How I Bagged My New Digital Content Job + Advice

7 Feb 2019

If you've been reading my blog or following me on socials for at least a few months, you'll know that I was unemployed and pretty vocal about that fact. It wasn't something I was ashamed of or felt like I needed to hide, but instead, I talked openly about it in the hopes of it helping someone. I didn't intend for it to be such a talking point, but after receiving an amazingly supportive response after publishing my Life After University post, I realised that this was the sort of thing that needed to be discussed more.

Like many students, I had a vision of how my life was going to go, which included getting a grad job pretty quickly after graduating, and when that didn't happen, I felt pretty darn stuck. Even though I admitted to myself that finding a part-time job would be a good idea whilst I continued searching for something "proper", I struggled to let myself look for anything other than grad jobs. Plus, after I injured my foot, my ability to move was reduced significantly, which made the idea of part-time work even less enjoyable.

However, January has been a turning point. I don't know what happened, but on the evening of New Year's Day, I sent off an application to Crafter's Companion for a Digital Content Executive role. This was a company that I had applied to previously, but didn't hear back from, so when I saw they were hiring again, I was so keen to apply. The role sounded right up my street too - copywriting with a dabble in emails and social media for a crafting company... heaven! I heard back the next day and the rest of the month was then spent aiming to bag this job. And I'm so pleased to say that I did!
As I mentioned, I got an email the next day, saying that Crafter's would like to have a phone interview with me. Immediately, I was chuffed, but my next thought was, "oh heck... I hate talking on the phone... how am I going to do this?!" Luckily, Google is a very valuable resource when it comes to things like this, so I researched into common questions for phone interviews. Some that came up for me were:
  • Why did you apply for this job?
  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why are you leaving your current role?
  • What are your salary expectations?

As you can tell, the questions were quite general and less focused on experience, as that usually comes in the face-to-face interview stage. However, I was so glad that I did the research and made a few notes on some possible questions, because I felt comfortable throughout the phone interview. I also made sure that I had the job description, my CV and a glass of water laid out on the table in front of me, just in case I needed to refer to anything or clear my throat (don't cough on the phone!).

If you're like me and a bit anxious about phone conversations, I definitely recommend taking the steps that I've talked about above. By preparing, you'll be much more confident and ready to tackle the questions, even if something comes up that you haven't taken notes on. Make sure you're in a quiet room with no distractions and space to spread out all of your notes. Trust me, it makes a massive difference!

The wait to hear back about the phone interview felt like it was never going to end, so I was relieved when the next email pinged into my inbox. I was through to the next stage and for this one, I had to produce some copy for products chosen by the hiring manager. I was massively looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into this task because a lot of my previous experience is in copywriting, so I wanted to show off what I knew. I was given a little bit of a brief, the products I'd be writing about and the deadline, and off I went!
The reason that you'd be set a task like this is to see if you can produce something to the company's standards, as well as checking your spelling and grammar. It can also test your creativity and your research skills, particularly in my case. The brief was as the name suggests... brief... but I tried to pick out the important things in order to put something together. I knew I had to use info from the Crafter's website to write a description, but I took it that step further and looked elsewhere online to find further details, such as the product dimensions and how the products were used. I wrote the descriptions as if they were being sold to someone who had no clue how to use them, which meant that they described how to use them, gave examples of what you could make and products that would complement them.

I'd never had to do a task like this as part of a recruitment process, but I'm lucky that it was an enjoyable one. I will admit though, I was terrified that I'd done it wrong when I sent it off and thought that I was absolutely done for. But lo and behold, about a week later, I received an email that offered me a face-to-face interview. I couldn't believe it! It was such a good feeling to know that I had gone the right route with my descriptions and the extra effort I had gone to had paid off.

I've been to Crafter's Companion several times before, so I knew where the interview was going to be held, but if you've applied for a job and you've never visited the location, I highly recommend doing so! It really calmed my pre-interview nerves and gave me just that little bit more confidence. Like I did with my phone interview, I looked at some common questions that might come up and some more content-specific questions. From doing other interviews and having career-focused modules in uni, I knew that many questions may be situation-specific, and for these sorts of questions, I suggest going through your CV and tagging words to each role in order for you to talk about them in a situation.

For example, some of my experiences were:
  • Digital Media Volunteer for Hartburn Village WI - independent working, working to a brief, handling analytics
  • SwabTUsave Campaign Volunteer - teamwork, leadership, creativity, writing for different audiences, handling analytics
  • Recruitment and Admissions Intern - independent working, proofreading, working to deadlines

Once you'e got key words to go with each experience, select a couple for each one that you think is the strongest. Come up with examples to reinforce each word and so you can show off how you used your skills to your potential employer. There are several methods that you can use to create these examples, but we were taught the STAR method:
  • S - Situation - Talk about the position you were in
  • T - Task - Talk about the task you had to carry out and give details. Did you work alone? In a team? Was it to a deadline? What did you have to do?
  • A - Action - How did you carry out the task?
  • R - Result - What was the outcome of the task? If it was a negative, what did you learn from the experience and what would you do differently next time?

So for example, if I was asked about problem-solving, this would be my answer - "In 2015, I became a social media intern at Stokesley and District Community Care Association. I was tasked with setting up a Facebook page for the charity that they could continue to use after my internship had ended. Because of the generational difference between myself and the office staff, I spent time with several of them, showing them how to use and post to the page. However, it was clear that some of them would need help after I had gone, so I produced a detailed user handbook with key information like how to publish a post and how to share from another page. The charity continue to use their Facebook page to this day, showing that the information I provided was very useful."
I don't think there's ever a way to feel completely ready for an interview and, I'll admit, I was bricking it. At one point, Alex wasn't so sure we were going to make it to the offices, but we did and I managed to brave it. I was made to feel really comfortable and welcome straight away. We even had a bit of a giggle over my Love Island water bottle, and from that, I knew that these were the types of people that I'd love to work around. It felt like interview was over in a flash and I wish I could remember some of the questions, but it was honestly such a blur that I can barely remember a thing! 

However, I do remember that I had to do one more writing task during the interview and this was centred around proofreading. I was given a press release that was full of mistakes and I had to highlight them and write the correction. This is the type of thing I love doing because I can pick out mistakes quite easily, but my goodness, it really tested me on my apostrophes! I was given 15 minutes to do that and then the interview was over.

Now, I'm used to having to wait a while to hear back from an interview, but I got a phone call a couple of hours later, telling me I'd got the job! I was totally made up, especially when I was told that my job descriptions were the best and after I'd sent them in, I was the "front runner" for the job. I was so so happy and I'm still riding that high now! I don't start until Monday, but I am so ready to jump in head first.

I think I've rambled on for long enough now, but I was so eager to share this news with you all. Thank you so much for all of the support you've given me over the past couple of months. It's been so nice to know that I was able to talk about this sort of thing without judgement. Of course, if there's anything else you want to know or think I've missed, please say, because this is a topic that is important to me and would love to talk about more!

Whould you like to comment?

  1. OMG I didn't realise you'd got the job! AMAZING! Congratulations x