Admit it. You’ve spent hours updating your Facebook profile, Tweeting your thoughts and opinions, or making connections on LinkedIn, but have you thought about actually making money with these skills (Yes. I said skills)? Emerging jobs in social media are calling for motivated and internet savvy professionals who can channel their networking talents to manage companies’ online presence and promote products and services. Does this sound like the ideal career for you? Then read along for some top tips:
1. Selecting Your Major: While you can certainly break into the profession with social media skills and an unrelated major, consider choosing a major that will facilitate the development of necessary skills and allow you ample practice time. Majors such as public relations, communication, marketing, and journalism are excellent gateways to a career in social media. However, if you are not in one of these fields don’t despair. Try to pick up extra electives in these areas to enhance your areas of weakness and continuing using your spare time to build on your strengths.
2. Build Your Portfolio: Keep a record of your previous work!!! According to Jim Durbin of JobsinSocialMedia, "My rule of thumb is, you get paid in social media for what you've done in the past.” Create a portfolio highlighting websites you have created, blogs you’ve contributed, etc. that show employers the specific abilities you can offer their company. When competing with seasoned professionals and tech-savvy new graduates you need to prove your competencies in social media by displaying what you have already accomplished.
3. Remember the Mission/Goal: Always keep your work professional and focus on upholding your personal brand, a company goal, or overarching mission. Blogging about how much you dislike your messy roommate is not what employers are looking for. Instead blog for your campus organization or a topic/cause you are passionate about, keeping potential employers in mind. Displaying your ability to connect with new people, convey messages, and garner support/loyalty will be valuable to employers who are looking to sell products and services and build strong client relationships.
Are you convinced yet that a career in social media is possible? For a list of emerging positions in social media and the specific skills each requires check out this article: Emerging Jobs and begin working your way to this new career. Top candidates will have a broad skill set and experience with multiple programs and networking sites, along with a knack for attracting new customers and building loyalty with existing clients.