Looking for jobs is tough. I hate looking for a job. Despise it, to say that I started a business only because it was easier for than looking for a job is to speak the truth. But being on the hiring side? It's been an eye opener in terms of how employers look at resumes. Personally, I've been guilty of making mistakes, and missing the point, and missed out on a first interview because of it.
On Monday, we announced that we were hiring a Community Manager. As applications poured in, and even some stopped by to hand deliver a resume, it became evident which characteristics of the applications made me take notice. I can only say from my experience, other employers may be looking for something different. There were certain characteristics that really stand out when it comes to a great cover letter and a great resume, and believe it or not, really quite easy to incorporate.
We all work hard, but in reality, employers not only want “hard workers” they want people who get things done. It's best to highlight your accomplishments in measurable terms. How fast can you build a twitter following? Did you ever create a strategy that outperformed expectations? Did you ever go up and above the call of duty and achieved success? Have you ever come up with an idea that increased profits for your company? This type of information will put your hard work in context and will make your application stand out.
I may be particularly cynical, but I don't believe anything unless I see it. Showing examples will solidify the numbers you put in your resume. You're great at twitter? Fantastic, show me your twitter account. You've increased your company's Facebook fans to 300,000? Great! Link to that account. Are you a WordPress whiz? Link to the WordPress sites you've built. Nowadays, if you applying for a job in social media, your job in some part will be available to the public, therefore it's it's easier than ever to show off your hard work.
Show your examples by including LINKS in your email. This will get your resume opened.
Be Careful About Padding Your Resume
It's always good to show yourself in the best light, remember that Friends episode where Joey lied on his resume? With Google, Alexa, Double Click, Bloglovin', Twitter, Facebook you name it, be careful when you pad your resume. Especially if you are applying for a job in Social Media, your boss may have a trick up his or her sleeve as to fact checking. If you say you get 500,000 visits a month to your blog, which has no comments, 100 Twitter followers, no Facebook Fanpage, and no YouTube subscribers, I'm going to look up and verify your traffic. And yes, I know how… and if you're applying for a job in Social Media you should too.
Also, while on the subject of your resume, make sure you include your LinkedIn account. That you have connections, and more importantly recommendations.
Share Your Vision
Why do you want to work in Social Media? What excites you? Where do you see the industry going? If you have your finger on the pulse, you'll have an opinion about the future of Fashion Blogging. Show your potential employer your excitement by sharing your original thinking, your innovative nature and your passion.
Do Your Research
If the company is on the web already, you'll have no excuse not to know what they are doing already in Social Media. How does their Twitter account look? How are they on Facebook? Have they set up Intagram or Pinterest? Are they doing video? What is the company about? Have they ever been in the news? Who is the person interviewing? You should know all this before applying, and perhaps share an idea or two.
Also, find out if you know anyone who knows the person hiring. It's always helpful to have your resume come from a trusted source, no matter what industry you are in.
I may be saying this as an ex-Graphic Designer, but presentation matters big time. Is your cover letter scannable? Is the information you want to highlight easy to find? How does your resume look? If you have a friend who is savvy with design, ask for help. This will make your application stand out.
In this world, and this economy getting a job is not only tough, but you have to stand out from the mass of applications that come in with each job posting. People are still hiring, but they want to hire people who are dedicated and who can help the company survive and thrive. It's important for you to find your passion so you can be that person.