So you want to work for a marketing communications agency – well here are a few tips…

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In a departure from our usual blog topics, I’d like to talk recruitment. We’re looking for several people at the moment here at Peppermint Soda, including a creative account manager, web developer and creative designer. I always find this process fascinating as it tends to throw up the same old issues that, quite frankly, drive me a little mad!

Why is it that no matter how many times we say ‘no recruiters’ for certain positions, we’re always bombarded by agencies asking us to use them? Now, we have very long-standing and fruitful relationships with some local PR and digital recruitment companies – which we value enormously – but it has to be said that some recruiters out there fail to act professionally time and time again.

It’s particularly annoying when we’re sent CVs from very junior people who really should view job seeking in a very different light.  So, I thought it might be helpful to offer advice for enthusiastic job hunters when looking for the perfect position – whatever your level of experience.

Do your own research – rather than just approach recruiters and make them do the work, why don’t you look at agencies you’d like to work for? What drives you? Is it certain clients? Working on award-winning campaigns? Pushing boundaries on social media? Think about what the agency can offer you, research them thoroughly and present yourself in a way that highlights your experience, enthusiasm and appreciation of work they’ve done.

Now, here’s a little insight – most companies are not overly keen on paying an exorbitant recruitment fee to get a new recruit over the door.  And that’s what happens when you use a recruitment agency.  So, do consider the options before going straight to a recruiter.

When applying, be very careful when sending your CV. I cannot tell you the amount of times a candidate has written the wrong agency name in an email to us. Whoops! But, it’s not just a silly mistake; it demonstrates your attention to detail (or lack of it). Now, if your job will be primarily client management, mistakes like using the wrong client name can get an agency fired! It’s that important.  So, check your email, check it again and consider asking someone else to read it for you. Then, and only then, should you press that send button.

At Peppermint, we always look out for certain qualities in prospective employees.  Qualifications and experience are, of course, important but it’s personality and enthusiasm which we really want to see.  And loyalty is key for us.  That can be a tough one to sniff out. But it’s something that you can attempt to demonstrate in the language you use and your vision for your own future career.  So, do try to offer information about yourself that can illustrate this quality.

Agencies don’t want to hear about your dreams of owning your own agency, travelling around the world or relocating abroad. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realise that an agency that invests a good deal of time and money training new team members will not be happy if that person announces they’re off to Thailand to find themselves!   So don’t apply for a job that you have no intention of giving your time, energy and loyalty.

Finally, I think it’s important to say that, though we’ve employed people over the years via recruitment agencies, some of our best people have come to us directly. They demonstrated to us why they wanted to work for Peppermint Soda– not for any agency that would employ them, but specifically for us.  And that cultural fit, that urge to be part of the Peppermint tribe is a very strong signal to us that this person will slot beautifully into our team.

Jane