Career Ready hosted on 7th September ‘Career Options in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)’ and were joined by six industry professionals from Coles, Coca Cola Amatil and Six Degrees. Emma, a Career Ready Ambassador went along for the event and shares the insights employers gave on what it’s like to work in FMCG and how to succeed in your career.  Here’s what they had to say:

On how to be a good graduate applicant…

  • Sell your unique personal brand: don’t be a ‘rubber stamp’ candidate. Employers are not looking for the same, stock-standard resumes and answers to questions in interviews. Originality and forward-thinking is key.
  • Be memorable. “During our application process we ask ‘if you could be any product in a Coles store, what would you be and why?’ So many people answered that they would be a pack of chocolate chip cookies. Don’t be a pack of chocolate chip cookies. One guy answered that he would be a sanitary pad, which made us all laugh but he also answered the question well… he was memorable and it was his application that progressed.”

On creating an effective CV…

  • It’s okay to have a splash of colour on your CV, but beware, there is a fine line between showing a little creativity and having an over-the-top looking resume. Focus more on having creative content in your resume, and this will be much more effective in catching employer’s attention.

On experience…

  • When considering what experience to showcase to employers, think about what it is that you have, that other applicants do not. Draw out experience from the different fields in your life: your volunteering and extra-curricular activities. Be sure to “sell your experiences” in a way that best showcases what you have to offer.

On networking

  • Use Linkedin as a way of being seen and creating personal networks. If you haven’t already, update your Linkedin profile.
  • Show an active interest in industry professionals to expand your network. Reach out to people. One employer established a number of connections in their career by meeting with people from different areas of the company for coffee and asking, “what can I do to make your job easier?”

On rejected job applications…

  • Keep reaching out. Go visit a store in person and ask to introduce yourself to the manager. One of the panellists was rejected for an assistant store manager position four times before she succeeded, but persistence, she said, pays off: “it’s okay to be knocked back.”
  • Timing can be a highly important factor in whether your application is successful. People often drop their resume into places which are not looking for staff at that point in time, which is often unsuccessful. Spend time researching which employers are hiring and when.

On Interviews…

  • Get the basics right. Be on time and dress appropriately. If you’re late, employers might say “it’s okay”, but it’s usually not. It is never okay to wear jeans to an interview, no matter how ‘laid back’ the organisation may seem.
  • Be wary of the language you’re using. If you come across as speaking too casually, you can leave a negative impression. Set the scene for yourself.
  • Ask questions during your interview: you should also be evaluating your prospective employer and deciding whether they’d be a good fit for you.
  • Show dedication to the job during the application and interview process: don’t ever say “this is one of several jobs I’m looking at”