Play your Trump card when you have no career experience
Weeks on from the US presidential election, Donald Trump’s victory in the polls is still headline news Stateside. While the people of the great US of A have largely come to terms with the fact that The Donald will become their leader in January, the main debate is now around the president elect’s lack of relevant work experience.
The man who will become the 45th President of the United States is arguably the least qualified person to ever hold the post. Better known for uttering “you’re fired” to hopefuls on the US version of reality show The Apprentice (or for the golf course some have considered somewhat controversial closer to home) many Americans are concerned that their next Commander in Chief has no previous political or military experience.
But when you decide to switch career paths, or are just starting out in the world of work, is the lack of a proven track record necessarily a bad thing?
Here at Tricker PR, we think not. It may surprise you to know that several members of the award-winning team at Tricker Towers had no direct PR experience before joining the ranks.
I know, right? I bet you thought we’d all come out of the womb writing killer intros to press releases and dreaming up headline-grabbing stunts during afternoon nap time.
What all of our team did – and do – have is an abundance of transferable skills, a willingness to accept that they had a lot to learn, a desire to roll up their sleeves and get involved in even the most menial tasks, and a never ending source of enthusiasm.
And, essentially, a real determination to prove that we made the right choice when we took a gamble and hired them.
I’ve sat through countless interviews with candidates who, on paper, seem to have all the right credentials for the job. However, with a little probing it becomes apparent that MD-worthy CV has more holes in it than Sarah Palin’s shooting range target.
If you are a graduate applying for your first full-time job, then pay close attention to this next bit.
I know your secret.
I know you have no experience.
I know that during your three-month work placement you weren’t actually responsible for getting that front page splash for a client’s campaign.
I know that your involvement would have stretched to downloading the campaign images from the photographer or pressing send to mass email the press release.
And now you know that I know, do you want to know something else to keep you in the know? Not having a huge amount of work experience is not a crime – but manufacturing expertise that simply doesn’t exist is one of the worst interview felonies you can commit.
So, instead of being a little creative with the level of responsibility you had during your student placement, why not get creative in demonstrating the skills that you do have?
Maybe take a look at one of our campaigns and tell me what you think your skills and knowledge could have added to it or what you would have done differently?
Why not tell me about how you multi-tasked your way through your education, splitting your time between studies, a part-time job, university clubs and family commitments. PR is a lot like spinning plates – if you can show me your talents with crockery I’ll be delighted.
Heck, even tell me if you’re in contention for the world’s best tea maker title. This office is powered by Tetley: I’ll be more impressed with that than a greatly exaggerated tale of how you single-handedly ran a crisis communications campaign during your summer holidays.
The Donald is something of a master at self-promotion, and we could perhaps learn something from him. But always bear this in mind: honesty, creativity and a real enthusiasm for the job will be your Trump card every time.