The last four week’s focus on placements at university have included tutors willing us to choose a sector to work in and a new lecture series of placement workshops to ‘help’ us gain a job next year.
Starting with one of my first modules of level one, which was based purely on writing (and the most useful yet), and probably one of the first places that taught us how to write to companies, to the placements office (probably the least useful yet), we have been stressed to the importance of formal letter writing and a well-presented CV. However, after an email I received and a book I read this week, I felt it necessary to argue this.
We have learned that an interesting press-pack can sell a news release or event invitation, as apparently, imaginative (or not so in my case) applications can work for gaining a job.
Mark Borkowski’s book, The Fame Formula, Sidgwick & Jackson, 2008, states how an original, hand-written letter is so unusual in today’s world, some recipients rather appreciate it: ‘For years his press releases and pitches came hand-written, even after the rise of the personal computer…Alan Alda told The New York Times, “In this age of mass communications, I think people appreciate his hand written letters”. ’
Coincidentally before reading this, I happened to (half-jokingly as I didn’t expect anyone appropriate to see it) request a work placement with the Conservative’s media department, simply by adding a rather untidy and rushed ‘PS’ to the ‘ask David Cameron a question’ piece of paper I filled out at last week’s Q&A session.
While (still) waiting for a response to my original question, I received an email from Steve Naylor, Regional Press Officer for the CCHQ, offering me an informal chat about working for them.
Perhaps this shows we should keep an open mind with applications and, like my case, take any opportunity possible to mention your interest. However inappropriate it may seem, it’s easy to follow it up with a CV later, and you never know who might take you seriously.