After all the hard work you and your team have contributed towards building a creditable business, awards are a brilliant way to celebrate your efforts and shout about your successes. They are also the perfect way to give your company and employees’ industry recognition, great press and personal validation, whilst also benefitting your brand’s reputation. The ceremonies themselves can even introduce you to contacts and networks, which could potentially help your business later down the line.
Since I started working at Scriba we have been shortlisted for two awards – one for Scriba and another for Katie as our founder and MD. And, whether it’s a nomination for the company as a whole, a personal recognition for yourself, or for another team member, you can’t help but feel proud of the business you are a part of.
But, long before your name is pulled from that golden envelope on awards night, you must first impress the judging panel in order to be shortlisted. So, here are some tips to help you utilise every word in your entry to make you a stand-out candidate…
Keep it simple
Be clear and precise throughout your entry in terms of key information, which outlines the specifics of your business, such as your turnover, sales growth, number of employees and objectives. Judges will have a lot of entries to read through, so make sure they can see this quickly. Remember – focus on facts not fluff, and avoid jargon!
Tell them your story
Now that you have the judges hooked, it is important to keep them interested. Explain your journey and how you have managed to reach this award-winning outcome. Ask yourself questions such as, what was life like before? What obstacles have you overcome? What have you learnt along the way? Make it as engaging as possible to ensure your reader doesn’t get bored.
Not only do you have to believe that your work is amazing, you also have to prove it to the judges. A way to do just this is to provide solid examples against the criteria given to you – spell out your success and avoid vague generalisations.
In your entry it is important to come across as professional, but you also want to inject some personality into it wherever you can. You want to be different and stand out, so avoid falling into the business-speak category in which you use words and phrases that you would never use in everyday speech. This will help you to build a personal connection with the judges and prevent them from zoning out.
Give yourself enough time to produce a concrete entry – don’t wait until the last minute, meaning that you are forced to rush it. A lot of awards do tend to extend their deadline, but don’t always assume that this will be the case for them all – start now!
It is so important that you proof, proof and proof again before sending your entry! You don’t want to waste time on creating the perfect entry for it to be dismissed because you have a typo within the first sentence, so make sure that it is read by at least one other person who hasn’t been involved in compiling it. Spelling mistakes and typos can easily undermine your whole success story!
These are just some of the things to consider when writing an award-winning entry. Keep a close eye on up and coming awards in your industry that could be perfect for you to enter – you never know, you may be just the kind of company they are looking for!
Remember to take your time, stick to the word count and answer all of the questions – we’ll keep our fingers crossed for you!