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It feels like I graduated from college just yesterday. Six years sure does fly by! Social media and content marketing has undoubtfully evolved since I was searching for my first full-time job. And, in my opinion, finding a job straight out of college in the field has only increased as juniors and seniors are now taking classes in the space. As someone who has been there and hires content and social media employees, allow me to share my advice on what I believe it takes to get started.
Real World Experience is a Must
As a college graduate, if you don’t have any real world work to show in the field, my first bit of advice to you is to create a resume and find an internship. Don’t be too proud to intern after graduation. Sure, you may be able to find a job without doing so, but I can’t say it’s going to be easy. Having writing published is one quality that I bet any social media /content marketing director can tell you they find desirable in any level employee, especially an entry level employee.
With the need for help in social media and content marketing on the rise, finding an internship in this space should not be difficult. In my blog post “Getting Started with a Career in Marketing: Advice for Students,” I offer several places to look, three being:
Never Stop Learning
Social media in particular is always changing. Even if you were taught it in school, get ready – the education does not end there. Like Francis Bacon said, “knowledge is power.” Hit the books and hit the Internet. Start learning as much as you can about social media and content marketing. Follow industry leaders, participate in Twitter Chats – whatever you do, just keep learning! Learn as much as you can and consider how you could apply it to a job at your dream company.
Also, be sure to watch webinars and listen to podcasts. There are a ton of free webinars on content and social media marketing out there. Here are few places to start your continuing education.
- This one right here: SEMrush
- Social Media Today
- Social Media Examiner
- Content Marketing Institute
- Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing – Lee Odden
- Likeable Social Media, Revised and Expanded: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Amazing on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, and More – Dave Kerpen
- EPIC Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less – Joe Pulizzi
Industry Leaders to Follow
- #BlogChat, Sundays, 9 p.m. EST
- #AtomicChat, Mondays, 9 p.m. EST
- #GetRealChat, Tuesdays, 9 p.m. EST
Build Your Personal Brand
It never hurts to build your own personal brand. Create your own blog and social media channels. Not sure what to post about? Consider your interests and what you’re really passionate about. Is it makeup, gardening, video games, cooking or something else?
Take a look at what the following YouTube personalities have done and how you might be able to learn from them to showcase what you know. Building your own personal brand gives you something to show hiring managers.
For the love of makeup and beauty.
When you are just starting out, I don’t think you need a fan page on Facebook. Stick to creating personal pages on Twitter and Linkedin.
The industry is competitive. Anyone can blog and use social media these days. In the end I think what sets someone apart is how they are use each strategically.
Employers don’t want to hear how you are using Facebook to post photos from your birthday party and how you’re using Instagram to post what you ate for breakfast. How can you use these channels for business? How can you drive sales through them? Answer these questions. Challenge yourself. Be persistent in your job search.
I found that finding my first full-time job in marketing was discouraging at times. I had all the internships, the high GPA, and a stunning portfolio (so I’ve been told) – I was a published writer and graphic designer. I thought I knew my stuff pretty well, and even with all of it, it still took me several months to land my first. Try not to get discouraged. Stay positive. Find out what you are lacking that is keeping you from landing your dream job and improve.
Let me know how your job search is going and if you found my tips helpful. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or shoot me a Tweet on Twitter.
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