Thirteen years ago, when I was starting out in my public relations career, the term “social media” didn’t exist. It wasn’t even a concept that was considered by anybody in the marketing world. How times have changed! Marketing yourself for a communications, marketing or advertising career is much different from the days when all you needed was a resume and a hard-copy portfolio.
Over the past few years I’ve been asked to help in the search for new hires for junior positions – account coordinators and account executives. The expectations for first impressions have changed much, and so I’ve come up with a few job search tips and social media advice to share with the newbies out there.
Social Media Is Important for Marketers and Communicators
Understanding the social media world is vital to any job in marketing, advertising or public relations. While you may not be doing the work directly in your new role, having a good grasp of what can be accomplished using these tools, the limitations, and how they can work in any brand/organization communications program is an asset to have when having to work with other agency partners.
While it may seem shallow, there are still many potential employers who will quickly glance to see how many followers you have. They also look to Klout to see how influential you are. Keeping up your online activity is important as it shows a consistency and ongoing interest in social media.
Write a Blog To Showcase Your Abilities & Understanding
Showcase your writing capabilities by writing and regularly publishing a blog. It doesn’t have to be about your career direction – it can be anything that interests you, which also shows employers that you have hobbies and interests that might work with their brand or clients. If you have photography skills – showcase them! If you pay attention to design, it highlights your abilities to potentially create well laid-out presentations and reports.
With writing a blog you need to also know how to push out the content via social media tools. It’s also great way to show employers you know how to create content and engage a community of interested readers!
Use Caution When Using Twitter
Be careful what you post publicly. If you are using Twitter, know that somebody can find your tweets from even a few years ago as they may be cached by Google or other search engines, as well as tweet aggregators. Sometimes tweets that are out of context can create a negative impression. This applies to many other social media tools that can potentially post your content publicly. For example, inappropriate photos in Instagram can reveal quite a bit about your life that you may not want others to know about, like your obsession with Hello Kitty. Learn how to keep information private if you don’t plan to use a personal filter!
LinkedIn Is Your Online Resume
Keep your LinkedIn profile in top shape – write your career and experience details as if you were writing them for your resume. Public profiles can be printed out by potential employers and headhunters, and when they are, they look very much like a resume.
Use Twitter As A Networking Tool
Know influential people. For anybody working in areas such as marketing, experiential marketing and public relations, build up a network of digitally influential contacts on Twitter. Follow their blogs and show them some love by posting quality comments. Follow them on Instagram. Respond to their tweets, favourite or retweet them.
People like to be acknowledged and engaged positively on Twitter. Take it one step further and meet with them in person via Tweet-ups, at events or your own planned meet-ups. This is how you grow relationships that can be beneficial to you on projects that need bums in seats or participation in your programs.
Employers will find you an invaluable asset if you can get results via influential people you know.
If you’ve been job hunting and interviewing, what kind of job search tips and social media tools have you used?