Looking for a social media job? Do these 5 things.

socialAdding 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! )



Twitter, Job Hunting and Hiring


When Twitter first flew into my life in 2008, I thought it was a joke. And with people using words like “Tweeps” and “Tweet-ups” I was rolling my eyes. Now, I’m sure it’s no less than 100 times a day I check @writingthesurf. It took me several months before I could take it seriously. It took nearly a year before I saw how people were using it in their job searches, without even knowing that’s what they were doing.

Being a Recruiter, at that time, I was always looking for ways to connect with my clients and new web development (my speciality) talent. It seemed like Developers were embracing this Twitter-thing and networking away. It was different than Facebook or Linkedin. Less formal, and ironically, more telling. Even though people weren’t sharing their photos or job history, they were talking about technology, innovation and they didn’t need to “friend” anyone or know their email address to connect. Anyone I intended on having a relationship with I would find on Twitter and follow them. In 2009 the list wasn’t terribly wrong. But it sure grew fast!

This platform changed the way I recruited. But even bigger, it changed the entire job hunt.

Recently I interviewed 10 different Web Developers for a series on my company blog called How To Become a Front End Developer. When asked how they find new jobs and network, every single one of them said social media. 9 of 10 said Twitter. It’s not just Developers, there are many other professions using Twitter to network and find new opportunities. (And if you’re the one hiring these people and you’re not on Twitter, you better re-think your hiring process.)

Developer or otherwise, think about the kind of people you want on your team. Regardless of the language you want them to be proficient in, content you want them to create or pieces you want them to design, you need them to be resourceful and well networked. Those two things make a strong team. Not to say if you don’t have a team full of tweet-crazed players, you’re in trouble. But if you’re looking to add to your team, Twitter should probably be your first stop.

I’m often asked “Twitter or LinkedIn?” It depends on what you’re looking for. If I’m researching skill set, where someone has worked or who recommends them, LinkedIn. If I’m trying to learn about a human being and build a relationship, Twitter. All day. You gain a better understanding of who they are, as a person, what they’re passionate and knowledgeable about and who they engage with. All of those things are important if you’re hiring someone. But they’re equally as important if you’re going to work for someone.

If you’re looking for a job or looking to hire someone, beef up your Twitter activity. Follow people you can learn from. Create lists to help you monitor and organize the people you follow. Most importantly, genuinely engage with the community you want to tap into. Even though I’m no longer a Recruiter, I still connect with new people every day on Twitter. Many of my former talent and clients are now my friends and part of my network. It’s not about the right now, it’s about the relationship down the road. 

Have you found a job or hired someone via Twitter or social media? I would love to hear about it!