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Industry Spotlight: Finding a Job in Social Media and SEO

Tom-BourletSocial media popularity continues to grow with thousands of businesses all over the country now employing people to manage their online social accounts. Whether it’s posting company pictures to Facebook or announcing news on Twitter, companies certainly seem to be placing emphasis on social media roles.

Tom Bourlet knows the impact social media can have on brands. He currently works as a Social Media and SEO Executive for Directline-holidays. Here he tells Jobulo how he got into the industry and shares some CV tips.

How Did You Get Into The Industry?

I went to Brighton University where I studied Business Management but I always had a strong passion for social media. Following university I tried out a number of internships across Sussex until finally gaining an internship at Go-optimisation in Brighton as a PPC Intern. Go-optimisation offered me a full time role, which I held for a year, however my role evolved, combining work on both Social Media and PPC. I also began working as a freelancer in my evenings as a social media executive for a number of companies. In March 2012 I moved to Directline-holidays as a Social Media and SEO Executive which is where I have felt truly at home.

Is Social Media Crucial For Companies?

Where ever you are or whatever you are doing, you can’t help but notice the bombardment of companies trying to get you to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ their pages, with an ever growing industry building around us. It is now easier than ever to find potential customers searching for the exact product you are selling and sending them a message which could lead to a sale. The question is no longer whether social media is important to companies, but which social platform is ideal for your company.

Can You Share Any Tips on How To Get Into The Industry?

Finding that first role can be surprisingly hard, which is why I would strongly recommend anyone interested in finding a job in Social Media to take up an internship with a marketing agency. Once you have your foot in the door, the potential career progression is prosperous; however you must never rest on your laurels, as the industry changes shape so often.

Tell Us About a Working Day

Making regular and interesting posts on our vast array of social platforms is crucial, while I can’t shout louder the importance for two way communication, rather than just automated posts. The job also requires a large amount of data to be monitored and analysed to make future decisions on how to handle our social platforms and create more sales. The job is definitely not just about sales however, as building a rapport with our followers is integral to our overall aim of building a community who love to talk about travel.

What’s Your Favourite Part of the Job?

My favourite part of the job is in the followers response. When you place a post online and a discussion starts to build off of this, I always feel a sense of pride. For example, on Thursday on Facebook, we regularly run a photo based question asking our followers ‘where in the world is this photo taken?’ and I (very sadly) love reading the responses. Twitter also has some really friendly characters which you can build a close relationship on, which can definitely be very enjoyable.

Should Candidates Have Their Own Social Media Profile?

If you’re looking for a social media role but you don’t have a presence on the platform, this straight away rings alarm bells. It is very easy to tell if someone is trying to blag their way through an interview, don’t shoot yourself in the foot and get ahead of your rival potential employees by building a profile on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Youtube. With all these platforms you should have a practice at building a business profile on these, for example, build a channel on Youtube, a business page on Facebook and check out the insights data, build a Google+ business page and a Twitter business page. The main highlight of using Twitter is that there are a number of useful free tools, such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. If you came for an interview here, I would expect you to know how to use both Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, so learn your way around these tools as they won’t cost you a penny. You could also benefit from attending some conferences and networking, such as BrightonSEO which happens every 6 months. To find out and keep up to date with the latest social media news, I would recommend following Mashable, as they really are the greatest site for releasing the latest social and technology news. If you have time after all this, it might be worth building a personal profile on a number of social bookmarking sites, such as Stumbleupon, Digg and Reddit. Build out a profile on these sites and try to use them regularly, while I would also have an attempt at building a professional appearing blog on whatever topic really interests you.

Can Social Media Sites Help Candidates to Find a Job?

Using Twitter to find a job is definitely something I would recommend, while I would also recommend using Tweetdeck in corporation with Twitter to search for the exact job keywords you are looking for. For example, if you want a job in London in marketing, you could set Tweetdeck to report back any tweets containing the words ‘job, London, marketing’.

What Do You Think Is the Most Important Thing on a CV?

If you’re going for a social media role then target your CV to this role. Include your personal social profiles (the main ones to include could be Twitter & Google+, I wouldn’t place your Facebook profile on however). If you have built a professional looking blog then definitely include a link through to this site on your CV. If you really want to go one step further, considering setting up your own website with a domain based email account, as I can’t highlight how bad it looks when you see unprofessional e-mail addresses.