Our first post-lunch session here is From Blogger to Boardroom: Leverage Your Social Media Expertise to Land a Corporate Job with Ellen Gerstein and Lizz Porter. It’s a little bit of a switch-up from the usual conference fare. (You can view the slides from their presentation on SlideShare.)
Ellen calls herself a recovering publishing executive now working for BlogHer. Lizz does social media management and community management for a start-up app.
Making the Move – Is a Corporate Job for You?
Is a corporate job for you? Not everyone is an entrepreneur. Know your temperament, and don’t feel like a failure if you pursue this path. Not everyone wants to do all the paperwork, and the stability of a paycheck is very nice.
Advantages of working for the man (or woman):
- Regular pay
- Social aspects of work life (human interaction!) – you may have to deal with really crazy people, but…
- “Validated” and varied experiences
Creating a Target List – Ready
Write down a list of everything you would want in your next job:
- Job Title
What do you like to do? What are you good at? Come up with at least 200 different targets.
Branding of You – Aim
Looking at your targets, what do you have to offer? What have you done in your social media/blogging life that could apply?
What are your strengths? Know them. OWN THEM.
- Analyzing metrics (are you a data nerd?)
- Community building (do you respond to your comments?)
- Copywriting (eat your heart out, Don Draper!)
- Content creation (includes written, visual, video, etc.)
- Graphic design
- Photographt (even as just a hobby)
- Event planning
Networking and Conducting Your Search – Fire
- Social isn’t always a department; figure out who to talk to. It’s not going to be just marketing, or just PR, etc.
- Find orgs with a voice that matches yours, relevant to your niche/demographic; make sure their corporate values mesh with your needs.
- Job listings: Learn how your skills translate to “corporate speak” to find good matches. Figure out what their wording means they’re really looking for. The most terrible thing that can happen is that they’ll read your resume and not call you back. Don’t only apply for things you’re overqualified for.
- Don’t discount Informational Interviews – coffee time. Talk to your contacts within organizations you’ve worked with to see what they’re looking for so you can figure out what other people see as your strengths. An informational interview is not a job interview. You’re not going after a job, just information.
- Make LinkedIn your BEEYOTCH.
- I’m changing industries and my job experience isn’t relevant to what I want to do? Never stop learning. Use your personal experience to demonstrate the things you know.
- I’ve taken time off to raise my family and have an employment gap? It’s not so much that you stopped working to have a baby. You stopped working as a ____ to work on your blog. And you just happened to have a baby.
- I’ve been working with companies as a brand ambassador, now I want to be employed with them? Be receptive to the company’s needs, and come in to talk to you as if you’re a consultant. Figure out what problems they have that you can solve for them. Begin with the end in mind. Make it clear that, if there are more permanent opportunities, you would be willing to do that.
There are many ways to market your non-traditional experience to a potential employer!
Lizz’s Resume Format
- Software Knowledge
- Social Media Knowledge
- Professional Experience
The layout of her resume helped set her apart, and it put her relevant social media skills at the top, moreso than her unrelated work experience.
Ellen’s LinkedIn Profile
You can use LinkedIn to expand upon the traditional resume format. You can tell people exactly what it is that you want them to know about you. Use your contacts to find work. Ellen did an informal poll, and 95% of the people she asked used LinkedIn primarily – if not exclusively – to make hiring decisions. It’s important to have connections to make you relevant. When someone says, “Here’s the person you want to talk to,” you want that person to be you.
Questions and Answers
Does it always have to be 9-5? Can you just work part-time? Lizz says that when it’s right, it will be easy. It will work. If you want to work from home, you may be able to negotiate telecommuting a few days a week. You can negotiate salary. And remember that social is not 9-5. Full-time off-site jobs do exist.
After you submit your resume, make sure you follow up with an introduction letter to make yourself stand out.
Ask your brand contacts for letters of recommendation. Do a review of yourself when trying to figure out your strengths.
Ask 10 friends to write recommendations for you on LinkedIn. Not endorsements. Recommendations. You’ll learn a lot about yourself that way.
After an interview, how do you know how to follow-up? Especially when you get positive feedback and you know they haven’t hired someone to fill the position yet. There isn’t really a rule. It depends on the individual and the organization. For Ellen, she says she’d probably only follow up three times. Do what feels right, like dating. Lizz says she would give a specific reason for additional contact, like sending a link to something you spoke about during the interview. Let them know you’re still thinking about them, but not in a stalker-like way.