A few months ago I was invited to visit my Alma mater Loyola University in Baltimore to lecture about how students can leverage social media to get a job. When I lecture I love to offer real life examples of how students can leverage the free tools at their disposal to gain employment. I included an outline of Dan Herbert – a college student who was using social media to it’s fullest. He wanted to work in social media, so he was actively engaged in social media (what a novel idea). I also spoke about how I had creatively sought a job in social by launching Facebookshouldhireme.com. I love helping people engage in social media, and I love lecturing, just love it. Because I love it so much, and because everyone that knows me understands this about me – I’m lucky enough to speak with some great young people about their careers.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with a young man (since I don’t want to get him fired, he will remain nameless) who graduated two years ago from Loyola. He’s done very well for himself, landing a job at Deloitte – but he’s not fulfilled. This is where I come in. Both in my book, and in my lecture series I always talk about fulfillment. I’d never really considered fulfillment until once, when I was a young sales executive living in London an actor friend of mine asked me if I was fulfilled. I was stumped. I’d never, ever considered it.
This young man expressed to me his interest in getting involved in social media. He had a great job, but social media is his passion – it’s what would make him fulfilled in his career. So I offered him the same advice that Gary Vaynerchuk had given me in his offices at Wine Library well before I ever did anything in social media. I sat across from Gary and said the same thing this young man said to me “I want to work in social media”….so Gary shared with me the secret to getting a job in social media
“do social media”
That’s it. It’s that simple. Really. That easy.
If you want to work in social media start doing it today. Start a blog, engage on Twitter, create a Pinterest board, answer questions on Quora, guest blog on SocialMediaToday. Start reading Mashable, Allfacebook.com etc. If you really want to apply to the creme of the crop, then you must get creative. I mean, really r-e-a-l-l-y creative.
Some tips –
Find the best VC firm in your city and visit their site. See where they are investing in social media start ups. Create a short list of companies they have invested in, and define your target list. Now start blogging about said companies (only if you really want to work there of course).
After I met with Gary I went about “doing social media” I was on fire. I was blogging every day, tweeting like mad, engaging with new people and reading, reading. I decided I wanted to work at Buddy Media. They were it. They were number one. There was no other company that I wanted to work at. I knew they were the right fit for me. So when I walked into the room for my first interview at Buddy Media, I’d already blogged about the founders of the company, and why I thought they were bound to make Buddy Media a huge success. I had already been featured in Fortune magazine for my efforts with Facebookshouldhireme.com. I had gone the extra mile, and when I finally sat across from the team at Buddy Media I had already compiled a deck outlining how I was going to close major brands in my first year with the company. They gave me the job, and three months later I closed my first deal with the NHL. I wanted it. I breathed it. I lived it. They could smell it on me.
Define your short list. And get out there and DO SOCIAL MEDIA. And please stop whining that they’re only hiring developers. It’s up to you to convince these companies why you add value.
Cue the Rocky music.