Every TalentEgg Challenge is a little different.
That’s one of the great things about Challenges: each one gives you a different opportunity to prove your unique skills in a unique way.
After hosting nearly a half-dozen Challenges with employers and brands in different fields (and hearing lots of positive feedback from students and grads), we’ve come up with some handy DOs and DON’Ts.
The latest Challenge is the CPP Investment Board Challenge! Check it out here.
You can use these tips to test your Challenge submission – and get even closer to a truly egg-ceptional final product!
DO consider your audience
A solid Challenge submission must take its audience into account.
At the very least, this means looking at the criteria that will be used to assess your submission and making sure you’re meeting them consistently.
However, most Challenges also involve a public-facing component – where you need to engage with a public audience. That means you’ll need to communicate with your target audience in a suitable tone while still presenting a professional and polished product.
Not sure where to start? Ask yourself whether aspects of your overall idea would appeal to your audience. If it helps, develop a character profile to help you assess your idea from another perspective.
DON’T stick with the familiar
It’s simple: if you want to stand out from the other entries, you need to think outside of the box.
The best way to come up with a totally unique idea is to blend your own skills and experience with some effective brainstorming!
Don’t zero in on an idea too quickly – give yourself time to look at the big picture before choosing your path.
DO your research
Proper research can guide your thought process and help you develop innovative solutions to the Challenge at hand.
Before you get cracking, make sure you really understand the main goals of the Challenge. Why is this Challenge relevant? What issue is it trying to address?
It’s a good idea to have an initial brainstorming session before doing some research – then returning to the brainstorming process once you have a finer filter for your thoughts.
Top submissions are focused and relevant, so give yourself time to dig a little deeper!
DON’T overlook limitations
If you were given $1,000, would you go out and spend $10,000?
Every business has limitations (in finances, market size, and personnel, for example), so it’s incredibly important to ground your Challenge submission in reality.
Read through the Challenge criteria carefully and consider conducting supplementary research to determine whether your idea is still practical.
DO plan to measure your success
At the end of the day, your idea needs to have real-world impact.
Remember, TalentEgg Challenges are presented by real businesses and brands, which means that your concept should be fully-developed. To be successful, your entry should include a tangible way to measure the impact of your idea.
What will be a defining factor of this campaign if it is successful? Keep this question in mind as you develop your idea.
DON’T neglect presentation
A great idea can easily fall flat if it isn’t presented well.
Make sure your entry is professional, easy to read, visually-engaging (if possible) and thoughtfully laid out.
Explore different format options (PDF, slideshow presentation, even video) and pay extra attention to the details – everything from font style to line spacing can influence the way your submission presents itself.
DO brand your idea
If you want to create a strong submission that highlights your unique skills, vision, and insight, build your submission as if it were a brand of its own.
By developing a brand alongside your idea, you will encourage the judges to see how your idea fits into their vision, mission, and aligns with their brand. This makes your Challenge solution more distinctive and impressive.
DON’T forget to proofread
The quickest way to get your entry into the virtual recycling bin?
Submitting an entry full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes!
Your Challenge submission is a professional document – make sure to communicate your ideas as clearly as possible! Take a break from working on your submission and return back to it after a few hours to proofread. You’re more likely to catch mistakes with a fresh set of eyes.
DO identify shortcomings
A strong Challenge submission addresses the main objectives outlined within a Challenge.
As you work through your entry, ask yourself: What are you missing? Is there an aspect of the Challenge that your idea hasn’t covered?
If your idea is better-equipped to address certain portions of the Challenge than others, see if there are ways to expand your solution to be as well-rounded as possible.
If you’re confident that the strengths of your idea justify 1 or 2 obvious shortcomings, explain why – and provide good evidence! Making a good case will be more impressive than ignoring it and hoping no one notices.
DON’T leave out examples
Examples are a great way to ensure your idea is communicated clearly.
As you read through your submission, look for any areas where additional context may be useful to an outside reader.
Are there any concepts you’ve introduced that might leave someone confused? If so, try to rework those sections to include coherent, concise examples.
DO suggest alternatives
Even with careful research, your idea will likely involve a few educated guesses or assumptions.
If there are key parts of your strategy or execution that rely on obvious assumptions, make sure to qualify what these assumptions are – and illustrate some basic alternatives.
If your main idea isn’t aligned with what Company X is looking for, including a few alternative solutions will indicate to the judges that your ability to problem-solve is comprehensive and thorough.
DO look ahead
In order to be truly innovative, you need to consider the future.
How will your idea change or improve over time?
It’s important to focus on the initial phase of your idea, but you also need to explore its entire lifecycle. If the idea is a one-time project or idea, what would happen next? How would your build on your successes and learn from your setbacks?
If the idea is a continuing project, how would it develop and improve over time?