If you want my recommendation, get online and get involved!
Last week, I was asked for recommendations for two separate social media positions. In both cases, I was asked to recommend friends or people I know who may be good candidates. In one case, I immediately thought of a handful of folks, but in the other case, I couldn’t come up with a single name. What was the difference?
The first position was one very similar to my own and required a keen eye for measurement. The second was a community manager position which would require a strong social media background.
Because I had a measurement internship before my job, I know plenty of qualified and hard-working interns who are still waiting for their opportunity. That was a no-brainer to me because I had seen their work and passion when we worked together.
When I was asked to recommend someone for a community manager position, no one jumped to mind immediately (no one who was looking for a job, anyway). Then I started to look through people I follow on Twitter and online friends, and I still couldn’t think of anyone. And this made me stop and think about why, and this is what I realized: no one I knew had shown me their work or passion for social media.
I know that I have plenty of friends online (and offline) who are interested and maybe even passionate about social media, but I did not feel comfortable recommending any of them. I did not want to give my endorsement when I could not personally vouch for their social media work.
So my point is this: you must have a visible social media footprint. I can know that you have passion from offline experience, but if that same passion does not show up when a recruiter or manager searches for you online, then you will not get hired. I will not recommend someone whose work and passion I cannot find easily or have not seen through interactions online.
There have been plenty of people who encourage online presence, but I am adding my two cents because I was shocked and dismayed to realize that I could not recommend any of my friends for a community manager position.