The Summer has almost finished and as we head into the end of the year, what better place to start than grabbing the initiative and applying for one of our fantastic vacancies on the careers page of our website?


Before you head over there however you would do well to follow our quick suggestions on how to impress us in our second half of career advice articles. Whether you are looking to work with us or are simply interested in some job application tips, our recommendations should be useful to no matter what job, position or industry you are applying for.


With this in mind, we follow on from our blog on how to get a job at Hello Starling with the slightly more cynical, how not to get a job at Hello Starling.


Get our attention (Part 2)


In the first part of our blog we emphasised the importance of getting our attention. As we said, we work in a creative industry, so why not show off a little creativity? After trawling through numerous applications a little bit of something different really can make a difference as to whether or not your particular application gets you noticed.


This being said…  “by all means, put some effort into formatting your CV, but if you find your cursor hovering over ‘word art’, close everything down and take a break”. Displaying creativity is great, but try to restrict it to areas that can really make you shine. If you think that you are particularly accomplished at word art, then by all means ignore this advice, but, “after fifty CV’s when your eyeballs are bleeding, you just want a clear font and layout that makes sense”.


Be Selective  


Our billboards state: We work with attention seekers (Like you*)… and that’s pretty much it!


Along with our contact information this message is displayed in black and white with a very brief description of the service that we provide. Less is often more, and – just as we do not need to state every single service we provide on our billboards – you do not need to show off everything that you are good at to get our attention. Get across exactly what you think makes you perfect for the role in as succinct a fashion as possible and you’re on to a winning start. This being said we would also expect a little more than 7 words for your cover letter (horses for courses an’ all that).


“Every qualification is hard-earned, and you are right to be proud of them. Having said that we do not need to read through all 11 of your GCSE results. Nor do we need to know about every job you have had since the age of sixteen. Make an effort to prioritise the information that is most important and relevant to the role you are applying for”.


Make an effort with a cover letter (Part 2)


In the first part of the blog we emphasised the importance of writing a cover letter. In this part of the blog we will go into a little more detail about how to make it a good one.


Qualify your statements


“I feel my experience and skills are a good fit for this role” is a good start. But a cover letter it is not. Tell us why you are a good fit. What is it about your work and life experience that makes you ‘the one’? A statement without any evidence tells us very little after all.


Avoid clichés


“I work well as part of a team and on my own”

“I have excellent written communication skills”


We are capable of assessing your written communication skills by reading your cover letter. On top of this, there seems to be a disproportionate number of grammatical and typo errors that tend to occur after this statement. For this reason alone it is probably for the best that you sidestep this one. While it is also of course of vital importance in pretty much any job that you apply for, the phrase “I work well as part of a team and on my own” and the many many variations on this one that we hear, is not likely to get your head above the parapet. Trust us.


“We guarantee you will not miss out on an interview because you didn’t make this statement and the other 249 applicants did.”


We understand that avoiding clichés can be very difficult (so we will be lenient!) but if you can avoid statements or phrases that are seen in thousands of covering letters you will most certainly be marked up for it!


Time to send in your applications!


While it may not be an oil painting, avoiding clichés is in itself an example of using a little creativity to get your message across. If you can express yourself in a way that demonstrates to us that you can think outside the box (thought I’d add a little irony), and in a way that simultaneously does not deflect, but rather adds some colour to your application, then you are on to a winner (again we can see how clichés may be difficult to avoid!).


If all this seems a little daunting for whatever reason, please don’t be downhearted! There may very well be other elements to your CV or cover letter that blow us away. Venting recruitment frustration aside we are a very friendly and open-minded bunch that were all once in your shoes. As we explained in our first blog, the most important thing is that you apply. By all means use our advice to better help your chances of selection, but by the same premise, don’t let the details drag you down. Cliché’s and qualifying statements aside if you don’t apply then you won’t get the job!


If you have any queries or questions about the career opportunities that we currently have available please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to reading your sparkling new applications!


Team HS