So lately I’ve been chatting with a lot of great industry professionals who have been me giving me some really helpful advice on how to approach finding a job in social media. Here are some of the best tips I’ve been receiving along with a little blurb about how I’ve been implementing each one into my job hunt:
1.) STAY INFORMED
In an industry as new and dynamic as social media, it is important to keep on top of the latest social media news and trends. To do this, I’m constantly following sites like Mashable, Social Media Examiner, and Smartbrief on Social Media.
In addition, I’ve found that books like “The Social Media Marketing Book” by Dan Zarrella and “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business” by Erik Qualman have served as great resources for learning about the basics of social media.
2.) UTILIZE YOUR SOCIAL CHANNELS
Another way I’ve been keeping up with social media news is by creating a Twitter List, which allows me to curate information from people who consistently share great social media content on Twitter. Here some other great suggestions on how to find great social media content.
Another great social media tool to utilize for job searching is LinkedIn. Lately, I’ve found LinkedIn to be a great way to network with other professionals and research different companies and industry players. Here is a great article about some of the DOs and DON’Ts of using LinkedIn.
3.) BUILD YOUR EXPERIENCE
It’s never too late to gain more experience in your field. A great way to show initiative is volunteer work. So far I’ve helped out a number of different people with their social media accounts including Kamberos Insurance (a friend’s independent insurance business), PrintEco (a local tech start-up), and the EatCU Food Drive (a local fund-raising event on campus).
I have also recently reached out to the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center and the director of Ebertfest 2011 about offering my assistance in managing their social media accounts and developing online marketing strategies.
4.) NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
This is really a crucial element of the job search. I started the networking process by thinking of some people that might be able to help me out (former teachers, advisors, internship coordinators, etc.) and creating an Excel spreadsheet to organize all my contacts. From there I’ve been sending out a ton of e-mails, making a few phone calls, and meeting up in-person with several different industry professionals that have been offering some really good advice, putting me in contact with other helpful people and resources, and even sending out referrals to different agencies!
Recently I also attended a great social media networking event hosted by the Chicago Web 2.0 and Social Media Marketing Group. The keynote speaker, Ramon De Leon, was very informative and entertaining and the event served as a good opportunity to meet other social media enthusiasts. Here are some tips on networking that I will be sure to incorporate at events I might attend in the future.
Huge thanks to: Scott Meis, Pat McCarthy, Stephanie Florence, Howard Berg, Aubree Holly, Lorrin Millette, and all the other awesome people I’ve been seeking out recently for providing some of the advice that helped inspire this blog post!