Recently, Lexis PR was accepting applications for its graduate scheme. Among them, one grad sent a box of cupcakes to show that they stood out… and Lexis’ HR team tweeted about it.
This isn’t the first time I’ve come across less conventional job applications. In the past I’ve had a graduate send me a tea bag with their CV “so that you can have a nice cuppa while you read about my experience”. More recently, one of our Taylor Bennett Foundation alumni, Nahidur Rahman, wrote a blog post on why a PR firm should hire him, and Racepoint Group snapped him up.
Last September we featured Graeme Anthony in esPResso with his CVIV. It did the rounds on Twitter and came up trumps as he’s now working at Frank. Similarly, Stephen Waddington has written a post featuring Laura Tosney at 33 Digital and her (frankly, amazing) animation that clinched the job for her there.
A few of our ex-interns took part in an online chat on the Guardian website about social media careers. This led on to a discussion about how to make themselves stand out. Alan Parker of Golin Harris suggested something quirky might work. “I once had a candidate send me a shoe in a shoebox with his CV” he told me, “so that they can get a foot in the door”.
On Twitter, I floated the idea of a CV printed on a tea-towel (inspired by all the Royal Wedding merchandise I can see creeping up on us). Responses ranged from “It’s novel, it deserves an interview at least” from the MD of Rise PR, Paul Alan to “that’s just weird” from communications officer, Emma Jackson Stuart and “creativity in an application isn't generally welcome in the public sector! It’s better to sell yourself based on examples.” From Adam Fairclough.
Which just goes to show, sending a more unusual job application can work, but you have to be careful who you target with your creative approaches.
Over the past couple of years I’ve spent a lot of time giving job hunting advice to recent graduates. Given that they’ve graduated in the worst economic climate since the ’30s, they need all the help they can get I reckon.
We recently started investigating which PR agencies have graduate recruitment schemes and what their application criteria is. Here’s what we came up with but I am pretty sure there are plenty more out there. If your agency would like to be included in this list, let me know.
PR Graduate Recruitment Schemes
Inspired by the Golin Harris vidos of their away days (as mentioned by Alex Pearmain), I had a quick scout around YouTube this morning for other PR vids. Here’s a selection….
Hill and Knowlton Graduates 2006
(Embedding of this vid is disabled by request apparently!)
Multicultural communications insights
A minute with Robert Leaf
FH Away Day
Cohn & Wolfe
Mark Borkowski Virgin Megastore video blog
Cake – This is what we do
Lunatic Fringe 2007
Indigo Red will be moving offices in the next couple of months. My husband, who works for a removal firm, came with me to the office on Saturday to work out how much the move is going to cost us (his labour is free, but I’m not sure I could pay his work mates in kind). In a minor panic that he will realise my work life is not quite as organised as my home one, I had a bit of a tidy up of my desk on Friday. Among the old interview notes and endless business cards I found a copy of The Sunday Times 100 best companies to work for, 2007. It’s been lurking there since March as I had intended to blog about it, and somehow had slipped between an old pile of payslips and some HR trade mags.
So anyway, only a mere 5 months late and here I am ready to write about it.
I thumbed through it once more and scanned the list for PR companies. Only 1 PR agency made the top 100, Hill and Knowlton, who scraped in at number 91. Scanning through the piece on them there are some things which are unsurprising; the male/female ratio is 36:64 – still a considerably better distribution of the sexes than some agencies, and the average age of an H&Ker is 32. There is considerable attention given to the free scoff and booze you can get there – free breakfast and free food after quarterly meetings, plus an onsite bar. However, they score some of the lowest scores in the 100 in terms of work life balance, as nearly half the staff said they felt they spent too much time working.
Still, I wonder what the 88% that said they have fun with their colleagues are up to?
On a slightly different tangent, I also looked for recruitment consultancies. There are a whopping 14 recruitment companies in the top 100, with Hill McGlynn & Associates topping the list at number 12. Impressive numbers from the recruitment industry.
As these Best Company rankings are voted for by the employees, it begs the question are recruitment companies better at their own employment PR than the PR experts?
Filed under PR, Recruitment