Over the past few weeks I have been working at The Cyphers Agency, I’ve answered a lot of questions from friends and family about what I do here. Once I explain my role in the word of mouth marketing department, I frequently get the same response: “That sounds so cool! How’d you get that gig?”
When I tell them that I got to know Jocelyn, The Cyphers Agency’s social media coordinator, on Twitter and eventually DM’d (direct messaged, for those of you who don’t know) her to ask about fall internships, I’m surprised that they’re surprised! To me, it only makes sense that I got a job in social media by actually using social media!
Maybe its not so obvious to some. We’ve received a number of cold calls about open positions recently, and even though the people inquiring aren’t always focused on social media marketing, I still wonder why they are taking such a traditional route when trying to get hired at a pretty non-traditional advertising agency. Cold calls seem especially lame when the caller doesn’t even have a specific position or department in mind. In an industry where being proactive and passionate are paramount, coming across as lukewarm and unambitious will probably not serve you well.
Show Who You Are
I know plenty of folks who balk at the idea of sharing their online networks with potential employers, and in certain fields that may be appropriate. But at this agency, its important to be creative and enterprising, so using a platform like Twitter is definitely appropriate! It’s a chance to show who you are to people who you may not have any other opportunity to interact with. I connected with my future co-workers at The Cyphers Agency online before I ever stepped into an interview. Not only was I able to network with them, but we were both able to see if my personality would be a good fit for the workplace culture here. Through using social media to network with future employers, you can become a person they know and like, not just another resume.
Practice What You Preach
I’m not saying that just because I happen to share a love for funny cat videos with the rest of the team at The Cyphers Agency, I tweeted my way to a job interview. It’s not only about sharing your personality – its about showing that you can leverage social media to get results. If you can demonstrate your own value to an agency through social media, then you could also use social media to demonstrate the value of that agency’s clients to their customers. My point is, if you know how to use new media tools effectively, you shouldn’t just be putting it on your resume – you should prove it to the people you want to work for before they ever see your resume!
I think the biggest thing using social media in my job hunt did for me was show who I really am – someone who isn’t afraid to try something new, to be a little unorthodox, to take a chance. That kind of mentality is valued in organizations like The Cyphers Agency that always try to be ahead of the curve, and that’s the kind of place I wanted to work for!