Interviewing in 2013

A lot has changed over the past decade when it comes to the corporate standard. A lot of companies aren’t worried about tattoos and piercings and many have gone to a simpler standard of dress.

I read an article on LinkedIn today that mentioned that you don’t always have to dress in a business suit for an interview. If you haven’t done your research on the companies culture, that can be a strike used against you when you interview somewhere.

I thought that was strange and more than likely untrue. I work at an agency where in the winter we wear jeans and snow boots and in the summer we wear flip-flops and shorts. We are a very casual laid back office. When I came on my interview though, I wore a shirt, tie and suit for my interview. Yes, technically I was overdressed for the rest of the culture in the office but I wasn’t part of that culture yet. I was someone on the outside who was looking to start a career with this agency. The one woman who I had scheduled my interview with even apologized in front of her boss for not explaining to me what the dress code here was.

My thought is this: you dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Also, you only have one chance to make a first impression. It’s better to be overdressed then under dressed. I think that your clothing doesn’t really decide whether or not you can fit in with the culture of a company; your attitude does. Is it rude then to ask the person who is setting up the interview what the office “dress code” is? If they told you casual, would you wear sneakers and jeans to an interview? I feel like the answer should always be “no” to that question. Granted, in the summer time, I may not wear a suit jacket to an interview but you best believe that I have a button down shirt with a tie and dress pants on. I think that it’s almost rude not to dress up for your new potential boss. Image

I don’t ever tell the interns that come in for interviews with me about the office attire unless they specifically ask. I’ve done interviews with them for over a year now and not one has asked me about the attire and all have dressed in a professional manner. I go on to tell them that now they are part of the team, that they don’t need to dress professionally. I think that it shows a sign that you actually care about this interview and that you are to be taken seriously.

The Digital Age

I have been seeing a lot of job postings lately that “label” time for a job. Must have 2-5 years experience in the field. When I see that, I say to myself “Okay, they don’t want someone entry-level.” As long as it’s not like 7-10+ as a senior director role, I would apply for something in that range. With my community management, I am not exactly at two years in the literal sense but I believe that I am doing work that is typical of someone who is entering an associate role as a community manager or maybe already at that level. I currently manage eight different platforms of social media in which some have multiple accounts. I have two different sets of interns that also work with me because of how busy I am. I create organic content for the different divisions of my company, I write and create blogs, I build campaigns from scratch, conduct outreach and publicity and even do work with analytics on Google.

I’m not saying that I am an expert in the field as I know that I am not. I still have a lot to learn but on the other hand, I have a lot of experience already. I was one of the students that when the Facebook platform first started to grow to different colleges, I was a sophomore in college. This was a unique website only available to college students and you could only get in with a registered college email. There was no marketing or promotions on Facebook yet and the way your friends were set up was separated by college traveling down the left side of the page. A person couldn’t even access other people’s profiles unless you were friends with them or went to the same school. If you saw someone you wanted to talk to in a different school, you had to become friends with them or else it wouldn’t allow you to even see more than just a picture.

My Facebook experience started in 2005. I call Facebook the first real social media to jump into the idea of social media marketing and management. This was only eight years ago at this point. Like I said, if you weren’t a college student, you couldn’t even access the site. So that brings me to my point about having 2-5 or 7-10 years experience. Social media today isn’t that old. There is no way you could have relevant social media experience older than eight years when using platforms like Facebook and Twitter. I understand that a person could have been doing other forms of digital media and it applies to social media management but I would think that a company would want someone who grew up and is a “child” of social media. My mom has a Facebook and there is so much she doesn’t know as opposed to me who can show her just about anything on there in a mere matter of seconds.

Everyday I see that there are new social media community manager jobs becoming available and a big reason is that most agencies are not outsourcing this to other companies anymore because they see the value in it. I completely respect that and I think that is the right step. The next step I think a company/agency needs it to have someone in house who is a “child” of this social media. We look at it much more differently then you do. We, as a generation, don’t really have any experience in the field before social media. We don’t know about sending press releases via the post office. Okay, bad joke but you understand what I mean. I’m not saying hire a college graduate straight out paying them $65k a year to run your social media; that’s absurd. Unless you are thinking of hiring me. In that case, please, I’m available in two weeks at that rate. I do think that we need community managers and strategists who view social media as everyday interaction not as something added. Take a look at my phone bill and check out the amount of time I spend using minutes as I do texting. I am a child of the digital age and I can be the next manager to take your social media to an entirely new level. And I didn’t need 7-10 years experience in the workfield to do it. I’ve grown up with this stuff, I understand that yes I am using it in a different platform and view but the basics and advanced knowledge of the media is already there. I would rather be judged upon my portfolio and the branding strategies I have created over the amount of time I have spent doing it.

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Work For Me!

From my professional blog. Come work for me!

X3 Media, LLC

 

 

Marketing/Public Relations Internship:

 

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Change: Not to be Feared but Embraced

I dislike a lot of things. It’s in my nature. I’m from New Jersey; sue me. One thing I can’t stand though are people who say they “hate change.” I don’t mean change as in like pennies and nickles but life-changing things. Whether you like it or not, it’s bound to happen. My best advice is to embrace it and just live it out to the fullest. 

I’m 167 pounds. That’s a big change for me. When I started dieting again, I was 203 as opposed to when I graduated college at 225. I’ve lost a small child. I’m not doing it to be “skinny” or “hot,” well maybe to be hot. My main reason for doing is that I want to be healthy and feel comfortable in my own skin. I do it because I felt that this what I needed to recharge my life and get it going again. The only person that can really make you feel bad about you, is you. Take the good with the bad and keep driving. I think that losing this weight was the best thing I could have ever done. But now the hard part comes in; keeping it off. Yes, that means changing my habits and keeping them smarter. It doesn’t mean “dieting,” because frankly, diets don’t work. You gain the weight back. You can’t go out and run a marathon your first day in the gym. Small changes lead to big success. I’m living proof of that. 

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I’m not sure where you grew up but where I grew up, you weren’t handed anything you didn’t ask for. You want a raise, talk to your boss. You want a better life, go for it. Apply for the job, promotion or internship. Yes, it’s hard work. It’s a lot of hours organizing your resume, fixing up your portfolio, ironing your suit, going over your strengths and weaknesses and taking the time to put yourself out there. You aren’t going to nail all the interviews you go on. You don’t need too. You only need to nail one. Know yourself and know that you are worth it. With it comes change; embrace it. Go crazy when you land the new job and buy yourself something that you wanted. You’ve earned it. 

I’ll admit it though, there are times when change, well, sucks. To be honest, there are those bad changes that happen. Someone passes away, you lose your job, you don’t get the promotion, etc. It will happen, it always does. And it never happens at the “right time.” There never really is a right time for things like that but they seem to creep up on you when you are already having problems. The best advice I have is the same as before; embrace it. You can’t fear it. Push forward and remember that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Rely on your friends and family and ask for help when you need it. A wise person knows when they need help. 

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