heavy-handed marketeers with a story to sell!
Sweeping generalisations are almost always dangerous. And inaccurate. I know that amongst my friendship group it is impossible to draw any firm conclusions about the correlation between degree subject, career choice, income levels and contentment. I do know that out of my graduate peers, the one who seems most fired-up has just opened an artisan bakery which isn’t yet turning any profit at all – and the one who has at times expressed some wistfulness at the career path I have carved out for myself studied economics, works for a multinational investment company within which she is highly valued and earns more every 2 years than I can hope to bring home in a decade.
Don’t spend too much time fretting over simplistic, worrying graphs that may be foisted upon you. Instead, start from a position of considering where your passions and your abilities collide and you’ll be well on the way to making a good degree choice and mapping out the beginnings of a rewarding – including possibly financially – career for yourself!
Are Women Better Leaders? August 16, 2012Posted by Katherine Dallal in : The Careers Group Blogs , add a comment
Originally posted at C2 - Releasing Potential
Our grandmothers were raised to believe that women belonged in the home; they supported their husbands, reared their children and managed the household. Some of them never worked a day in their lives and fulfilled their roles exceptionally. Two generations later and some feminist groups would be up in arms if you even thought like this. In fact we we’ve made so much progress that to most women in their 20s and 30s that world is an alien concept. We’re all so familiar with the adage of women ‘having it all’, juggling the pressure of raising a family and having a high powered career.
In the 1960s about 35% of women worked – we’re a far cry from that today. Fifty years on and the game has changed. So much so, that according to recent research carried out by Zenger and Folkman, women make better leaders. This research led Erika Andersen to entitle her article on the Forbes website: ‘The results are in: Women are better leaders’
Zenger and Folkman’s research in 2011 surveyed 7,280 leaders and judged their leadership success based on 16 competencies; these focused on the judgment of their peers, bosses and direct reports of how good a leader they are. They concluded that, ‘at every level, more women were rated by their peers, their bosses, their direct reports, and their other associates as better overall leaders than their male counterparts — and the higher the level, the wider that gap grows.’
Erika Andersen’s article agreed saying that in her experience women: ‘build better teams; they’re more liked and respected as managers; they tend to be able to combine intuitive and logical thinking more seamlessly; they’re more aware of the implications of the their own and others’ actions; and they think more accurately about the resources needed to accomplish a given outcome.’
The two categories women far outscored men were ‘in taking the initiative’ and ‘driving results’, which is different from the stereotype of women being better at the more ‘nurturing’ competencies such as ‘developing others’ and ‘building relationships’. However, the area where men outscored women was on their ‘ability to develop strategic perspective.’ Although there are still areas where women could improve, the results are very encouraging ambitious women hoping to rise to top positions and challenge the dominance of men in this area. At the highest level, 78% of the mangers surveyed were men.
In the age of celebrating women as leaders – which has seen a range of films from the comedy; I don’t know How She Does It, centred on the life of a women coping with having it all, or the portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady – have we changed the tide?
Watching shows like Mad Men, you wonder, have we shed the image of women occupying professions such as teaching, secretarial or librarianship? Are more women aspiring to board room positions and is it any easier to get there? And if we as a gender outshine men at the top, why aren’t there more of us there?
Andersen suggests that this attitude of traditionally female jobs being secretarial has not dispelled and that men tend to hire other men – what do you think?
Selection Process, The Careers Group Blogs, podcasts , add a comment
Originally posted at King's College London Graduate School
Calling all international students! Do you want success in the UK or global job markets? Would you like to learn the secrets of securing employment?
If you are an overseas student we invite you to join us for our International Futures Week of exclusive interactive webinars, covering the important areas of job search in the UK and overseas.
International Futures Week is from 11th – 15th June. Daily webinars run 12-2pm
(Times are UK BST/London time)
You need to register, but it’s quick and easy.
Job Search in the UK
Monday 11 June
- Webinar: UK CVs and application forms, 12pm
- Webinar: UK Interviews, 1.15pm
Tuesday 12 June
- Webinar: The UK graduate market and recruitment process, 12pm
- Webinar: Finding UK work experience and part-time work, 1.15pm
Job search resources
Wednesday 13 June
- Webinar: How to use LinkedIn to find work experience and jobs, 12pmWebinar: How to job search if you are returning home or relocating, 1.15pm
Job search overseas
Thursday 14 June
- Webinar: Job search in the USA – how to market yourself and job search resources, 12pm
- Webinar: Job search in China – how to market yourself and job search resources, 1.15pm
Friday 15 June
- Webinar: Job search in India – how to market yourself and job search resources, 12pm
- Webinar: Skype and telephone interviews, 1.15pm
International Futures Week is brought to you by The Careers Group University of London
Insiders Guide to the Civil Service Fast Stream assessment day. January 14, 2012Posted by UCL Careers Service in : The Careers Group Blogs, civil service , add a comment
Originally posted at UCL international students blog
The Civil Service currently has a recruitment freeze on, however not so for the Fast Stream. This highly converted entry into the civil service is still recruiting at pace, looking to secure top graduate talent. The scheme is open to UK nationals, EU nationals and EEA or common wealth nationals.
It’s worth knowing before you apply that the Civil service that it’s a fairly involved process and is extremely thorough. The level of testing, assessment and interviews, sets the profession standard for the recruitment industry.
At the moment the assessment days are held in a purpose built centre in Westminster, although this is soon to change. Facilities are extensive, with even a lounge and kitchen area for candidates.
When I visited the assessment centre earlier this year I was amazed at the work put into securing the right candidates. Just lifting the assessor’s manual could give you a work out, being over 4 inches thick.
In terms for tips for someone applying I would suggest that the number one thing you do is to read and read again everything on the Fast Stream web site. The process is described in such detail that to look anywhere else would be a mistake. Talking with the assessors they were keen to point out that the process is designed to be as transparent as possible so each candidate is on a level playing field in terms of information. I realise that’s not much of a secret insiders tips, but it’s the best advice if you want to be successful.
In terms of stream selection it’s no surprise to learn that the Parliamentary and Diplomatic streams are heavily over subscribed. The HR stream on the other hand has fewer applications. Civil service recruiters stressed that if you were made an offer to be as flexible as possible, as if you reject a choice given to you, you go to the bottom of the pile.
How you will be assessed
You will be marked for each competency using a four point rating scale. 1 = lowest and 4 = highest score. Half marks are awarded.
If you score less than 2 overall in any competency then you will not be successful so it is important to think about the competencies being tested and be able to demonstrate these.
You are not in competition with the other candidates in your group or on the day. Your scores are based on your actions, your ability to perform well and demonstrate that you have the competencies that they are looking for.
The Group Exercise
- As only 1-2 projects will be agreed on, you may need to eventually give up on the project you are supporting. This is fine and expected. The key is to show the assessors that you are able to build alliances and co-operate in order to get a project decided upon by the end of the exercise.
- If your project is not put through then suggest sensible agendas/checks that you would like to see put on the successful project that may make it more appealing to the division that you are representing. Consensus is an important outcome of this exercise.
- If your project is the one successfully put through then don’t sit back and feel like it is ‘mission accomplished’. You will be marked down. Continue to be involved in the discussion.
- Think about the competencies that they are testing and aim to show that you can do that e.g. if the competency is ‘building successful relationships’ then ensure that you are building successful relationships!
- Use other candidate’s names and include them in discussions. Bring candidates in to discussion who may not have been talking very much.
- Don’t dominate the group and don’t be too quiet. It is about timing, impact and content rather than the amount that you speak.
- Ensure that in the group you are managing the time. Outline at the beginning how long you will spend discussing each project and time allowed for summing up and decision making at the end. Keep an eye on the time – someone should be giving time checks to avoid running over.
- You are not allowed to vote about which project should go through, this has to be decided through discussion so don’t ask other members to vote.
- You should contribute your ideas about all of the projects, not just the four that you are for/against.
- Use the data you are given in the briefing document – figures and numerical data especially – as this impresses the assessors.
- Try to think of new points to raise rather than re-iterating what others have said. There will different reasons why your division would be for/against a particular project so take the time to think about these during your prep time.
Your self assessments will count towards your overall scores. However, it is not the scores you give yourself that will be counted, rather the assessor will be assessing you on your ability to:-
- Identify positive and negative examples during the exercise
- Identify development needs – identify one key area to improve and give a sensible approach to how you could do this.
- Identify areas that you did well in and give examples
- Show a good degree of insight and reasoning
The Briefing Exercise
- Pick a topic that you are interested in. This is key as you need to be convincing in your argument and able to engage in conversation about the topic you pick.
- Be imaginative
- Be open to ideas and suggestions from the assessor
- Assessors will not grill you on information or areas that you don’t know a lot about – their aim is to stretch you not dispirit you!
- When writing your brief, think also about measuring success, target groups, costs/resources, pilot schemes, stakeholder interest
The areas they are likely to what to see are:
- Ideas and further development plans; a mix of basic plan ideas and radical/original ideas
- Identifying the interested parties; think about who will support the project and who you might need to win over.
- Project scope, aims and objectives; think about criteria for success, the benefits of the project and the implications
- Putting project into action; how are you going to roll it out, measure it, what are the risks and how will the project be monitored and assessed
Assessors don’t see candidates CVs or personal details so know nothing about you when you go in. The interview is competency based and the assessor will outline these at the start of the interview. The interview feels quite laid back and chatty but you are still being assessed and this is a good opportunity to shine.
In the interview:
- Focus on your actions
- Proactively identify learning opportunities and commitment to self development in your examples
- Demonstrate an understanding of relationships and situations
- Demonstrate a positive approach e.g. a desire to learn and develop rather than ‘I had to do X’ or ‘it was really hard and difficult to change’
- If you are using the same example too much, the assessor will ask you to use a different one
- The assessor will probe for your actions if you aren’t demonstrating the actions you took in that example or showing an understanding of what you learnt/how you developed in that situation
The Policy Recommendation Exercise
- identify key issues
- give a range of relevant ideas
- the policy should appeal to range of audiences
- policies should be original
- be clear and succinct
- ensure that you link all your reasoning to the objective
- run out of time
- forget to use the numerical data you are given
- use numerical data ineffectively
- forget to give a balanced argument
Working in publishing December 12, 2011Posted by Andrew Falconer in : Publishing, RHUL Careers, arts administration , add a comment
Originally posted at News
Publishing continues to be a popular career path for students as it integrates creativity with commercial drive. It is also a very broad sector with so many different opportunities within it. Category Publisher with Dorling Kindersley, Peggy Vance spoke to students at Royal Holloway’s Creative Careers event earlier this year.