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Ask James Caan – 4th April 2011 – Issue 42

Written by Kimberley Startup | April 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

James Caan LinkedIn Q&A

This week in his LinkedIn Q&A column, James Caan advises a recent graduate on steps to increase her chances of securing a job at the 2012 Olympics.

He writes:

Dear Member,

Firstly, I’d like to share some great news about the group. Last week we reached the 43,000 member mark, firmly establishing us as one of the fastest growing LinkedIn groups in the UK. Having so many people involved within the group is a fantastic achievement – it provides our discussions with terrific exposure and can stimulate some really great input.

Returning to the column, this week I’d like to discuss a topic a lot of people are talking about: the 2012 Olympics, thanks to an email from an impressive young woman, Deirdre Teeling.

Deirdre, an Economics graduate, tells me she has her sights set on securing a job within next year’s Olympics. Her track record spans project managing fundraising events, data project work and volunteering in India. She’s already applied for a job through the official 2012 website, but is now searching for a way to really stand out from her competition.

Deirdre, you are obviously very passionate and eager to get involved in the games. It’s incredibly refreshing to see that you’ve already put a lot of effort into getting involved and are searching for ways to give yourself the edge.

The Olympics provides an excellent employment platform, not only for those in the sporting industry, but across all markets. Big brands are fast getting on board with promotions, tourism will be at an all time high, and interviews are already underway for the 100,000 shortlisted volunteers.

As you will have already seen, the main jobs available fall into the remit of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

Both have very different functions, including staging the games, co-ordinating volunteers, developing infrastructure, considering venues’ long term use and much more. So as you can see, there’s an incredible amount of choice and potential.

Having looked into your skill set, I think the jobs within LOCOG – the team behind staging the games – would satisfy your interests. This privately-funded committee is searching for a diverse workforce comprising passionate, talented individuals – and I think you’d fit right in.

But competition is of course going to be high. There will be individuals who have been preparing years ahead for the opportunity to be involved in an event of this scale, so it’s crucial to really sell your skills.

Personally, I feel you already have a tremendous advantage because of your experience. Particularly in a unique environment like this, I imagine the recruiting teams will search for candidates with practical, hands-on experience and the ability to hit the ground running.

Your project management and fundraising background will have given you great exposure to the busy events place, and your volunteering experience will have given you an appreciation of the logistics of working with voluntary workers.

But it’s not just physical work experience that will be taken into account. Key transferrable skills will also be of utmost importance. So ensure your organisation, communication and co-ordination skills are flawless.

2012 will provide the perfect showcase of talent we have, and not just the athletes. The people ‘behind the scenes’ are just as important, and if you can project the same amount of passion and commitment, I’m certain you’ll be in with a very good chance.

Best of luck,

James Caan

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