Over the last three weeks, Ruby Assembly have been focused on recruiting a stellar Digital Strategist and Copywriter.
It’s a tricky thing to do, particularly in the midst of a pandemic lockdown; as complex a task for the employer as the potential employee. I found myself inundated with applications. Whilst we usually receive a tonne of applications for roles at Ruby Assembly, this particular role elicited well over 150 CV submissions. Happily, we have now found an excellent match (more on them coming soon!) – but not before trawling through many unsuitable applications that either could have been better, or really shouldn’t have been sent at all.
Working in digital strategy/content/social media is a competitive field. Having just hired (and looked at a bazillion CV’s and letters of introduction), I present key takeaways on making your application as powerful and compelling as possible. I also identify common ‘fails’ that can easily be avoided by would-be social media strategists. Here’s to getting your start in social media content marketing!
- Spelling and Accuracy
It seems basic and a bit of a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how often applications show little attention to detail around spelling, grammar and accuracy. At a social media agency like Ruby Assembly, attention to detail and immaculate copywriting is everything; if your CV or cover letter is riddled with inaccuracies (from misspelling our business name to sending us a cover letter addressed to another business entirely), you’re at a disadvantage.
- Cover Letters Are The Special Sauce
A personalised cover letter that responds intelligently to specific aspects of the job description is always eye-catching. A comment or two on your observations about the business you’re hoping to work for is also useful. If you’re using a generic cover letter, make sure it is sterling, entertaining and shows the breadth of your talent. A generic cover letter can still be appealing, but it requires effort to make it so – you’ve got to be able to put yourself at the heart of the story. If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna get hired by somebody else?
- Short and Sweet CV
An impactful CV is a showreel of your ‘best bits’. You don’t need to include your first job, VCE score or marks at Uni (unless specifically relevant to an aspect of the role). Highlight recent workplaces, internships, volunteering positions and show some personality in the design of the CV. One page please!
- Don’t Oversell
You don’t need to make yourself sound like a senior-senior-super account manager in order to be considered for a role. I receive cover letters or CVs with some regularity that oversell the applicant’s skills, initially making them look more experienced than they are. This is problematic as it may rule you out for some positions. Alternately, it may make you appear a better fit than you are, and result in a serious mis-match. Be frank, be friendly, be enthusiastic.
- ‘I believe that …’
It goes without saying that if you’re applying for the job advertised, you think you’re right for the job. A cover letter should highlight what you will bring to an organisation, and not how the job will benefit your personal development. Of course the right role will contribute to your wellbeing and development, as great employment is a reciprocal deal. I receive many cover letters that feature the phrase ‘I believe that I am right for this role because I have good attention to detail and love writing.” This doesn’t cut it. Your cover letter is an opportunity highlight how your skills will benefit the organisation. It’s always better to give examples of your skills in context.
- Research the Role
Many of the applications received failed to match with the skillset we require at Ruby Assembly. We’re not an SEO agency, or a GoogleAdwords outfit, or website designers. Prior to applying for a role, have a look at the website of the organisation you’re wanting to join. ‘Social media’ is a grab-phrase for all things digital; it’s up to you to identify how your skills match the role description, and what you understand is the culture of the business.
- Consider Presentation
If you’re going for a job in social media content that requires skill in design, for God’s sake don’t use Comic Sans as a font, don’t use generic CV templates that look like they’re a decade old. Show that you are conversant with graphic design trends, and that visual language matters to you personally. This makes a big difference and shows competence.
- Need for Speed
Responding swiftly to new job postings is important. Those early applications tend to be amongst the most memorable. Make yourself further known by following up with an email, liking the business on Instagram and Facebook, and connecting with the Director on LinkedIn. Attention to detail always stands out!