We would like to introduce you to our Meet the Team series. In light of these challenging times, our recruitment consultants are here to share their advice to help active candidates during this time. As part of this series, you’ll also find out more about our consultants, the sectors they work in and their individual working from home tips.
Next in our series we spoke to Sheetal Shah, our Presentation Graphics specialist, who has been at Devonshire for over 20 years.
Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do at Devonshire?
I have been with Devonshire for over 20 years… You could say I have grown up here! I focus on recruiting presentations/communications/marketing related roles and have placed global heads of communications through to junior/entry level designers.
I have also built teams from zero to 50 within a short period of time along with my amazing support team.
Explain a bit more about your desk/sector and the type of roles you recruit for?
For presentations related roles, we recruit from junior through to senior designers, financial presentations experts, legal document production and presentation experts and everything in between.
What type of clients do you recruit for? What are the key skills or traits that are most appreciated?
I have a wide client base that need presentation/PowerPoint designers but I guess we are better known in the corporate world. This can range from financial, legal and professional services. But we also provide presentation design talent to pharma, research and design firms.
The main technical skills are PowerPoint, Keynote and InDesign as a starting point.
In your opinion, what makes a candidate in your sector stand out from the crowd?
Aside from having excellent technical skills, an ability to visually articulate ideas on screen and print. Then it is all about attitude and aptitude and an openness to adapt to new ways of working.
Be collaborative, creative and passionate in your work and I have seen first-hand how this approach definitely makes you stand out from the crowd.
What advice would you give to people wanting to get into your sector/progress in similar roles that you recruit for?
To think of PowerPoint or Keynote as a creative tool to convey messages, you will be surprised what these applications are capable of. Also, I would reiterate the ‘be collaborative, creative and passionate’ mantra.
What advice would you give to your active candidates looking for temporary and permanent work in the current climate with COVID-19?
This is the time to focus on what you are good at and perhaps think laterally to where you can apply these talents. Are there other sectors that you hadn’t considered before that could use your skillset? You are probably going to be interviewing remotely for the foreseeable so make sure you have an area in your home with a neutral background that is also away from background noise. Test out the video interviewing platform that you have been asked to use to limit any technical hitches that might occur.
Mentally it is going to be hard to stay positive all the time – so cut yourself some slack, it is OK to have some days where you aren’t productive and proactive, just go with it as it won’t last forever.
Finally, what’s your top tip for working from home?
Keep to a ‘loose’ schedule, I know this is easier than it sounds – especially if you have other distractions in the house. What I mean by this is, make sure you have time to be out of the house in lieu of a commute. Go for a walk at the start of your work day and when you finish for the day – otherwise it is very easy to merge your work day into your personal time and this isn’t good for your mental health – you need to have some distance from your work to get perspective.
Don’t feel that you have to achieve everything in your to do list – focus on a few tasks but really apply all your concentration to it. Finally, remain connected with your work peers – even if it is for a virtual coffee break – you don’t have to do a mass ‘team meet’, but just with one other or a few of you together to talk through projects you are working on, any challenges that you are currently experiencing etc.
If you would like to contact Sheetal to find out more about the roles she is recruiting for or for any more advice, please contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org / 0203 047 4620.