On qualifications, job applications, and a certain job posting.

If you’re familiar with my blog content territory as of late, you’ll know I’m looking for a new job. I’m not going to spend time complaining about writing cover letters or the job market (I don’t believe in beating horses, dead or alive). Additionally, “job hunt advice” posts have become about as novel a concept as sliced bread — that kind of status quo content fits in nicely with the stock-and-flow concept I mentioned in my last post.

Anyway.

So, the job application process. The act itself is nothing particularly exciting, or even all that interesting, but I’m choosing to (contrary to my nature?) take a positive outlook on the process. Twitter followers of mine may have seen the checklist my boss and I drew up for rounding out my professional lifeplan:

Now, the “retire rich” part is, perhaps, a moot point (hi Dad hope you’re not reading this). But making a checklist like this has actually made me consider my strengths, my personality as it would apply to my potential hireability, where I can work to improve my skills. All of this introspection, coupled with a ver-r-ry private survey I’ve been conducting on the language of job postings, assessing their expectations versus my reality, how to get my application to stand out without resorting to document borders or animated cats. This study is, as of yet, inconclusive.

An interesting job posting comes from BFG Communications, a Hilton Head-based agency looking for a digital content manager in its Atlanta office. All applications must be submitted via Twitter. So, they’re not looking for resume screencaps, or link to a LinkedIn profile … only fewer than 140 characters to show your worth as a potential content manager. Makes sense, for an agency that’s ostensibly searching for creativity, ingenuity, possibly a modicum of insouciance in its job candidates.

Could I go so far to say that any socially-minded agency taking the traditional route of resume-cover-letter-rinse-and-repeat … is out of touch? Would you believe I’ve now spent entire weeks considering what the ideal, stand-out application would be? I can’t say how many job postings have stuck in my head for that. long. I did some research on previous “winners” of this type of social media job application “contest.” It’s clear there’s no One True Path to Winning. Which I think is great — there’s no Platonic ideal of a Content Manager, or a Community Manager, or even a Blog Editor (as far as I can tell, anyway). We all write about different things, have differing opinions on the Oxford comma (mine: FOR), have differing strengths on different digital platforms. The Internet! It’s the great melting-pot.

So here’s where the smarm comes in. Y’all know I don’t normally post things like this, but considering the top image, entitled EMILYS 12 STEP PROGRAM TO GET RICH QUICK coupled with BFG’s search for a Digital Content Manager (wouldn’t you think that’d be right up my alley?), I thought I’d list a few reasons I think I should be hired for such a post, at least per the qualifications listed by BFG.

  • An understanding and passion for the social media universe.” I am well-connected … well, at least on the Internet. I carefully update this blog, my personal Tumblr, my photography Tumblr (minus presently broken cameras); Facebook; Twitter; Foursquare; Google Plus (yeah!); Pinterest accounts on the regular (and, of course, this is not an exhaustive list), and am constantly searching out new and interesting ways to create, and curate, web content.
  • Excellent creative writing and communications skills.” You’ve gotten this far. I talk a lot, I write a lot. Sometimes, I do both at the same time.
  • Familiarity with best-in-class examples of brands in social media.” Community engagement is all about knowing how to approach conversation with your audience, engaging, and providing insight of value. So this is a broad qualification, and I’m going to address it in a specific example. My current favorite story of a brand using social (multi-) media in an interesting, provocative, perhaps unexpected way: Jaguar in Mad Men.
  • Combo: “Ability to juggle multiple projects in a fast paced environment./Attention to detail./Ability to work within tight deadlines.” I work best under pressure, with lots of jobs to do. If I am not given jobs, I create jobs; I hate being bored. Ask anyone I’ve worked with — I am able to produce excellent work, across platforms, for different audiences, under aggressive timelines. Additionally, I am manic about immaculate editing. My #1 enemy is a typo. Right next to sloppy kerning.
  • Impeccable spelling & grammar.” See above.
  • Basic Photoshop knowledge/Audio/video skills a plus./Creativity.” I was once a Digital Design & Media Fellow, and helped students create visual aspects to their ePortfolios using Photoshop, but also created materials for promotional use with InDesign and Illustrator. I’m a writer, but I get visual literacy. Additionally, I co-hosted a live-streaming TV show (gone but not forgotten, “Phancy Pheast”) with my friend Neil on the best cat videos on the Internet. Creativity is a nebulous quality, but I’d say I’m a fairly creative person.
  • Familiarity with HTML and back end publishing operations.” Check out what I did for the Nonprofit Summit — the largest nonprofit sector event in the Southeast. I’m also comfortable using HTML to build mass email marketing campaigns, and can appreciate the efficient beauty of a closed tag.
  • Bachelor’s in Journalism, Communications, English or related field.” Will French do? I wrote 50 pages in French for my undergrad thesis. This means, among other things, that I’m fluent, am an excellent translator of francophone spam emails, and can communicate across a limited scope of Romance languages.
  • Unlisted qualification: Forever I love Atlanta: Li’l Scrappy says it best. I’ve lived here for a hot minute now, and love every day of it. (Well, nearly every day.) (August is still awful.)

Those are the things I’m good at, and I’m stickin’ to ’em. This is the longest blog post I’ve ever written; if you know me, you know I love a good checklist. So, hire me! I’m yours. If you possibly need more information, you can check out my resume and a couple of samples of my work.

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One thought on “On qualifications, job applications, and a certain job posting.

  1. Pingback: On starting over, a year later. | emily grim

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