Top advice for the best Rising Star Awards applications

Over the years, we’ve received thousands of Rising Star Awards applications, and have found a few key elements shared by those that make it through to the interview stage.

To help make the most of the time before the awards open in January next year, we’ve compiled some of these top tips to help you submit the best possible application.

Consider your career goals and timings

Have a good think about where you’d like your career to progress, and what skills gaps exist between where you are now, and where you want to be. Part of this will probably be deciding if 2024 is the right year to apply for the awards. You can only win a Rising Star Award once, so is now the right time to make the most of it? Are there other training and development opportunities which could put you on a stronger footing if you apply the following year?

Star Ally Boldan, from Instantprint, reapplied in 2023 when she didn’t win the previous year. She says: “It was 100% the right move. When I first applied, I’d only been working in the role and industry for a short amount of time, but since then I’ve got a lot more experience, more technical print knowledge and a completely new role. First time around I’d picked a freelance journalism course, but having moved into a PR role at Instantprint, it became clear I needed to focus specifically on PR.”

Make time to talk about your ambitions with others

Trusted advisors in your professional network will give you invaluable feedback on your ideas and can help refine these into a more concrete plan. It could be your manager, HR team, a more senior colleague, mentor, or someone in your network who’s currently working in your dream role. Take advantage of their experience and advice.

2022 Star, Hayley Walker from Amberley Labels, explains: “The application process inspired me to sit down and talk to my manager about how I saw myself progressing within the business, and where he saw me progressing. Together we were able to come up with a plan about where my future career could go.”

Do your research and show your commitment

Speaking to others about your career plans will bring up many ideas about the training and development options that are available. Take time to research these options, and others that fit with the goals you’re aiming for, so you’re clear they will help move you towards the next step in your career.

The best Rising Star applications show a clear career plan. Assessors want to see how the selected training and development will help progress this plan, and evidence that you are committed to these goals. You can show this by taking on additional responsibilities, seeking out on-the-job training and sharing the outcomes of conversations you’ve had about your career progression.

The Rising Star Awards are open to anyone aged 18-30, in any job role in print, paper, packaging, graphics and publishing.

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