May 25, 2021, by Rosie Pinder
Getting To Know Your Chosen Industry
By Rosie Pinder, BA English second year
Qualifications and having the right experience are perhaps the most obvious things that come to mind when thinking about interviews and job applications. However, another significant factor when pitching yourself is to know the industry. This knowledge is crucial as it ensures that you seem both interested and aware of the current happenings and trends that would impact your work if you got the role.
As a result, below are some suggestions of how to keep updated on and involved in your chosen industry. Like in my previous posts, some of the examples given are specific to the industries I am interested in, journalism and publishing. However, the advice applies to any industry you might want to be a part of or learn more about.
1. Sign up for newsletters
Newsletters are a great way to stay updated about a company or industry and they are becoming increasingly popular at the moment. You can find a newsletter about pretty much anything and they range from weekly round-ups to longer, monthly mini-magazines. Industry newsletters mainly discuss new developments and trends. But they might also include links to workshops and events and talk about awards, opportunities, and competitions.
Three of my favourite newsletters are: The Bookseller (publishing), Greenteeth Press (publishing), and Sian Meades-Williams Freelance Jobs (journalism).
2. Follow industry professionals online
One of the best ways to learn more about an industry is to follow someone who works within your chosen field on Twitter or LinkedIn. This way you can learn about what their role involves, their current interests, and any problems that they are having to overcome.
Industry professionals with a significant following also often retweet advertisements for roles and work experience opportunities – another great reason to keep an eye out!
3. Check the news
It is always worth searching keywords related to your chosen industry on Twitter and news websites. This will allow you to find out about the latest developments. Also, give some thought to news stories relating to technology and the workplace. These will affect pretty much any industry and are important to be aware of!
4. Join social media groups
Lots of industries have (unofficial) groups that you can join if you hope to get involved in that field. For example, I have recently joined the ‘Publishing Hopefuls’ group on Facebook. Not only are opportunities for internships and entry-level jobs shared, but these kinds of groups can also be a great place to ask for advice and support from people who may have similar interests and shared experiences.
For example, if you have an interview opportunity with a particular company you can ask around and get advice from others who may have links to that company or feedback from an interview that they are happy to share.
These are just four examples of ways to keep updated on your chosen industry. There are of course many other sources of information out there. The most important thing to remember is that having a genuine interest in the sector is often the main thing that interviewers look for in a candidate. So just make sure you can show that you have done some research and are keen to get involved.
If you’re unsure about the sector you’d like to work with when you graduate, you should take a look at our career path webpage which gives you an overview of what different jobs involve and the developments within these industries or sectors.
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