Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Job Highlight: Digital Strategist and Social Media Strategist

I received a question on Twitter recently asking about some of the skills that a communications agency looks for in a Digital Strategist candidate. This led me to think it would be a good idea to talk about some digital and social roles and offer some tips on getting these types of job opportunities. Many times job descriptions for these roles are vague which makes it difficult to determine the skills that will make you a top candidate. I hope my notes will help someone in their search!

Digital Strategist

Let's talk about what a digital strategist does on a day-to-day basis.  This person will have a very strong understanding of digital marketing and social media strategies and tools. One thing that will set this person a part from other candidates is having the ability to understand the digital space and complement that with an understanding of traditional PR to create integrated communications campaigns. An understanding of creative capabilities like copy writing and design are helpful as well. A digital strategist should always be working to develop innovative campaigns to achieve client goals. Speaking of clients, it is a MUST to have great client experience and be able to provide high quality work to a diverse set of clients. This includes understanding and anticipating client needs, business objectives and also the ability to communicate well effectively. Being available to your clients and gaining trust is also important. Many times a digital strategist will lead communication with the clients directly, sometimes acting as the main client contact, while working with internal team members to brainstorm and carry out various strategies. Due to the nature of the role, a person would generally have at least 5 years of experience to be a competitive candidate at an agency.

Social Media Strategist

Now, a social strategist typically does not need to have an in-depth understanding of traditional PR and digital marketing. This knowledge helps, but may not be an absolute need. The main responsibilities are to stay ahead of social media and industry trends and identify opportunities to market the client via social channels. The social strategist will be an expert at navigating sites like; Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram and many more. Let's look at an example of work. Let's just say an extremely popular YouTuber posts a positive video review about product X by company Y (which happens to be your client).  Company Y has just developed a new product, product Z. The social media strategist knows of the happening and will develop a strategy with social content to highlight the opportunity to market the new product. They may even be the person to get in front of the client to present the opportunity and offerings. Now this may not be the most exciting example, but it is definitely something that could happen. The social strategist is normally the one building a full social calendar of content for the client to post within their channels. The planning of the calendar is to optimize business opportunities and gain increased engagement.

As always,
Happy Hunting!


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How to Help Recruiters Find You

Online is where it's at! Especially when it comes to recruiting. 

The years of employers hiring strictly from an existing applicant database is long gone. Now recruiters all over the world are using tools like LinkedIn Recruiter to identify passive candidates. Let's talk about some of the ways recruiters are now finding key talent and how you can be sure to be one of the candidates they find. 

1. Professional online profile. 

If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, you are lowering your chances of finding a job in the professional sector. LinkedIn has more than 400 million users and is a primary tool for HR professionals to connect with potential talent. Recruiters use a specific recruiting account that is designed to allow access to viewing any person on LinkedIn. Without this type of account users are only searchable within different degrees of connections. It’s similar to Facebook, in that is I have a mutual friend or connection, I should be able to search and view their complete profile. Recruiters also use the LinkedIn recruiter tool with Boolean search techniques to identify talent. Typically recruiters will begin searching for talent on LinkedIn and other tools like, or even Google before a job description is even posted! My colleagues in the US and Europe specifically use LinkedIn and also some parts of Asia as well. If you do not currently have a LinkedIn account, you should definitely join!

Other ways to make an online presence would be to create things like an online portfolio, online blog, online resume and/or online video reel. Creating these type of sites will provide ways outside of LinkedIn to allow you to be searchable by recruiters. For example, sites like and are great sites that recruiters look to for key creative talent. Learn what your key niche websites are and create an account. These also allow an easy way to demonstrate your work quality, which employers need to see. 

2. Network. 

I've mentioned the importance of networking a few times through this blog, because it is very important. Many people are presented opportunities due to having a strong network. When is the last time you went to a networking event within your specific industry? HR professionals and recruiters search out specific industry events to identify key talent for their open positions. They may communicate their jobs out to specific groups or join various events to connect with talent directly. I personally worked as a recruiter for many years and in order to tap into top talent, I attended events where I thought I'd find the right people. When searching for IT candidates, I attended college career fairs and IT events like SharePoint Saturday in St. Louis

3. Be accessible. 

Check your online accounts often and stay in touch with key groups that you are a member of. These groups may have job leads or contacts. I cannot count how many times I've asked for referrals from niche groups and received no one. I believe this is because we don't typically have people top of mind if we haven't heard from them in a while.  

Be sure to especially stay connected when you are actively seeking a job. It is important to check your emails and online profiles at least daily to be aware of jobs leads. Many people have LinkedIn accounts, but do not check them frequently enough. I've received countless of follow up LinkedIn messages after a job I had reached out to them about weeks and sometimes months ago has already been filled! Often times the person had been actively searching or considering a job move and just did not see my message soon enough. Be sure to be accessible when you are actively looking for a job and even when you aren't.  

I hope these tidbits are helpful to any job seekers out there! 

Happy Hunting!

Sunday, June 5, 2016


Like an angel you spoke to me

Your eyes were so pure

They sparkled like a diamond
You were captivating

I watched your every movement
It was impossible for me to look away
To see your hand gracefully touch mine
And to feel your skin, so soft

Like a dove
Without mark or blemish
So beautiful 
So gentle

Then it all changed
Suddenly you disappeared
As quickly as you had come
Like it was all a dream

Was it simply my imagination?
Did i really see,... and feel...
But wait, i see something...
You left behind

A feather
Just as pure and soft as you were

My Angel


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How HR Can Help Your Career

I know I know…  HR is normally the one breaking up parties and reminding everyone about company policy.  This is all true, but I want to share some specific ways that HR teams can help maintain or advance your career.

1. Training and Development

Do you know what training resources are available to you?  Would you like to have certifications compensated by your employer?

The first step to understanding what training opportunities are available to you is to take a little stroll over to HR.  You may not have learned about the developmental programs during your on-boarding, but there still may be opportunities.  A major area of an HR manager's role is to be aware of training initiatives and often companies have HR specialists focused on managing employee training.  HR will also be able to talk through some of your career plans and help empower you to take professional development into your own hands.  Training may mean different things to different people, however HR can help get you the development opportunities you are looking for.

2. Compensation and Benefits

Now this one really is for folks that may have an outside HR contact.  I would not recommend going to your company's HR team and asking about compensation, however HR managers should understand the market rate of most common jobs. Recruiters would be a good resource as well. For example, let's just say that you are an accountant holding a CPA, with 3 years of experience.  You are interested in knowing if your current compensation package is relative with the market.  Most recruiters will be able to help.  After learning about your skill set, the realistic pay standards you should have will be easier to determine when talking with a recruiter.

Compensation and benefits can also be confusing once you are considering a job opportunity.  Most companies have specific HR personnel that manage these areas specifically.  When you have questions on compensation or benefits and how they are determined or even the various benefits/perks your company offers, be sure to talk with an HR representative.

3. Employee Issues and Communication

Unfortunately, employee issues happen every once in a while.  Maybe an employee has an issue with a bad manager or an employee has an issue with an under-performing employee...  HR is available to help with employee issues when they arise.  HR can help equip you with strategy and communication to deal with conflicts or even act as a mediator to determine a resolution.

The great thing about HR is that they are able to help ensure the best interests of the company when resolving issues.  HR professionals will be able to determine the best way to handle situations while also being legally compliant.