Adding to my team, I just went through the hiring process. I’ve been in staffing for 10+ years so I know I hear/read more about interviewing and the job search process than the average person. In fact after 8 years of coaching people how to do it, I would lean towards being an expert on the matter. But I was absolutely blown away by what I assumed was “common sense interview and job search etiquette,” was not that at all.
I was hiring for a social media role. I never posted the job description on any job board. I just asked for referrals through my network so the inherently social would bubble up to the top and help narrow my search. That happened for sure. I received many candidates from people I know and respect. So I started calling and emailing.
In the first 3 days of my search I had ruled out 12 referred candidates. 3 for major and multiple spelling and grammatical errors in their communications with me, 3 for too little required experience, 3 for the inability to supply writing or social media post samples, 2 for bad Linkedin profiles (lack of one completely and spelling/grammatical errors on the other) and 1 (admittedly) “beefing up” his resume to get call backs. I did set up 5 interviews. All seemly smart, energetic, experienced social media and/or marketing people. But over 2/3 of the referrals didn’t get a second glance because of mistakes they made, socially!
So you’re probably thinking “maybe all these people weren’t actively looking.” You’re right! But as a social media professional you should constantly be thinking of these things. The reality is your work is very public. It might be to a limited audience but it is still social media.
So make sure you’re doing these things:
1. Google yourself– your future or prospective employer will. Is there anything that you wouldn’t want someone to see? If so, see if you can correct it. Are you not seeing the things you want to? Maybe it’s time to think about what you are doing and if it’s working.
2. Create a full LinkedIn page- As a social media professional you should have a complete bio with job experience (school experience if you’re new to the job market,) your contact info and your skills. This is one of the largest social media platforms, after all. You should be on it and killing it.
3. BE HONEST. It will always come back to bite you in the ass if you’re not. If you don’t have exactly what the job description is asking for, tell them why your experience is still relevant. But don’t make it up.
4. Keep samples of your work. Social media professionals should be able to show samples of their experience just like a Designer or a Developer.
5. SPELL CHECK. For crying out loud, check your work! An email with a potential employer should be treated like your work. If I don’t think you re-read your own email for errors, why would I believe you would do so with the content representing my brand?
Changing a first impression is hard. In a job search or otherwise, you have to be aware. You could miss out on your dream job because the hiring manager passed on you based on your social media presence. It’s important regardless of your job. But for social media specialists, there is no excuse not to be on your game.
Looking for more resources on what to do (and not do) during your job search?
7 Ways To Rock Your Personal LinkedIn Profile
The One Mile Rule: What NOT To Do After Your Interview
5 Reasons You’re Not Getting That Social Media Job
10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Online Brand
5 Essential Social Media Tips For Your Job Hunt (no laughing! )