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Handbook

Our guides for employers and candidates on how to navigate the entry-level job market.

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Handbook
Contents

Content & Social Media Roles

How to hire a graduate for a role in Content and Social Media

Candidate profile:

A dynamic and creative individual who can think quickly, articulate themselves under pressure and enjoys working as part of a team. They should also be able to demonstrate a clear interest in digital media and be tech-savvy. Has strong skills in communication and developing interpersonal relationships.

A degree in Marketing or Social Media can be useful but is by no means essential. Candidates with essay based humanities or languages degrees are often best suited to this kind of role since they are likely to possess strong writing and presentation abilities.

Top skills:

  1. Written & verbal communication: this is key to producing high quality content.
  2. Attention to detail: sending out posts or articles with mistakes can make a company look unprofessional!
  3. Customer service: understanding the needs of a customer allows the content and social media team to tailor their work.
  4. Knowledge of social media platforms: if an employee is going to be using social media they need a strong understanding of it.
  5. Proof-reading & editing: a video littered with errors will look bad for the company, and someone who can pick up on them is very valuable.

Non-office experience:

  • Any kind of activity that demonstrates the key skills required for this role – this could include editing a university magazine, working with a university radio station or maintaining a blog in their free time.
  • If they have had any writing experience, that’s definitely beneficial and it may be very worthwhile to have a look at their writing style before the interview- perhaps even ask for some of their writing a couple of days in advance!
  • Any experience in customer service roles, such as waitressing, front-of-house work etc. can be helpful in improving interpersonal relationships and development in customer service.

Office experience:

  • Any internship in which they had to assist with running a company’s social media channels or writing content for them would be a big bonus, but is not essential. Since nearly all graduates have a strong awareness of social media, most of the time they’ll be able to learn on the job quickly – interest and willingness to learn trumps experience here!

Green flag

  • Any listed hobbies or extracurricular activities that have broadened the candidate’s horizons and show they are curious and want to learn. This could include learning a language or musical instrument, or volunteer work.
  • Someone with fantastic communicative skills, both written and verbal.
  • Someone who has an active presence on social media and has a knowledge of different social media platforms.

Red flag

  • A badly written CV and cover letter. For this kind of role you need people who can articulate themselves – both verbally and in writing. Any written mistakes demonstrate poor attention to detail.
  • Writing style matters here too – an application that has poor writing style may not be the right candidate for the job!
  • Someone who lacks confidence and the ability to articulate themselves effectively.

Pre-Interview:

  • For a Content & Social Media role it can be useful to request some sample tweets or a blog post to gauge the candidate’s use of appropriate tone and their writing ability. This will test their general understanding of social media best of all and whether they know how to speak to a specific target audience.

You can take a look at a own candidate’s social media channels, however this is not necessarily a reliable indicator of their ability to promote a brand – some people don’t promote themselves online!

At Interview:

  • Ask the candidate to give an example of when they have driven interest in something and got people onboard to join something e.g. a club or society at university. This will give you an idea of their ability to engage with people and successfully market a product.
  • To test their interest in social and digital media in general, you could ask the candidate questions such as which blogs they follow, which influencers they’re aware of, what their favourite channel is, what their favourite brand is etc.
  • You could ask someone what social media platform they think is the most effective and why.
  • You could also ask the candidate to evaluate your company’s current presence on social media/content/marketing scheme.

Employee’s Expectations

At entry level as a junior social media manager annual salaries average at around £18,000. Social media management can be taken in many directions as it is a relatively new role, so outline exactly what you expect of the candidate whether that is managing a specific area of social media or marketing such as Content Management or SEO (Search engine optimisation) Management. A candidate may also expect to gain experience in other digital communication capacities.

 

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