Resume Qualifications that Show Your Business Doesn’t Know a Thing about Social Media Marketing

A new job description has popped up in the last few years. Some call it Social Media Manager or Social Media Specialist or Social Media Coordinator. Whatever you call it, it’s important to have one, but if you want to attract the best people available, you need to make it seem like your company is “with it.” NOTE: using phrases like “with it, hip, and the Facebook” automatically give you away.

In other words, you need to show prospective employees that you have a positive attitude toward social media and the willingness to foster its development. Unfortunately, there are quite a few companies out there who don’t demonstrate these characteristics. I have therefore compiled some resume qualifications NOT to include on your job application. After all, what purpose do bad examples serve if you can’t learn from them?

5+ Years of Social Media Experience

This one just makes me laugh. When I was applying for jobs out of college, I remember  seeing this on applications thinking, “What?! Who do they want? One of the founding members of Twitter?” YouTube turns six this month. Facebook opened up to everyone in 2006, the same year Twitter launched.

How do you expect to find a human being who has five OR MORE years of real-world experience? At the risk of belaboring the point even further, here’s some more perspective. Ignite Social Media is one of the first social media agencies in the United States and it was started three years ago. At this point, the most you can realistically ask for is 2, 2+ if you’re feeling extra saucy. Even if they could possibly have been in the biz for 5 years, everything’s changed so dramatically most of the things they learned in the beginning are now obsolete.

A Passion for Social Media

This one applies to job applicants as well so take note, future social media-izers (I’ll think of a better name). Employers aren’t asking for anything special here. At this point, it’s like putting Word and Excel under “Skills.” Ignite’s President, Jim Tobin, elaborates: “People who tell me they’re ‘really passionate about social media’ don’t move me like they did 3+ years ago. Back then it was rare. It was a differentiator. Today, lots of people do that. As we’ve gotten bigger, I need to find folks with very specific skill sets (copywriter, art director, programmer, SEO person, account manager) who are also into social.” Which brings me to my next point.

Everything Under the Sun

When you see “Blogging, Social Media Marketing, Public Relations, Customer Service, JavaScript, HTML, SEO, Crop Dusting, Blacksmithing etc. etc.,” it’s a dead giveaway that this company is not familiar with the field. If you can find someone who has experience in all of these fields, it’s probably limited. To echo Jim’s point, you’re much better off looking for specific areas of expertise.

As an organization, you need to do some research and find out exactly what your business needs help with, whether that’s community engagement, metrics, website development, social campaigns, or something else. Only then can you find the best person for the job.

So now you know to steer clear of a few specific pitfalls. Stay Tuned for Part II: Resume Qualifications that Show Your Business ‘Gets’ Social Media Marketing. I’ll be delving into some skills that will prove to be actually useful.

What are some qualifications that you can’t stand seeing in job descriptions? Share in the comments below!

Ignite Social Media