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How to Land That Social Media Internship You Desire

Sun, Mar 18, 2012

Internship Information

Do you love connecting with people on Facebook? Find yourself spending hours tracking trending subjects on Twitter? Are you a mayor on Foursquare? Were you one of the early adopters of Google+? If you live and breathe online networking and communication, then a social media internship might be the perfect fit for you this semester. As the power of social media in business continues to rise, nearly every company is adding a social media coordinator to their payroll. It is still the wild west for businesses using social media to promote and sell their products and services, and many companies are willing to look towards recent college graduates to fill these positions. The old guard prefers someone who grew up with the internet to run things, and students are well-positioned to get in with a business as an intern and set themselves up for possible employment after school. So what should you do if you want to land a social media internship?

Be public. The first thing the hiring department is going to do is explore your reach on the large social media platforms. So before you apply for that internship, make sure your various profiles are publicly searchable. You’re going to need to wow them with your list of friends and followers, and the unique ways you utilize the social networks. If your profiles are public, the work you’ve already done to integrate social media into your daily life will go a long way towards getting you that job before you even step into the interview room.

Be professional. Since all of your profiles are now public and easily searched, you had better be sure they are as professional as possible. Scour your profiles for damning information: derogatory or negative status updates, unprofessional photos and spam. Realize that the hiring manager is not simply looking at your profiles to gain an understanding of your aptitude in social media, but also to get a feel for you as an individual. And it’s up to you to craft that picture in a positive way. It doesn’t mean you have to delete all the fun party pictures with your friends. Just delve into your privacy settings and cut off anything questionable from public search.

Be current. The world of social media is constantly changing, and it’s entirely up to you to stay up-to-date. Do a quick Google search on yourself to see what comes up. If there’s some old MySpace account you’ve neglected for years, you may be better served deleting it than letting it live on as a reminder of a forgotten platform. And think about the other social media sites that you may need to join or otherwise address. Pinterest is growing by leaps and bounds, and you may want to have an account there to show you’re on the cutting edge. Perhaps you should start using one of the other photo platforms in addition to Facebook, to prove that you’re savvy on the ways people can use the same information to reach more people. And make sure your LinkedIn profile is well-worded and contains your most recent resume. If you’re putting yourself forward as a social media expert, you’d better be able to prove such with your own regular updates and large online presence.

Competition is going to be stiff for these internships, as many people can claim competence in social media without a formal degree. Do your homework, and come in prepared to speak specifically about what you could do to help their company increase their presence online. Think about designing a social media dashboard, a visual presentation of how the different networks can relate and expand their brand. If you can get them excited about a handful of new ideas, you’ll quickly push to the front of the pack and hopefully land that social media internship you desire.

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