How to get an entry level job at Attacat

(Update – 07/05/2015 – How to get an entry level marketing job at Attacat)

(Update – 28/09/2012 – 5 new graduate jobs available!)

(Update – 09/02/2012 – and another new recruitment round open – 2 x jobs)

(Update – 06/04/2011 – new recruitment round open)

We have recently recruited for an entry/graduate level job here at Attacat.  We had 78 applications (many sourced from Twitter as discussed in this recent Scotland on Sunday article).  As a small company, we felt that was a pretty remarkable number, especially given that we had an application form in place to scare off the less motivated.

Having spoken to a few of the unsuccessful applicants we decided to run a feedback session last night to try to help them out a bit.  The lovely and astute Nadine Pierce (Scotland’s best digital recruitment consultant IMHO!) kindly agreed to not only lend us Eden Scott‘s board room on St.Andrews’ Square but also offer insights from her perspective too.

Here’s my presentation, which unlike most of my presentations actually covers most of the points I talked about – other than the very best tips of course 😉

The atmosphere was a little uncomfortable to start with given the circumstances (a nervousness from me about offending people and probably a degree of dejection from those good enough to come) but I felt that this changed pretty quickly and I left with the impression that most will have got something out of it.

10 out of 10 to the applicants who did turn up.  It’s a credit to you and I’m sure that that sort of dedication will get you a job quickly.  Certainly we will be in touch with you next time we are recruiting.

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29 thoughts on “How to get an entry level job at Attacat”

  1. Tim, what a great exercise to carry-out, I could have avoided lots of problems in the past with such a process and a similar approach to the recruitment. I agree with the plaudits for the 14 who showed up even after being unsuccessful and I hope that attitude shows rewards for them soon!

    • Tim Barlow says:

      Hi Craig. It’s been a really interesting exercise. Not least because I felt that our next graduate recruit was likely to be in the audience last night (provided we can find a big enough office quickly enough!). Worst case is hopefully the applicants may think a little better of us for saying “no – not yet”

  2. I think it’s been a very brave project to face everyone again but also a great idea. Well done :-)nnI’ve got a lot of respect for the 14 who turned up & as you suggested it should certainly help them move up the pecking order next time. Having spent yesterday in your office it really would be a great place to work so it’s well worth some persistence!n

  3. I think it’s been a very brave project to face everyone again but also a great idea. Well done 🙂 nnI’ve got a lot of respect for the 14 who turned up and as you suggested it should certainly help them move up the pecking order next time. Having spent yesterday in your office it really would be a great place to work so it’s well worth some persistence!n

    • Tim Barlow says:

      Thanks Fraser. It was great to have such a sharp affiliate marketer in the office yesterday, especially as you bought cake too! Never fails.

  4. Nadine Pierce says:

    Tim, just wanted to say again how impressed I am that you’ve taken the time to put this together and give constructive and helpful feedback.nnA note to all the attendees, I really enjoyed meeting with you all and hope that it’s added some value to your jobhunting, feel free to contact me if you have any further questions

  5. Attacat Joel says:

    Tim, did you really suggest in your presentation that applicants have to be “fit”? Haha, I seriously hope I’ve got the wrong end of the stick and that’s very contextual! 😀

    • Tim Barlow says:

      Just have to “fit” not be “fit”, though clearly the Attacats are a good looking bunch (with one or two notable exceptions)

  6. Amanda Porrelli says:

    I think it’s wonderful that you have done this for the truly incredible number of people who applied for the position. Not many companies want to give you the time of day after you have been turned down for a post, much less hold a feedback event, buy you a drink and make you feel like while you may not have achieved what you set out to, you certainly achieved something just by applying!nnTo me, when you hear the words “you have been unsuccessful in your application”, I think it should always be followed up with something like this. That way, every unsuccessful application feels like a small success as you have learned a little more about yourself and what to do/not to do next time around.nnVery sorry to have missed the event, but hats off to you all for doing it and I wish the winning candidate all the best in their future with Attacat.

  7. That was very good of you Tim. rnrnFeedback on unsuccessful applications is always welcomed, though admittedly it can be difficult/time consuming if there’s been a lot of applications – or if youu2019re a very busy small company.rnrnNo doubt those brave attendees would have benefited and are therefore more likely to get a job in the near future.rnrnLastly, the Covering Letter tip on willingness to relocate is a good one u2013 in the past Iu2019ve failed to mention this. Maybe thatu2019s why I still work in Glasgow :)rn

    • Nadine Pierce says:

      Tim was spot on when he mentioned about relocating. We often get CVs from candidates anywhere in the UK and sometimes further afield, if you are applying for a job in a different location please do take the time to explain why you and if necessary, any working visa details, this could make the difference from being in the “lets call today for a chat” pile rather then the “maybe” pile

  8. rosscbrown says:

    Post-interview followup letters: either no one does them or they don’t rank very highly? I typically only send them when an interview goes so terrible off track that a ‘damage control’ type of letter is needed. And usually by that point their is little to salvage from the Interview.nnAs for covering letters: it is nice to see that people still read them. I’d be interested to know if recruiters using job boards pay as much attention to the covering letter – given features like ‘one click’ sending of CVs that many of these sites offer. Perhaps Nadine could pitch here… n

    • Tim Barlow says:

      Nadine and I disagreed on covering letters. Seems they are more important when applying direct but bear in mind most covering letters will be forward on to the end client so I’d say make the effort.nnI like post interview follow up. Short not stalkerish:”thankyou for your time today, just wanted to say that it sounds like a fantastic opportunity and I hope to hear from you soon”. A positive (to some extent anyway) in my book.

    • Nadine Pierce says:

      Covering letters are perhaps more important for Graduate positions where there isn’t a solid employment history to speak for itself.nnFrom a recruiter perspective, we get high volumes of CVs to review on a daily basis (as Tim can tell you, it’s a very time consuming job in itself) so any covering letter really needs to be more of a covering note, very concise and matched to the key experience stated is required for the position applying for. nnA lot of my candidates will follow up an interview with an email & I would highly recommend doing so, although if you are forwards for the position via a recruiter, please do copy us in on any direct communication OR ask us to pass the feedback on to our client. It’s a nice touch and if a client was swithering between two candidates it could just make the difference.

  9. Kelly Forbes says:

    Glad the idea turned out great, just one question. Why do I need to change my name to Jamie or Amanda?

    • Tim Barlow says:

      We had four Jamies and two Amandas apply. Four made it to first round, two to second and another sold himself well last night.nnHowever the name to really have was Rachel, but we didn’t want to give away every secret. Seems Alex and Hannah are good names to have too but that is another story.

  10. Jenny says:

    I’d just like to say thanks again for last night’s very unique opportunity. It’s so difficult to stay motivated and positive when looking for work (particularly graduate positions) so to be afforded this amount of time and energy by a company completely off their own back is very helpful and reassuring that people actually do value the effort put into job applications.

  11. Grant says:

    I was looking for a job back in May, after we moved from DC to Houston. I was having a very hard time keeping where I had applied straight. I literally applied to hundreds of jobs. With all my spare time, I put together a simple website with all the landing pages of the open positions at well over 200 companies nationwide.nnFor those of you out there, looking for a job. Here’s the website:nn’m looking for suggestions to expand as well the list, so please let me know!nnGood Luck!

  12. Craig McGill says:

    Tim, that’s a fantastic thing to see. Well done on taking the time to do this for people – and well done to Nadine too. Praise all round.

    • Tim Barlow says:

      Thanks Craig. I don’t suppose you are, or know of people recruiting at the moment. Got a few names I’d happily share!

  13. Alistair Rennie says:

    Hi Tim, nnJust catching up on this now and, have to say, I’m sorry I wasn’t there. Very interesting to see Nadine’s advice on applying to jobs from far off locations. I’ve often wondered about this and now I know! Thanks for posting!

    • Tim Barlow says:

      Hi Alistair, Great to hear from you. Hope the job hunt is going well.

  14. Remarkable Recruiting Round Brings in 3 New Faces to Attacat Internet Marketing | Blog says:

    […] of the recruitment feedback event can be found at how to get an entry level job at Attacat and the new recruits at meet the team. Contact […]

  15. Thehappyhippy says:

    I was one of the 14 unsuccessful candidates who pitched up and am now 4 months into an awesome job just around the corner from Attacat. This feedback session was the turning point in my job hunt and I frequently attribute my new job to Tim for his time, insight & generosity

    • Tim Barlow says:

      Thanks for that. Maybe see you tonight at the house warming?

      • Thehappyhippy says:

        Looking forward to it!

  16. Lucinda Badger says:

    This is very interesting to read, having just applied myself. I’m very impressed by the effort you’ve put in by offering such feedback to the unsuccessful candidates. I’ve certainly taken a lot from it and I hope to apply that in a constructive manner. Having worked for both large corporations and small businesses, I can only hope that I have the opportunity to work in such an environment that Attacat seems to offer.

  17. Louise says:

    I just stumbled across this (over a yar later) but what a great thing to do. If other employers lead by this example you’d have a healthier, happier and altogether more inspired workforce! Grads are lost in a sea of rejection letters in the current climate and so this just struck me as a really compassionate thing to do.

  18. Attacat Tim says:

    Hi Louise

    Interesting timing! We are actually running the event again tomorrow night.

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