I spoke to Eloise Gale after we connected about the Creative Mentor Network programmes. Eloise has landed an incredible internship at Universal Music UK as a Commercial Assistant at Island Records. We spoke about the highs and lows of applying for jobs and internships, using LinkedIn as a key tool in the process and perfecting your CV.
This is a topic we can all relate to at the minute so I was really eager to ask Eloise as many questions as I could so here you can find all of Eloise’s really helpful tips and advice!
In a week, how many hours do you think you use LinkedIn for?
I remember actually looking at my screen time a few weeks ago when I was job searching and I think I spent roughly around 4 hours on LinkedIn. However, those hours weren’t so much spent scrolling through the jobs tab, but instead going through my home page looking for opportunities and sending out messages to new connections, if I saw a role that I felt was right for me. I found this way of using the platform to be much more productive.
How do you power through when you don’t get a job/internship you want?
First thing I’d say is allow yourself to be disappointed and upset, have a mini breakdown and hate the world for a bit, that’s fine. But each time I’ve not been selected for a role I’ve used that energy as fuel to power on (easier said than done for sure), and move onto the next application. Just remember to always ask for feedback as to why you weren’t the selected candidate/didn’t move onto the next stage and action what you’ve learnt.
Also, when I’ve been feeling down about not getting a role I put my all into, I’d think that I had too choices; either stop applying to dream roles and save myself all the cover letter and CV writing…or literally suck it up, continue applying and increase my chances of eventually landing something. There are so many things that come into play when being selected and just because you weren’t this time, doesn’t mean another company won’t want to snap you up, so don’t doubt what you have to offer because you most likely have a lot if you got that far.
Best CV tips!
When I’d see a job I wanted to apply to, I would go through the description and dissect which parts are more crucial and what parts are waffle. I always have a section on my CV for skills and attributes (usually a mixture of soft and hard skills), always keeping relevant to the job description and what they’re looking for. Then, I’d only include previous experience that is relevant to that role. If you have space you would write a little elevator-style pitch on your CV, explaining why you/why *insert company name*.
Lastly, make sure it’s easy to read, one page, nothing too fancy, but you can make it so it’s tailored to the company image if you are up for that. Create something that will make the recruiter look like you’d fit within the business…also spellcheck (especially if you’re creating your CV on Photoshop). Lastly, ask friends or family to read the job description you’re applying to and then hand them your CV to see if someone with fresh eyes thinks it’s a good match, a second opinion is always handy.
Whilst in lockdown, what can we be doing to boost our cv/portfolio/reputation?
This definitely depends on your situation within lockdown and what resources you have etc. I was luckily furloughed from my previous job over the summer of 2020 and I used that time at home as an opportunity to create a website via WordPress called JUNCTN, a platform dedicated to exhibiting young, creative talent. This proved to be a great talking point in many of my previous interviews, as creating your own project through self-initiative shows that you have a desire to learn and develop in many areas. There are also many online courses you can do for an extra qualification to add onto your CV if you find some relevant to what you’re looking to get into, I did the Google Garage Fundamentals of Digital Marketing Diploma (it’s free too!)
Portfolio-wise, if you do have the time to go over it and make necessary changes do so, and be ruthless with what you want to keep or discard. Sometimes you don’t need absolutely everything that you’ve ever done in a portfolio…also if you’re someone that applies to varying roles, consider creating alternative portfolios (if you have the time), e.g. one for digital marketing and one for graphic design. So, when you do see a role that you want to apply to, you have a tailored portfolio ready to submit that is relevant to the job. Note that not all roles will ask for a portfolio.
What is your new internship job role?
It’s a Commercial Intern within the Commerce and Streaming department at Island Records, one of the record labels at Universal Music UK. The role definitely seems to encompass my love for commerce and merchandise for my favourite artists. Island has been a label I’ve admired for so long so it’s still sinking in!
How did you start in the music industry?
I don’t think there was really a defining starting point for me as I’ve delved into quite a few areas of the creative industry, here a there; festivals, marketing agencies, advertising, and music public relations. All of these things actually ended up somehow involving music in some shape or form, and that’s how I knew it was an industry I wanted to stay in. That’s when I got in contact with Infectious PR and I learnt a lot with them, after that I felt more confident applying to larger companies like Universal Music UK.
What advice would you give to someone who has just joined LinkedIn?
Okay, so first thing I’d say is don’t start connecting with everyone and anyone! I did this when I was at uni and my homepage was full of the most random stuff, of which a lot of it wasn’t of much interest to me. Instead, connect with people within the industry you’re trying to break into and then connect with recruiters/talent team within that industry and reach out to them with a quick message. If they don’t reply that’s fine, people are busy working so you may not get many responses which can be disheartening. But by sending out a few messages, someone is likely to respond and lend you some time to give you some tips on your job search, if they do, suggest a call too as I’ve found this a much better way of forming relationships with people in the industry. Just don’t make the initial messages “spammy”, copy and paste style can be obvious and people are less likely to respond.
Having a filled-out LinkedIn profile shows that you’re taking your job search seriously and are enthusiastic about your previous/current work/projects. I’d recommend writing short summaries underneath your experiences (bullet points are enough!), having a professionally written self-description, also if you’re able to have current/previous team members write recommendations for your profile looks great too.
What do you like about having a mentor?
Having a mentor for me was a really refreshing way of looking at my career path and goals. Even if you feel like you’re already a driven person and already know where you want to be in the future, having a second opinion especially from someone within the creative industry who has worked their way up the ladder is such an eye opener. It’s also an opportunity to discuss your strategy when applying for jobs and learning that there are even more ways than you thought…even if you did think you were doing everything humanely possible already. Also, job hunting is stressful and you can get pretty down about it when it seems like a never-ending cycle of rejection emails. I’d always joke to my mentor that he was half mentor, half therapist.
How can others find a mentor?
Research programmes that are focused on career building within your industry and know what you want to learn from a mentor. Apply to programmes that you believe suit your professional goals and personal development. There are a lot of programmes that have Instagram accounts, for example, the Creative Mentor Network (where I was a mentee), then click on the drop-down arrow that suggests similar pages.
How have you been building your network during the pandemic?
In the past few months I’ve definitely learnt that networking with recruiters is a really valuable way to spend your time if you’re job searching. There are also lots of networking platforms where you can make new connections within the industry just like Sass and Snarl which I love.
How did you find the right internship for you and how do you think others can find theirs?
I think a lot of it has to do with knowing what type of internship you’re looking for, what companies do internships, and making connections with relevant people. All these things should contribute to giving yourself the highest chance of an internship presenting itself. Just remember to be patient and keep your eyes peeled for any opportunities as soon as they come up on LinkedIn or on company pages. Instagram is also an amazing place to find internships/jobs that could be a great match for your skillset and personality.
What women in the music industry do you look up to?
The first women that come to mind are the lovely the women at Infectious PR, Lucy Sparks, Jess Burr, Jay Colley and Abi Bunce. They all taught me a lot during my experience at Infectious about music marketing which I’m so thankful for. They’re great women in the music business, each with a lot of self-motivation and patience which I think is very inspiring.
Artist-wise; Dua Lipa is incredible, she seems like a woman who knows her audience and herself very well, she’s everywhere all the time, I swear. I think that’s down to her and her team trying out new ways of marketing and just always coming up with interesting ways to stay on everyone’s radar. Then there’s Beyoncé…don’t really need to expand on that one…
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would definitely love to still be within the music industry and have moved into a more developed role with a great team. If I was still with Universal Music UK, I’d be over the moon! I would love to see a few gold discs on my wall too, I think that would be pretty cool to accomplish.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was during a feedback call with someone from a talent team (and I was honestly feeling not too great after not landing the role!) and she said “There’s space within this industry for everyone who wants to be in it.” This had a huge impact on my mindset afterwards, it kept my drive up with applications, as I felt after hearing that, it should be only a matter of time before landing something, and a month later I did!
This is the hardest question but this song makes me want to celebrate small wins J (also it lowkey sounds like it should be in a musical)
Beyoncé – Schoolin’ Life