Last night we hosted our very first ‘Tomorrow’s Life Choices’ event, designed for teenagers and hosted at the Lighthouse HQ. As a boutique talent head hunting company, we specialise in finding our industry’s top leaders their next big challenge, with a range of bespoke products designed to help them land their dream role.
However, no matter what age we are, quite often the challenges that we face in making our life choices are the same, and we wanted to impart some Lighthouse wisdom to those facing post school decisions.
25 young people joined us for four ‘speed-dating’ like sessions full of practical tips. Joining our CEO Kathleen and MD Melanie were MediaCom’s MD, Claudine Collins and Leo Burnett’s Global Head of Social & Mobile, James Kirkham. We were also thrilled to welcome Leila Siddiqi from the IPA to let our attendees know about the fantastic Creative Pioneers programme.
As MD of a £1 billion media agency, and guest interviewer on The Apprentice, Claudine was the perfect choice to share her top tips on making the best impression in face to face interviews. As a founding partner of Holler, BIMA’s 2014 Agency of the Year, James gave a very informative view on how our teens could use social media to add depth and colour to their professional profiles.
Fresh from her practical talk on ‘CVs in the Social World’ at Marie Claire @ Work Live on Saturday, Melanie aimed to inform our delegates as to how their CV could have the biggest impact, while Kathleen provided practical and invaluable appearance tips to maximise personal impact in the 5 seconds that 60% of hirers make a first impression of potential candidates.
Our teens were furiously taking notes throughout the session and to sum up, we asked for their top three takeaways from the evening.
Firstly, be authentic… each of us are individual, if it comes down to a choice between two brilliant candidates, the one that has a little bit more colour and personal flavour is bound to win out. James mentioned that he had encountered this himself while hiring – and it was a zoology degree and relevant interests that in the end swung his decision to pick a candidate for Holler (who is now, incidentally, running their Sydney office).
Secondly, hard work never goes unnoticed… a strong work ethic was a common theme throughout all of our sessions. While not trying to take away from the fact that we all deserve to have our fun, personal times, Claudine was quick to point out that months of holidaying without any form of work experience from new hires or graduates, might not be the best way to demonstrate how you would apply yourself in your career.
Finally, be confident in yourself… whether that is in your academic performance, your personal presence or even just being passionate about your hobbies and interests, the ability to confidently showcase what you can do is paramount. As Kathleen pointed out, there’s nothing worse than the limp handshake to destroy others’ confidence in you!
From the feedback we’ve had, our visitors learned a lot in the two hours they were with us. We have asked them to challenge us back if they don’t agree with any of the advice we gave, so watch this space…
Click here for more information about the IPA’s Creative Pioneers programme.