As most of us know, applying for jobs is pretty stressful. From picking a job that you’ll be good at to trying to ace the interview, there’s a lot that goes into searching for jobs. However, there’s another aspect that most people don’t talk about: shady job listings. Unfortunately, there are some companies that are more like scam artists than actual businesses. Read on for tips on how to know if the company you’re applying to is legit or not.
Sometimes, you enter in a job with the highest of hopes, and a load of excitement, only to have your expectations dashed when the job doesn’t live up to your expectations. Don’t worry! There are things you can do to make your job experience a little more enjoyable.
A couple of posts ago I offered general advice about how to ace interviews. This post is going to be about my career field (social media) and what to expect when interviewing for job in that field! 🙂
- Experience – Unlike a lot of other fields, when you go on an interview for a social media position, they don’t care about your degree that much, and they’re often more interested in what you’ve done. So whether it’s an internship, volunteer position, or freelance work, make sure to put that on your resume, and bring some physical or digital examples of your work to the interview (social media posts, graphics).
- Prepare prepare prepare – As with any interview, you should research the company beforehand. Make sure you know the details of the job you’re interviewing for (read over the job posting if you have to), and be aware of any pressing issues facing the company (for example, if they just opened a new division).
- Be aware of company culture – Last summer, I interviewed with Foursquare. I walked in wearing a blazer and a dress shirt. As I walked through the building, I noticed everyone else was dressed pretty casually, and one of my interviewers actually had on sneakers. I felt out of place, and that may have been apparent to the interviewers as well. It looked like I didn’t understand the company culture. For jobs in creative fields, it’s often ok to dress a little more informally than at a law firm, for example. Try and do some research beforehand and see what kind of company you’re interviewing for. But when in doubt, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
- Be a Know-It-All Nora – I’ve gone on interviews where I’ve been asked what my favorite book is, what my favorite app is, and what I like to watch on tv. People who work in social media are expected to stay abreast of pop culture and the news, and you may be asked about this. Chances are, if you’re interested in a career in social media, you’re probably into current events anyway, but it never hurts to refresh your memory.
- Check out their social media – Take a look at the social media channels that the company has. Note the strategies that they employ (Do they post text-only posts, or videos? Do they respond to inquiries? Do they theme their IG posts). They may ask you what you would change about their social media, so try and think of two or three things, even if you think their social media game is fine. (once I went on an interview and I said their social media was perfect, and the woman seemed a little disappointed that I didn’t have any suggestions. I didn’t get that job haha). Also, you could suggest that they get on a platform that they’re not on yet (Most companies have Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but you can suggest Pinterest, Snapchat or Tumblr).
- Edit Test – For about 3 or 4 job opportunities, I’ve had to do an edit test before or after the actual interview. Usually it consists of making some mock-up social media posts. Don’t be nervous about this! It just means they want to see what kind of work you do, and if you understand the voice of the company.
Any other questions? Comment below!
Ok so if you’ve been following this blog from the beginning, you’ve read my many posts about jobs and the job search and all of that. At this point, you guys may be wondering what it is I actually do.
I work in social media! Sometimes referred to as digital marketing. I am the one sitting behind a computer all day, making posts and creating graphics in the hopes that someone will reward my efforts by liking or retweeting my posts.
I started working with Victoria’s Secret Pink at Rutgers and we used social media to promote our events and answer any questions people had. I really loved it but I didn’t yet know that social media was a viable career path.
After my year of unemployment, I started working at an agency that managed the social media and websites of different restaurants in NYC. It was a great experience and I learned a lot, but it was too chaotic of a place to work there long-term. After that job, I started working with at an up-and-coming website. While working there, I got another job at a magazine. This was super exciting to me because I’ve always wanted to work at a magazine.
I truly love social media and love seeing people react to my posts and helping to grow businesses.
Most people don’t even know that this a career option, and I’m so happy that I finally found something that I’m good at and enjoy.
Have any questions about pursuing social media as a career? Comment below.
Interviews are scary and nerve-wracking and intimidating and awful.
They don’t have to be that way. There’s always going to be an element of nervousness (or even fear) when it comes to interviews, but these tips can help.
For better or for worse, we now live in a time when people often start careers in fields that are completely unrelated to their major. Some people graduate college and realize that they want to work in a field that is totally unrelated to what they studied. Don’t fret! Having the whole world at your fingertips can be daunting but I am here to help. Read on for advice on how to choose your career field.
This week, I started a new job (more on that later). After graduating from Rutgers (RU RAH RAH), I decided to spend the summer relaxing. BIG mistake. While my peers were going on interviews and getting their lives together, I was spending my time watching reality tv and sleeping till noon. By the time I decided to sit down and start looking for a job, it was too late. Now don’t get me wrong, employers are always hiring, but I had missed that valuable time when a LOT of employers are looking for new employees, and I was stuck with the left over jobs that no one wanted. Plus, I had no idea what I wanted to do. It took me about a year (yes, a whole year), to find a job and start a career. Since the year that I was unemployed was one of the worst of my life, I want to offer some advice on how to get that first job after graduation and start your career.
- Narrow down what you want to do – While you may not know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life, you should have a general idea and apply to jobs in that field. One of the reasons why I had such a hard time finding a job was because I spent a lot of time just sending my resume off to anyone and everyone, instead of focusing on what I was passionate about. I know everyone says you should just take the first job you get, no matter what field it’s in, but I believe you should focus on the field you would like to work in.
- Customize your resume and cover letter – I used to just send off a bland cover letter that was extremely bland and generic. My resume was pretty basic as well. Instead, you should customize your cover letter to the job you’re applying to. Make your cover letter interesting by referencing personal experiences or a funny (but appropriate) story. You want to stand out! For your resume, I suggest adding some color or an interesting layout. Google Docs and Canva (canva.com) have some great resume templates that will take your resume to the next level.
- Apply early and often – Start applying for jobs months before you graduate. This may seem like overkill, but believe me, it’s not. You never know how long it might take for you to find a job. Plus, the interview process for some companies takes weeks, so you want to be prepared. You may be lucky and find a job after a week of looking, or you may be unlucky and go on interview after interview before finding the one. However your luck swings, don’t get discouraged! You WILL find a job. My favorite job sites are indeed.com, themuse.com, Ed2010.com, and Findspark.com
- Reach out to those who can help – Do you have an uncle with connections? A friend who works at an amazing company? Ask them for advice! The people in our lives are often more helpful than we realize, and they can often be a hidden resource.
- Attend events – Going to job fairs, networking events, and even brunches or happy hours will increase your exposure and get your name out there. I suggest Ed2010 or Findspark. Both of these places often have events where students, recent graduates, and young professionals can connect. Sadly, both of these places only hold events in the NYC area, but with some digging, I’m sure you can find a place near you!
Stay tuned for the next posts in the job search series, which will include how to decide on what kind of career you want, and how to ace that interview
Thanks for reading!