Published on August 20th, 2012 | by bubble4
You think you’ve got social media experience? I don’t think so!
By Natalie @BubbleJobs
So, you’ve decided that you want to get a job in social media. Seems pretty easy, right? You just post stuff on Facebook and Twitter all day, with the occasional foray in the deepest, darkest corners of LinkedIn. You have your own personal Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages and you manage those with ease, so you should be the ideal candidate for a job in social media, right? You apply for various entry level social media jobs, but you are getting nothing but rejections. So, what’s the problem?
Experience is essential when it comes to applying for social media jobs – and I don’t mean the experience you have gained through posting about what you had for breakfast this morning, to which you received 3 ‘likes’ and a comment asking whether you had poached or scrambled the eggs! Employers receiving your CV for their amazing social media job vacancy will be expecting you to demonstrate experience managing a successful social media campaign that is not personal. Obviously, this can be difficult, because you need experience, but the only way for you to get experience is for someone to give you the opportunity to get some experience. Catch 22! So, what do you do?
Everybody hates the ‘V’ word! But, realistically, volunteering to manage the social media accounts of a local business, or, better yet, a local charity will give you that vital experience that you need. But think about it; you manage a few social media accounts for free for a few months whilst you are struggling to get interviews for all those social media positions that you’ve been applying for. 2 months down the line, you will be getting those interviews for paid social media positions due to the experience that you have gained.
So, here’s why you should consider volunteering to gain social media experience:
1. It is likely that charities and small local businesses that are willing to allow you to manage their social media accounts will have created accounts and done very little with them – that is if they have created their accounts at all! This is valuable experience, as it will allow you to develop a social media strategy. Strategy development is an essential skill to demonstrate if you are hoping to bag yourself that dream social media job.
2. Volunteering will allow you to develop and manage fledgling social media accounts from the very early stages. Many small businesses set up their social media accounts because they are aware that they are expected to have a presence on social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. However, most do not take the time to do anything with these accounts and therefore, you could build an audience pretty much from nothing. Again, this is fantastic on your CV, particularly if you are able to get the following and interaction levels up to what would be classed as successful.
3. By volunteering for a number of small businesses or charities, you will be able to demonstrate your versatility, as each business will require a different strategy, different management techniques and different persona to promote their products and services in the most effective manner. Particularly if you are looking to work as a social media executive within an agency, you will be required to show that you can manage a number of campaigns simultaneously. This is a great way to get experience managing diverse accounts across various sectors.
4. Once you have managed to build a large audience on social media sites, you need to take a screen shot of your social media campaigns and put them into your CV. Essentially, potential employers receiving your CV will find this information more interesting than anything else you could include in your CV, as it demonstrates very clearly that you are able to encourage growth of the audience and interact with your following in an effective manner – pretty much everything that they will expect their new social media manager to do. Alternatively, you could track your progress on a monthly basis and create a graph to demonstrate growth and include that in your CV. You could use bright colours for the graph to make your CV more appealing to potential employers, who will be searching through hundreds of boring CVs without any character. This is a great way to make your CV stand out from the rest.
5. You could offer your services as a social media trainer. Again, this could be done by contacting small businesses and charities and offering to teach them how to use social media. All you’d need to do is develop a short training session that explains the basics of Facebook and Twitter for business use and you could train people to manage their business social media accounts. This will look good on your CV, as it shows that you are able to explain social media in simple language to those that do not understand it.
So, there you have it! Volunteering! It could be the answer to all your social media job seeking problems. If you are as good as you think you are, then you can build the audience on Twitter and Facebook within a few months of taking over the social media accounts and you can start bragging about it on your CV. Volunteering really is a short-term pain for a long-term gain if you are able to get that perfect social media job that you wouldn’t have been considered for before because of your lack of experience.