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+.

Social Media Advice and More from Mandy Reinig

Mandy and Colleagues at a TweetUp

Mandy and Colleagues at a TweetUp

How did you get into social media?

I got started in social media completely by accident.  I wasn’t planning on working with social media at all but it started as part of a class project as a part of my second Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language.  Since it I wasn’t teaching at the time I decided to try out blogs and Facebook with my study abroad students since I was working as a full time Education Abroad Advisor and had a ready supply of students I could make use of.  My little project exploded from there and my campus decided to use it as an example and decided to do blogs and other types of social media because of what I had started.  My intensive Twitter use came after and was really just me experimenting with the social media that was out there.  I have had no formal training with any social media tools and it has really just been me playing around and trying out different social media tools to find the ones I like best.

Why did you start Mandy’s Mashups?

I started Mandy’s Mashups because I saw a need for social media training specifically for international educators.  There was quite a bit of social media training out there geared towards the business world and other sectors but nothing that really fit what we as international educators did.  I by no means consider myself an expert at all things social media but I have tried out enough social media tools that I figured I could assist people in avoiding some of the pitfalls I met along the way and help direct them in really making use of social media in a way that fits what we as international educators do.

Why is having an online presence important to you?

Having an online presence is important to me for several reasons.  One, it allows me to have my voice heard in a way that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise.  In your job you come into contact with a certain number of people because of what you do.  With social media I am able to expand that circle of people and even expand it to outside of my field and make connections I would not be able to otherwise.  I am also able to express myself in a different way.  In my job my work generally consists of reports and presentations.  However, online I can express what I do and who I am through photos, quotes, fun sayings, and more.  I think this allows people to get to know you on another level.  I have developed some great online friendships with people I have never met because of that.  I will caution that you still need to protect your privacy and remember that everything you put out online is available to everyone.

Mandy's Mashups Website

Mandy’s Mashups Website

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

I have several tips for students wanting to use social media.  My first tip is to remember that everything you post can be accessed forever and is available to everyone.  This means you should be careful about what you post and don’t be one of those people who goes around posting those drunk photos of yourself and regretting it later.  With this you want to make sure you set your privacy settings according to your comfort level so that your posts are only shared with the audience you are most comfortable with.

I also suggest varying your posts.  This means varying the content as well as what you write.  Try posting some videos as well as photos and text.  Generally speaking graphics and more interactive posts tend to grab more attention that simple text based posts.  However, your audience may be different so don’t be afraid to try out a few things and see what works for you.  Remember what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another person.

My final piece of advice is it is better to be master of only a few social media tools rather than jack of all social media tools.  By this I mean try to find your niche within one or two of your favorite social media tools rather than having a hand in every social media tool out there.  If you try to conquer every social media tool out there all at the same time you will find it doesn’t work very well and the quality of your posting will be extremely poor since you can’t devote the time that you need to all of those different venues.

A tip for posting to multiple venues is to use a social media management tool like HootSuite.  I have tried out several of these management tools and HootSuite is my favorite since it allows you to post to several networks all at the same time as well as monitor all your networks at once.  It can save tons of time and energy so I recommend checking it out.

If you have any questions don’t be afraid to Tweet me @mandysmashups!!

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.

5 Ways to Get More Experience in Social Media

People ask me all the time how they can get experience working in social media, and while there are a variety of answers, I thought I’d offer up five ways that I would suggest gaining such experience.

Social Media Channels1. Set up your own accounts.

While I hope that this would be a given, I’m surprised at how many students want to work in social media, but don’t even have a personal Twitter account. Therefore, one of the best ways you can increase your knowledge of social media channels is to leverage them for yourself. Not only will you learn how to use each channel, and discover the unique features of each, but you can then position your own channels to market yourself for jobs. And coming from someone who has hired and recruited social media interns and community managers, having an impressive and professional online presence is very important. I’m not keen to hire you if I can’t even find you online.

2. Offer to manage accounts for a small business or student org.

This is actually how I started getting experience in social media. Find a family member or friend who has a small business, and volunteer to manage their social media presence. Don’t expect to be paid, just do your best to practice developing a strategy, maintaining their accounts, and measuring results. If you can’t find an opportunity, try to create one. Get involved with a student organization on campus, or perhaps an office on campus, that is struggling with their social media, and offer your help. Once you do this, make sure to showcase your experience on LinkedIn and get a recommendation from whoever you worked with.

3. Look for a social media internship.

With social media becoming more and more influential in the business world, thousands of companies are jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak, and seeking help with their social media. Larger companies are most often already in the game, and looking for seasoned social media professionals, but small businesses just need some help. Although many of these smaller internships are unpaid, there are many where you can work remotely, and require minimal hours per week. Look for one of these and apply! Here are some resources to look for internships:

4. Take advantage of unique opportunities.

HootCampusBesides a traditional internship, there are other unique opportunities that are popping up all over the web. One such opportunity is the HootSuite Campus Ambassador program. Once accepted in this program, you assume a role on your campus in which you help promote the many uses and functions of HootSuite and social media. Not only do you gain invaluable experience, but you also get to add a well-known and reputable company to your network and resume. Read more about my involvement with this program here: A Hoot-Tastic Opportunity.

5. Follow SocialMediaForStudents.com.

Ok, so this might seem like an obvious plug, but I’ve worked hard to include many helpful resources, tips, and interviews on this site to help students of social media learn how to develop their knowledge and skills. For example, make sure you check out the Social Media Marketing 101 page for ideas on how to navigate all of the information about social media, as well as the Important Links page for blogs and sites to follow. To make sure you stay on track, subscribe to SMFS by email through the field in the sidebar!

Do you have questions? Other tips to share? Please add them in the comments!

Student Spotlight: Adelyn, Grad Student in New Media Management at Newhouse

Adelyn in Class

Adelyn and classmates at Newhouse

Today we have the pleasure of hearing from Adelyn Biedenbach, a graduate student at Syracuse University, who is currently enrolled in the New Media Management program at Newhouse. See what she has to say about her grad program, her work with Dr. William J. Ward, a social media professor at Newhouse, and how social media plays a part in it all.

Why did you choose your grad program at Syracuse?

I chose my graduate program at Syracuse University for a number of reasons. It is an intense one year program which also contains classes in the business school and both the speed and the variety appealed to me. My undergraduate degree is in Journalism from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA where I am originally from, and while I learned a number of storytelling and writing skills there, I felt that the management and business side of the media would bolster my ability to understand and operate in the media sphere. Newhouse is also an outstanding facility with a range of dedicated faculty and opportunities for guest speakers and events to get a glimpse of what’s going on in many aspects of the media world and I am happy with my choice!

What kind of work do you do with Dr4Ward?

Dr. William Ward, aka Dr4Ward, teaches a number of courses at the university in social media and engagement. I am his instructional associate (IA) for COM 400 which is Social Media U Need 2 Know and is open to undergraduate students. As his IA, I work as a community manager to facilitate in-class social media discussions on a number of platforms including Twitter, our class Facebook group, LinkedIn and Google+. I also help to score weekly to do lists of tasks which immerse students in the activities needed to brand themselves socially and learn how to professionally make use of social platforms including Storify and HootSuite social media certifications.

In what ways do you showcase your experience using social media?

Approaching graduation, myself and a number of the senior students in my classes are focusing on representing their experiences online. There are a number of different approaches, but I like to use several different platforms. On LinkedIn, I try to include not only my internship experience but also my coursework and links to real projects that I have worked on in class. I also try to keep a consistent profile photo between social accounts. This can sometimes be a challenge, but if an employer or someone would come across you on Twitter, you would want them to also recognize you on Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.

Adelyn LinkedIn

What is your favorite aspect of social media?

It’s so difficult to choose one aspect of social media that is my favorite; so many parts of it keep me coming back for more. 🙂 However, if I had to choose, I think it would be the access to information of all kinds in real time. I read somewhere that the average person has access to more information on the front page of a newspaper then they had in their entire lives in say the 1700/1800s. Now imagine that amplified by a few minutes on Twitter or a few hours with flipboard. Its an amazing way to be informed, connected and constantly learning.

Adelyn BiedenbachAdelyn Biedenbach @adelynlee

Adelyn Biedenbach is currently finishing up her graduate degree in new media management at Syracuse University. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA her undergraduate degree is in Journalism from Point Park University. Her passions in media include social media, media strategy, interviewing and analytics.

3 Unique Ways to Create Visual Content

Now more than ever visual content is dominating the web and social media. Facebook has announced that they are going to place more emphasis on photos and videos, Pinterest just plain exists, and even YouTube has revamped their profile design to include channel art. Beyond that, users are more likely to engage with visual content, so really, if you aren’t sharing visual content, you aren’t getting the best exposure. Here are 3 easy and unique ways to create visual content to share with your community:

1. Create an infographic of your Twitter account.

Visual.ly, a website that helps you create your own infographics has come out with a new template that will create a visual representation of any twitter account.

Twitter Infographic

2. Transform quotes with Quozio.

Quozio is a fantastic and free tool that allows you to create images with quotes in mere seconds. You can use the website to create a visual quote, or you can add their handy bookmarklet to your favorite browser.

Quozio image

3. Edit any image with Pixlr Express.

This free online image editor allows you to edit any image, create collages, overlay text on an image and much more.

Pixlr image

Do you have other awesome ways of creating visual content? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!