How to create a winning application – from Rising Star Awards judges

It’s that time of year again when the spotlight shines bright on the next generation of talent in the print industry – The Printing Charity’s Rising Star Awards! First impressions matter, and the application form is our first introduction to you. To make it count, we’ve compiled some top tips straight from the judges themselves.

The best application…

… Helps us to get to know you and what you care about. What does your career mean to you, and why do you want to progress? Ian Pollock, Director at Mark Andy UK Ltd says he looks for passion for the industry; “Communicate in your own words what you are looking to achieve with your career. No pre-scripted answers that have been clearly coached.”

… Is logical. We need to understand your chosen career goals, your path to get there, and, crucially, how our support will help you. As Ian points out; “What an applicant requires the funding for is the clearest sign of future plans.” Research you’ve done into courses, and conversations you’ve had about them with trusted advisors will help support your application.

… Shares what development you’ve already undertaken. This can be anything from shadowing a colleague, to free online courses or networking via a trade association. This helps us understand what efforts you’ve made already. Emma Fells, two-time RSA judge and VP Client Engagement at HH Global says she looks for “Someone who has really thought about how this money can benefit them in their current and future roles. The applicant must have investigated internal options within their business first, as many larger businesses offer great training programmes which applicants do not think to explore.”

… Is one that’s been discussed with other people. We always find it’s best to share your ideas and gain some feedback before you submit. It’s even better if the Award clearly fits as part of a personal development plan that you’re working on with a manager or mentor. “Discussing your thoughts and plans with someone else will help you address the questions we might have, and how you plan to make best use of the charity’s money,” says Emma. Thinking about how to open this conversation? Find out how to prepare for a conversation with your manager.

…Is not one dimensional. Your development doesn’t have to be linear. For example, if you are in sales, then as well as selling, you also build relationships, demonstrate resilience, manage time and priorities, network and pitch. Whether core practical skills, or softer personal skills, you can develop your capabilities in every direction. In fact, seeking new challenges and opportunities can be very rewarding and you can apply for the awards whatever your role and wherever you want to get to.

To help you further, we have lots of articles on our website to prepare a winning application – check them out.

2024 Rising Star Award applications are now closed.

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