How to get hired by your favourite brand

People working in the FMCG industry have a deep passion for their products.

They learn to love the brands that are employing them, but as consumers, they also develop familial attachments to many other brands. It is often the case that someone comes into our interview with a hit-list of brands that they would love to work for.

This is especially the case in the healthy eating sector. There are increasingly large numbers of innovative start-ups who are squeezing the bigger names out of the sector. They are hugely authentic, and they offer someone a real chance to make a difference. With everyone searching for a purpose in their careers, there are few more rewarding roles in the FMCG industry. Everyone wants a piece of the action.

It is an interesting phenomenon that when you feel a close bond with a company, you feel that this proximity should be reciprocated. You want to send your CV in with a gushing note about how dedicated you would be to their cause. While this might make you feel good, is it actually the best way to go about highlighting your candidature? You will be one of many.

I’m not going to try and persuade you that using an agency is the best and only way to get a job. There are certain situations where our relationships can come in useful, but if you are passionate about a brand, you should have a relationship with them already. The channels are there for you to do it; you simply have to put in the ground work.

Most great (smaller) brands use social media as their megaphone. They have small armies of dedicated supporters, and if you aren’t one of them, your gushing letter means little. If you strike up a relationship with the person that runs their social media, it is so easy to let them know that you are sending in your CV (or being put forward by a recruiter). Having a colleague walk over to the HR Manager and say, hey, this person has been liking our social media updates for the last year is what can really make you stand out from the crowd.

Believe me, there will be a huge crowd. You have to find every way of standing out.

A mixed approach generally works best. If you send your CV to every company in the market, very few recruiters will be happy to represent you as they will not earn a fee from the work that they put in. You could maybe take a direct approach where you genuinely have a close “relationship” as described above, but I’d question whether most people can rise above the clamour by just sending their CV in. These companies get 1,000s of CVs every year – they won’t all be read, and the ATS keyword matching systems are decidedly average.

We have built up some fantastic relationships over the years – especially within the healthy eating sector. By finding great talent for some amazing health food SMEs, we are doing our bit to impact on the health of the UK. We understand our clients, we know what they need, so if you are passionate about this fast-growing niche of the market, I hope that we might play our part.