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162 | Creative Careers in Writing & Social Media – Audrey Boring, Austin, TX

Episode 162 is live! This week, we talk with Audrey Boring in Austin, TX.

Audrey is an independent marketing and advertising professional. She began her creative career as a copywriter, setting up her own freelance business in 2010. She has worked with clients such as Blinds.com, International Paper, and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She also recently spoke at SXSW about “Building the creative career you’re meant to have.”

On today’s episode, Audrey shares:

  • What it’s like to be a freelancer
  • The pros and cons of freelance versus a corporate job
  • How to break into the social media space as a professional
  • How companies are using social media today
  • Tips on switching from a non-creative field to a creative field

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about Audrey, visit her website at www.acesbranding.com. You can also send her an email at audrey@acesbranding.com.

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send me your questions to Angela@CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching.

Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review!

 

The New World of Social Media

Social media used to be so fun. We could all stay connected with friends and family, for long periods of time and around the world. It felt like social media was expanding our friend circles. For example, I have reconnected with friends that date back to kindergarten. Before the internet, this would have been much more difficult.

Fast forward to today. If you’re like me, you may feel at a bit of a loss about the purpose of social media anymore. Sharing a photo of the wonderful food you ate last night feels insignificant. We’ve also learned that posting beautiful family photos or vacation pictures may come across as bragging. Many folks feel negative after seeing their friends doing so well – even if their online personas are a bit of a show.

If what we were posting is so insignificant, perhaps we should be posting about something important? There’s so much to pick from in today’s news. Is that what we should be posting about? Should we use our online voices to be heard?

I’m honestly not sure. If you’re like me, you can probably see the argument for both sides. On one hand, it’s important to speak up for what’s right. It’s important to share your views and try to make a difference. On the other, I wonder how much social media is helping our cause, and how much it’s alienating us from others.

Someone recently said to me, “Wow, I had no idea how many of my friends I don’t like. When they start posting their political views on Facebook and I don’t agree with them, I know we can no longer be friends.”

In a certain regard, this is sad. The more we divide ourselves by our beliefs, the less we are willing to talk through important ideas together. As children, we made friends based on who share the same hobbies, not who voted for the same person.

This recent string of bad news has left many people struggling to define the role of social media. When social media first started, it was a relatively positive experience filled with cats and babies and vacation photos. Now, it’s all a bit different.

At the end of the day, we each have to decide how we want to use our social media. Whether it’s sharing family photos or discussing politics, the decision about what to share is a personal choice.

With that said, one thing is for sure. If you’re looking for a new job, your future boss is likely looking at your social media. We may assume they are just looking at our resume, but it is rarely the case. They will Google your name, and will go straight for your social media profiles.

Managers are people too. They have unfair biases that come into play. When you decide what to share and how to use your voice, just remember – the world is watching.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

Using social media in your job search

Social media isn’t part of a job search. In order to find a job, you only need a resume, business cards, and a nice suit. Right? This was true – if you were looking for a job in 2001.

In today’s wired world, there are so many more options available to you. Why not try them? After all, submitting your resume blindly just isn’t working. If you want to try something new, social media is a great place to start.

Hands down, the best social media site for the job seeker is LinkedIn. It’s an extension of your resume and a Rolodex of your contacts all rolled into one. I often hear the question, “Do I really need a LinkedIn page?” The short answer is yes. LinkedIn is free and it allows you to decide how much you share and with whom you want to connect. In fact, there are estimated to be half a billion users on LinkedIn from over 200 countries.

Use LinkedIn to expand on your resume, connect to old colleagues, and grow your network. The LinkedIn search tool is a great way to find (and to connect with) your future boss. It can also be a great way to learn who else works at your target company.

But, don’t stop there. I have been impressed at the number of business executives who use Twitter. It’s not uncommon to tweet to someone in the C-suite, and to actually receive a real response. It can be an unexpected way to grow a new relationship.

Another site you may want to consider if you’re in a creative field is YouTube. An advertising agency CEO once shared with me that some of her most impressive applicants submitted a short video about themselves via YouTube. It helped them to get the agency’s attention in a sea of other applications.

The one social media I would think twice about using is Facebook. Facebook has long been considered a private space to connect with friends and family. In fact, if you send a stranger a direct message, Facebook will typically filter it out of their inbox by default. That means that the person may never see your message. So, before using Facebook, try other social media sites.

Using social media in your job search can give you a leg up on your competition. It can also help you to shape your online presence. After all, when a company searches for your name on Google, your social media pages are certain to be the first thing that pops up. Think of Google search results like the new cover letter. Your social media pages tell a personal narrative about you and your beliefs.

Don’t worry too much about bothering the person you’re contacting via LinkedIn or Twitter. Social media is just another form of communication, similar to email or phone. Be professional and polite and you’ll find an entirely new way to grow your network. It’s far more effective than blindly submitting an application on a website.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

144 | Social Media Career – Austin Graff, The Washington Post, Washington, DC

Episode 144 is live! This week, we talk with Austin Graff in Washington, DC.

Austin is the Talent Marketing and Branding Specialist for The Washington Post. Previously, he was the social media manager at Honest Tea and the Marketing Manager for a leading human rights agency called International Justice Mission.

On today’s episode, Austin shares his tips for starting a career in social media, and how to find a company that aligns to your personal values. Austin also shares his thoughts on being on the other side of the hiring table, as he manages The Post’s talent branding and messaging strategy.

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about Austin, follow him on Twitter at @austinkgraff, and look him on on Instagram at www.instagram.com/austinkgraff.

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send your questions to Angela@CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching.

Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review!

 

 

Your Social Media Cover Letter

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You probably never thought you’d hear the words “social media” and “cover letter” together in one sentence. But today, I hope to convince you to consider them to be related when you’re looking for a new job.

A cover letter is a critical component of your job search. It’s a formal letter or an e-mail that you send to the hiring manager along with your resume. It’s your personal narrative. It explains why your background makes you a perfect fit for a particular role. It is often what determines whether a hiring manager will bring you in for an interview.

In the same way your cover letter tells your personal story, so does your online presence. We can no longer assume our personal life and professional job will have a clear dividing line. Google has given employers the power to find us on every social media site. And, they do! Ask any hiring manager if they look up job candidates online and the answer is yes.

Not only do employers look up candidates, but they also make decisions about whether or not to interview candidates using this information. And, they make decisions about which people to hire.

So, what types of posts could really make a difference on social media? I often say, it’s good to think of job searching like going to a dinner party. A dinner party is often made up of people you don’t know. Those people may have different opinions than you on certain topics.

When it comes to work, many of those topics and views shouldn’t matter. They’re completely separate. A hiring decision shouldn’t be made based on what religion you are or which presidential candidate you may be voting for. Unfortunately, hiring managers are human. Even if it’s unconscious, they may judge those who have a different perspective than them.

During the job interview, you want to be judged based on the quality of your experience, and the good ideas that come out of your mouth – not some other detail that’s unrelated to work. One way to protect yourself from this judgement is to be cautious with your social media.

If you’re interviewing, you may want to go easy on topics related to religion, politics, and money. Never post something negative about your current or past employer. And, be aware of photos that are posted of you. Avoid taking photos while intoxicated, or while wearing an outfit or costume you wouldn’t want a respected elder to see you in.

This can be a tall order I know, especially in today’s political season. Our voice and opinions are important. If you feel strongly about sharing your views online, consider tightening your social media settings. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to protect your posts, so only your friends see them.

Whatever you do, keep your personal feelings off of LinkedIn. It should be reserved for business. In today’s digital age, social media serves as your personal narrative more than ever before.

Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.