Using Social Media to Snag a Job

Find Job Using Social MediaYou may be stressing out because college is winding down and you don’t have a whole lot of experience. Fear not, you can stay on track and gain experience without having a job in college. Let me rephrase that, you will have some sort of a job. Researching, learning, and optimizing are all a job in themselves.

In the rest of this post, I’m going to talk about how you can master each social media platform from a professional standpoint. Plus I’ll include  little tips on how to separate yourself from the crowd.

Facebook

Facebook can be a little tricky to master in a professional sense. However, if used right, it can be used to highlight both your skills and interest because Facebook allows you to include what you like to do in your free time and any skills you have.

You have to be careful though. Even though you don’t have to stick to boring content, you have to make sure you steer clear of anything you wouldn’t want your Grandma seeing. If you can’t avoid posting pictures from the party you just went to last night, make sure you set your privacy settings appropriately.

Twitter

Twitter is a great place to show a little bit of your marketing skills. If you have a blog (which you should: more on the blog below) you can promote your blog posts and interact with other bloggers to create relationships. This will show future employers you have experience with social media promoting and have already created relationships.

HootSuite

You should use HootSuite to stay organized, schedule tweets, track keywords, and manage all your accounts.

google+Google+

You can easily share information with others on Google+. It even gives you the option to create circles and only post certain things in specific groups. It is an easy way to be professional and social at the same time. Here is a great resource for creating and optimizing your account.

LinkedIn

Of course LinkedIn is the best resource when it comes to promoting yourself professionally. It’s basically like an online resume. What a lot of people don’t know though, is how to optimize their profile to get the best results.

The best way to separate yourself from the masses is with your “summary.” Your summary is basically an introduction of who you are. Most people don’t spend a lot of time on it because they treat it like the objective on your resume.

A one page resume doesn’t allow you to take up a lot of room with an introduction but LinkedIn’s summary gives you the room to write and it’s important to use it.

Most importantly, your summary should be told like a story. Detail how you got to where you are and what makes you tick. Again, make sure you add your voice and personality when you write to make your summary unique.

Something worth reading is HubSpot’s eBook: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn.

Take Matters into Your Own Hands

Yes, school is a very valuable tool but it isn’t everything. Most classes don’t teach you about new media tools that have just come on the market. Although textbooks are valuable in some sense, you can’t exactly learn what’s currently happening in the marketing field from a book published in 2004.

Marketing is a fast paced field and in order to stay up-to-date, you have to do a little research at least a couple of times a week. It’s a good idea to create an RSS feed with sites like MOZ, Social Media Examiner, HubSpot, and CopyBlogger to make it easy to find great content.

A big perk about reading an RSS feed is you will be able to talk to other people about things happening. For instance, if you go into a job interview, you could actually discuss new marketing advances which will make you look like an expert.

Application Process

Competition is fierce in every job field, marketing is no different. Set yourself a part by jazzing up your resume. Although a paper resume is still needed, you should create a resume in multiple formats. Not only will this give everyone the option of choosing which format they prefer, it also shows how versatile you are.

I found a hilarious resume video by Matt Epstein. He makes sure to include his skills but he also adds humor and personality to the message. However, it’s important to make sure to include a link to a traditional resume too.

With all the social media platforms, it’s important to sign up for accounts ASAP. Future employers are looking for people with experience in social media. Even if you don’t have actual job experience, by actually using social media, you will be able to prove you have knowledge and initiative.

Hannah KaufmanHannah Kaufman

Hannah is the Associate Inbound Marketing Strategist at Savvy Panda, as well as a HootSuite Campus Ambassador. She enjoys learning new Inbound strategies and writing blogs, as well as running and playing with her four dogs. You can find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.

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From Friendster to HootSuite: Elaiza’s Path to Social Success

Elaiza Datar

Elaiza attending the Social Media Awards

One of the best ways to learn how to further your experience in social media is through others, and while my recent Student Spotlights shed light on how university students are utilizing social media in their education, it’s also great to hear from other social media professionals on how they developed passion and experience in the digital space. With that said, I am please to introduce Elaiza Datar, a Community Coordinator at HootSuite. Hear how she got into social media, and what advice she has for students of social media:

How did you get into social media?

I joined my first social network site, Friendster, when I was 12 years old. Then I joined MySpace, next was hi5, and by the time I was 16 I faked my age to join Facebook because that’s what all the older kids were on. Social networks have come a long way in such a short period of time. In a way, I’ve grown up with social media! And especially having lived and traveled all over the world, social media has become crucial in the distant relationships I’ve built and maintained throughout the years.

As a university student I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do after graduation. I knew I wanted to pursue something I was passionate about but I was passionate about so many things and unsure of how to make a living off them. One day I stumbled on a TedTalk by Gary Vaynerchuk and felt my eyes open to the possibilities of social media. Since then I knew that social media would be the vehicle through which I build my career and pursue my passions.

How did you come to work for HootSuite?

I was attending one of DaveO’s (VP of Community) HootUps at Capilano University, #HootUpTREC, with a few of my friends. DaveO approached our group at the end of the talk and I told him that I was applying for a position at HootSuite and its been history since. At our recent team BBQ he said it was my swag and ‘low maintenance’ vibe that gave him a hunch that it would be a good fit. And looking at his track record, DaveO’s hunches have gotten him pretty far in life.

I was brought on to help coordinate the HootSuite Campus Ambassador Program which has been such a fruitful experience. We just graduated our first batch of talent and are currently recruiting students from new regions and new Universities around the world!

Working for a company with passionate and hardworking individuals makes coming to a 9-5 job fun and extremely rewarding. Working with a start-up company means there’s a lot of growth happening and a lot of freedom for you to exercise creativity and materialize your ideas. These feelings translate directly into our Campus Ambassador Program.

Some of the HootSuite Team

Some of the HootSuite Team

Why is having an online presence important to you?

I was fortunate enough to have lived and grown up around the world. Doing so made me realize the importance of social networks in maintaining, and in some cases rediscovering, the relationships I had built and communities I interacted with throughout the different chapters of my life. Thanks to the Internet, no matter what corner of the planet I’m on, I will never be homeless or hostless. Whether via posting a status on my facebook page to any of my international friends who may be in the area, or logging onto couchsurfer.com and getting in touch with generous strangers.

But more than that, having an online presence has been a gateway to endless opportunities. Having an online presence means being a part of an online and offline community that one may not have encountered otherwise. The internet has made it possible for anyone to be who they want and feel like a part of something bigger than our day-to-day bubble. Our individual ability to create meaningful impact in distant communities or pursue personal life changes is incredibly empowering.

What advice do you have for students learning to use social media for personal or professional brands?

The best thing you can do is find things you’re passionate about – whether it’s food, snowboarding, not-for-profits, or even socks! Then find local businesses or organizations related to your passion. The next step is the hardest, but the most crucial: approach the business or organization and volunteer your social media services.

You will have a million and one reasons why you shouldn’t. Maybe you think you don’t know enough about social media to represent a brand? My SEO instructor at school knew nothing about SEO when he got hired for his first SEO gig but he turned to Matt Cutts and Google. Flashforward a few years and now he’s running his own successful online advertising company. Lesson: Google is your best friend, use it wisely.

If your passion is social media, the HootSuite Campus Ambassador Program is a great in. You learn how to engage with communities online (international Campus Ambassadors and HootSuite staff) and offline (your campus community), as well as the technical aspects of social media.

As long as you’re giving your social media services to something you’re passionate about you will enjoy what you’re doing and feel inspired to learn as much as you can, and to do the best that you can. Having this hands-on experience will not only teach you about the industry, but it will give you the experience to take your social media career to the next level (aka a paid job).

There are lots of other ways to learn social media. Take on an internship, read as many articles as you can, find a mentor, take a course, attend networking events, etc. But whatever you do: stay curious and stay hungry. Social media is a continuously evolving game and to stay on top of it, you need to adapt with it!

Elaiza DatarElaiza Datar @ElaizaDatar

Elaiza is a Community Coordinator for the HootSuite Campus Ambassador Program. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a B.A. in Political Science and from SFU with a Digital Communications Certificate. When she’s not cultivating communities online or engaging them offline, she’s climbing up rocks, downhill biking, hiking, and soaking up the great outdoors. More Elaiza at http://about.me/elaiza_datar

Student Spotlight: Kyle, PR Major & Aspiring Social Media Community Manager

This student spotlight is on Kyle Dempster, a public relations major at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a focus in social media. Kyle is an aspiring social media community manager and HootSuite Campus Ambassador.

Kyle DempsterWhat is your background in social media?

I began in the early days of Myspace when social media was just starting to take off. I was in ninth grade and had no idea what it would become by 2013. I migrated to Facebook in 2007 or 2008 and began using it extensively. I really like the options and ways to connect with people. I was on social media way more than my friends at the time but I saw social media as nothing more than a fad. I joined Twitter in 2008 because many of the podcasts I listened to were promoting its use for connecting with fans — little did I know how prevalent it would become.

When I entered college in 2010 I went in as a secondary education history major, but soon decided I wanted to interact with people more. I changed my major to public relations because I knew I could pursue social media work through that track. For a couple of years now, I have frequented Mashable to learn more social media information and to keep on top of changes in the field.

Furthermore, in July of 2012 I visited HootSuite’s site and noticed HootSuite University for the first time. I decided to take the certification course and quickly fell in love with the company’s atmosphere. This led me to join #HSUChats on Twitter, and through that I was recruited as a HootSuite Campus Ambassador.

You can find me on almost any social network under the username KyleDempster7.

Why do you think social media is such an important component in business?

I think social media is a fantastic way for businesses to connect with their customers and it is really important in an age when we have so many products to choose from. Because of this huge influx of choices, organizations need to stand out when it comes to their customer relations.

People love to be heard and sometimes all it takes to make them feel heard is a ReTweet or a simple thank you in response to their comment. I also think it is a great way to forge bonds with people that would never have been heard before social media. This gives businesses the chance to create brand ambassadors as well as create mutually beneficial relationships.

I would love to become a community manager someday; talking to consumers via social media really gives me a thrill, not to mention pride in my work.

@kyledempsterHow has your online presence helped you to network or job search?

This interview, for example, is all thanks to meeting Kayla, and learning about this blog via the HootSuite Campus Ambassador Program. I also find it very useful to have respectable social networks setup that I can direct future employers to. I’ve even gone as far as creating business cards with my Twitter handle on them!

What is your favorite aspect of social media?

This is a tricky question…I love the changes and new opportunities to connect. I’m a big techie at heart so I also love seeing social media integrated into devices, like the iPhone.

What advice do you have for other students?

Read, read, read! Not books published years ago, but articles by reputable social media organizations like Mashable and HootSuite. I think books and theories have their place, but social media is cutting edge; it’s fast and it can be unforgiving, so make sure you know the lay of the land.

Kyle DempsterKyle Dempster @kyledempster7

Kyle Dempster is a public relations major at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a focus in social media. He is also the Public Relations Chair of his school’s chapter of PRSSA and its public relations firm, Rock PRoductions, a HootSuite Campus Ambassador, and works at the Office of Residence Life as their social media manager. Learn more about Kyle on his website.

HootSuite Dashboard

A Hoot-Tastic Opportunity

HootCampusThis week’s FAQ post is being put on hold in order to highlight an amazing initiative from HootSuite. For those of you who may not be familiar, HootSuite is a powerful social media tool, and as a company has many other programs and departments that aim to help students and professionals develop their social media knowledge and skills. One such program is their HootSuite Campus Ambassador Program, which works with university students around the world to gain experience in various roles. I am excited to announce that I have been asked to join the program as the first HootSuite Campus Ambassador Program Mentor!

What exactly is the HootSuite Campus Ambassador Program?

“The HootSuite Campus Ambassador program helps students connect with each other, lead the social media space at their school and community and represent HootSuite on campus, while gaining valuable career experience.” Students can apply online to become an Ambassador for their school, and then will be assigned one of four Ambassador roles:

  1. HootUp Star – Responsible for hosting HootUps, which are ultimately HootSuite inspired TweetUps, on and around campus, and reporting/sharing the results.
  2. Content Writer – Works to compose blog posts to be featured on HootSuite’s blog HootSource, helps curate content for HootCampus’ social media channels, and interviews others about their HootSuite experiences.
  3. The Moderator – Helps come up with topics for Hangouts and Twitter chats, and collaborates with Liaisons to bring in special guests.
  4. Trusty Liaison – Network and talk to students, professors/instructors, professionals and invite them to HootUps, Hangouts, and chats.

Each Ambassador is encouraged to be creative and bring their own flair to their role. Ambassadors are also given 3 months access to HootSuite University in which they can earn their HootSuite Professional Certification.

What will I do as a mentor for HootCampus?

As a mentor to the HootSuite Campus Ambassadors, I will provide help and advice for the Ambassadors in their respective roles, participate in Hangouts, chats, and HootUps, and work to spread the word about the program and recruit new Campus Ambassadors. Here are some of the ideas I have as a mentor:

  • Utilize Google Hangouts and Twitter Chats to connect with the Campus Ambassadors and answer questions
  • Brainstorm ideas to help the Ambassadors expand and develop their roles and projects
  • Introduce Campus Ambassadors to other social media professionals for chats or mock interviews

How can you get involved?

If you’re a student, consider applying to be a HootSuite Campus Ambassador! This is a perfect way to edge your way into the world of social media, network, and add valuable experience to your resume. And anyone can participate in #HSUChats and network with others on Twitter, as well as get their HootSuite Certification through HootSuite University. Overall, it’s a hoot-tastic opportunity and I’m honored to be a part of it!

Questions or comments? Post them below!

Becoming a Certified HootSuite Professional

Certified HootSuite ProfessionalIf you haven’t heard of HootSuite, it is a brilliant social media dashboard that makes managing social media accounts a breeze.   As a HootSuite Pro account holder, I am able to add unlimited social media accounts and streams to one dashboard for easy and controlled management. For Community Management, HootSuite is a life saver.

Having used HootSuite for quite some time now I decided it would only be fitting to become a Certified HootSuite Professional.  In order to do so, one must enroll themselves in HootSuite University – a series of online tutorials and webinars that walk you through the many uses of the HootSuite Dashboard.  After completing the required courses for certification, you are awarded a certification and badge.

I am proud to have completed my certification today – so of course I am showing off my new badge!