Looking For Entry-Level Social Media Work? 5 Tips To Get Hired
With a whopping 600 percent increase in social media roles over the past five years, it's shouldn't come as a surprise to hear social media management is a trending career path. The demand for communication-savvy, digitally-forward young professionals spans across all industries. But landing an entry-level social media position requires a lot more than boasting a large following on Twitter.
If you're a member of the Class of 2013 or looking to transition your career into the digital realm, it's in your best interests to understand the challenges of the entry-level job search. Today, employers require more experience than ever for those seeking entry-level employment. And there's an even greater twist for those interested in pursuing careers in social media because few universities offer a social media degree.
But never fear -- here are five tips to help you get hired:
1. Showcase a commanding social presence. Having a profile on every social media platform available doesn't give potential employers much insight into your social capabilities. Take a quality over quantity approach when it comes to your online presence. Get active on the social media platforms most relevant to your interests and career. Go above and beyond the average social media user by engaging in relevant conversations on a variety of topics with industry experts such as frequenting Twitter chats, participating in LinkedIn Groups, managing your personal blog, or even creating your own vlog series on YouTube.
Your dedication to a strong, professional and informative online presence will present you as articulate and socially-savvy to potential employers. Be sure to put links to your social media profiles in your cover letter, resume and personal website.
2. Sharpen your digital skills. It's necessary to have a firm grasp on the latest tools of the trade to get any notice from employers. Social media internships often provide the perfect environment for students and recent graduates to not only learn, but also put to use a variety of different applications and tools required for advancement in your career. But if you never held a social media-focused internship, there are a number of online classes, webinars and e-books available to help hone your digital knowledge.
Taking a professional online training course will help you to prove your interest in advancing your professional knowledge while also showing your interest in career development, self-management and the your dedication to keeping up with social media trends. List your knowledge of specific social media tools in the skills section of your resume.
3. Prove your social know-how. Did you know that 59.3 percent of students complete multiple internships prior to entering the entry-level workforce? Your previous internships are crucial to getting your foot in the door as an entry-level social media strategist. Quantify your completed projects and hands-on experience gained from previous social media internships to built a platform for your social know-how and qualifications. This goes beyond listing your internship tasks and projects -- show the real impact of your abilities by turning your previous success into figures. For example, you may have increased engagement on Twitter by 80 percent during your internship. Add this to your resume and take it a step further by sharing the tactic you used.
No internship experience? There's still a lot you can do to convey your social media know-how. Consider doing a case study on the strategy and ROI of your Twitter account, showcasing your social aptitude by volunteering to handle social media channels at a nonprofit or by taking on freelance social media work for your own roster of clients. Remember, great social media strategists must be both great writers and content creators. Try presenting pieces of work that show both these areas during the hiring process.
4. Network like a pro. Getting hired for an entry-level social media position involves a level of strategy. But since you're a social media whiz, this should come easy to you. Don't waste a recruiter's time by simply shooting them a general email -- their inbox is full of them. You will be more likely to land a position if you know someone within the company you're applying to. Since the world of social media is rife with easily accessible experts, begin developing strong connections at the companies that matter most to you.
Work to build a two-way chain of communication, then invite this person to an informational interview. If they're located in your area, offer to take them out to coffee to gain information about the company and their career -- but never pitch yourself to them. You can also ask to speak with them via phone, email or even Skype. Expanding your professional network will put you at the top of mind when a job arises that's relevant to your expertise.
5. "Wow" them. It takes a hiring manager roughly 60 seconds to decide whether your resume will move you forward through the hiring process. Presenting yourself as anything but a run-of-the-mill candidate is a must for getting hired in social media. Hiring managers are looking for strong personalities, coveted soft skills -- like problem-solving abilities, creativity and ease of communication -- and passion.
Each company has their own culture and standards for hiring. They're not only looking to find someone with the necessary skills and experience to get the job done, they're hoping to land an employee with one-of-a-kind mindset and attitude. Impress them by letting your personality shine through in every aspect of your work and the hiring process. Think outside of the box in how you present yourself. For example, potentially create a video resume or even a Vine to convey why you're right for the job.
Put these tips into play during your entry-level social media job search and you're bound to come out on top!
What do you think? What's the top skill a social media strategist needs to have?
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