Since graduating from college, it’s been ingrained in my memory that the jobs I will get will be based on my educational background and my resume. I thought it was true since I was fortunate to get a job 3 months after graduation, however for the remainder of my peers it did not seem that the outcome was the same.
Was it their degree of choice? The jobs they applied for? Lack of social skills? It made me think that the idea that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” was not working in their favor. However, there was a new way to land the job of your dreams it was the idea that “it’s not what you have, it’s how you use it”, and that brainchild was social media.
Social media has the potential to redefine the culture. – (Lipschultz, 2018, p.14)
I thought that applying for jobs required answering endless questions through systems that did not parse my resume for what I had already written or even answering open-ended questions to be later asked in my interview. However, I was proven wrong. Social media has given businesses a way to see their potential candidates work in action and allow for their candidates to pursue them boldly like Jessica Bain, the Black History and Culture fellow at Spotify.
While some of us go through the mundane routine of submitting our curriculum vitae, resumes, and cover letters through online portals, Bain thought that while NBA Playoffs were going on she could make her play with Spotify for the Black History and culture fellow position – and it was a game winner! Bain applied for the position by posting her Spotify playlist “This Is” on Twitter along with her savvy cover letter website detailing her perspectives and thoughts on black culture and music. Within a month she found out she had got the position.
I thought her risk was wild at best but it made me realize that EFFECTIVE communication practitioners will be willing to get their desired message across on any given platform. A lot of times on Twitter there will be silly campaigns that ask Twitter users to retweet a tweet for silly tasks like “daring someone to ask someone out on a date”, tweets that will say “If I recieve 1,000 retweets my parents will buy me a car”, and so on. More times than not, someone will retweet it or respond to the tweet for kicks and giggles. In turn, giving it a platform to be viewed by more and more people, and thus leveraging the wanted outcome or response. Jessica Bain’s approach proved that notion. Bain’s message was genuine, served a purpose that is relatable to a lot of millennials (i.e. getting a job), straddled the line of professionalism and creativity, and her message included something enjoyable – music. Bain’s post gained 107 comments, over 1,200 retweets, and 10,000 likes and continues to be reposted today. She allowed for her tweet to Spotify to be reposted over and over again, so much so that Spotify was willing to hire her.
Social media enables members to produce, publish, control, critique, rank and interact with content. (Lipschultz, 2018, pp.26-27)
With this in mind, I found it not robbery to showcase my love for creating visually attractive posts and images through various freelance positions for small companies. After a few months, I began to get calls and messages about my work and how great it was. One thing lead to another, and I was able to work the 25th Anniversary Summer Jam Concert for one of the biggest radio stations on the east coast – HOT97. At the concert my content was seen by over 1,000,000 users through various social media platforms. Through HOT97 while I posted “on brand” for the radio station, I was also able to publish content that visually and verbally engaged their viewers to enjoy the concert experience in a new way. To see my post from that day and content I created click here.
What is the moral of the story here? Sometimes conventional methods to getting a job don’t always work; therefore, you have to get creative with what you do. Research from Digital Information World and Careerglider found that in 2015, 79% of hiring managers were looking at LinkedIn for new recruits. But perhaps, Bain’s story and my own prove that other forms of social media will land you opportunities that a regular online application will not.
So get creative! You never know what opportunities your social media accounts can create for you.
To see more about Jessica’s story check out this article here.
Still think that sending in a resume online to agencies is boring? Here’s another example of why you should be creative when finding your next gig. See how this young lady became the publicist for one Billboard’s chart topping artists – Cardi B! Check out her amazing story here.
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