Write The Cover Letter For That Job In Social Media: How To Tips From A Regular Resume Screener

See this post in its original format on Girls in Tech.

So, you’re looking for a social media job. You want to be a content coordinator, a social media marketer, an editorial executive, whatever. You’ve polished up your resume, rounded up your references and picked up the perfect pair of interview shoes. You email every one of the social networking jobs on the web. And then you wait. And wait. And wait. And meanwhile, I’m sitting at my desk, sifting through resumes and wondering why we can’t find anyone halfway decent for social media openings at our company.

So why aren’t you interviewing with me? Well, assuming you’re a qualified candidate, then the problem is probably your cover letter.

You see, your cover letter is a lot more than a simple intro for your resume and references. It’s a first impression of your qualifications. And, in many cases, it’s the only impression that busy person on the other side of the screen is going to get before they decide to dismiss you completely.

So, how do compose a killer cover letter? Simple. Just follow the three P’s. Personality, profiles and proofreading.

Personality is probably the trickiest of the trifecta. Social media certainly ain’t a 9-5 gig, so when I’m screening resumes, I’m always aware that I’ll probably end up spending more time with the person we pick than I do with my friends and family combined. A little personality in your cover letter is a great barometer for me when making those decisions. But, show too much personality, and you might come across as unprofessional. So, I’ll gladly read colloquialisms, creativity and even the occasional quip. Emoticons and excessive exclamation on the other hand will probably get a less positive response.  And don’t forget, one person’s treasured triple-exclamation-point sign off might just be another one’s personal pet peeve. (Hint, hint).

If you’re applying for a job in social media, the profiles part should be the easiest part of this equation. Just make sure you include links to all of your social media sites. And you might as well include the personal and professional. Don’t think I’m not gonna google it if you don’t. When we’re hiring for a heavy social media job, we want to see people with a presence on the social web. So,I’m looking at your ratio of Twitter followers to followers, your number of tweets, your social aggregator accounts, your blog, your boyfriend’s blog — whatever I can find to prove that you know your way around the web. You don’t need to have your fingers in every profile pie, but you should have some background in this whole social networking scene. If you don’t, then you better have a backup plan for proving to me that you’re the person for the post.

Last, but not least, make sure you proofread. If I had a nickel for every typo, grammar gaffe, misused word or spelling mistake I’ve seen in cover letters over the past year, I could probably afford to just fund the invention of a robot who would cover all of our open job posts, so I’d never again have to stare in disbelief at the cover letter of a college graduate who can’t tell the difference between ‘their’ and ‘there.’ Seriously, I can’t stress the importance of proofreading your cover letters enough. This is also true for emails sent from mobile devices. If it’s the first piece of writing I’m going to be seeing from you, it’s worth a few extra minutes of meticulousness.

At the end of the day, crafting a killer cover letter comes down to this: you could have the best background of anybody on the web, but if your cover letter is awful, it’s like hiding a gorgeous gown under a crappy coat. What’s the point? If you’re going to invest in the gown, make sure you spend some time on the outerwear too. After all, it’s the first layer of your first impression. And, the first step towards scoring a chance to show off those interview shoes.


Dating: iPhone Applications for Food Will Save Your Butt (even if you don’t exactly have an iPhone)

See this post in its original format on Speed LA Dating.

So, you’re tooling around town with that special someone when suddenly, hunger strikes. You need food, and you need it fast. You also need it to work for your low-carb, low-fat, macrobiotic vegan diet. Or however it is you happen to be eating this month. Hey, nobody’s judging. It is LA after all.

Fortunately, in this land of Mozza and Matsuhisa, Oki Dog and Kogi BBQ, there are as many options for satisfying your stomach as there are surgeries for stapling it up afterward. Which begs the question – when you’re standing on the sidewalk in a strange part of the city, trying to impress your date with that perfect palate pleasing pick, how do you figure out which restaurant is the right one?

Lucky for you, there just so happens to be an app for that — and no, I’m not just talking about the drool-worthy biscuits at Animal on Fairfax. I’m talking about the kind of app that accessorizes your phone and makes your life a whole lot easier in the process. And, in fact, there are multiple applications that can turn your favorite iPhone, iPod, Droid, Hero, Blackberry, Palm or carrier pigeon into your very own, personalized Zagat Guide. Okay, so you’re probably not going to find an app for your favorite carrier pigeon. But, I guarantee you, any of these apps will help you find a place that’ll serve that sucker up on a silver platter.

Everyone knows about Yelp. Even my mother – who thinks Twitter is something you do when you’re stifling laughter – knows about Yelp. But, did you know that Yelp has a secret, special feature? It’s what’s called an “Easter egg” in the web business, and basically, it turns your iPhone 3GS into a 3D experience. Using technology known as augmented reality, the Yelp app will literally layer Yelp’s listings over the real, live world. So you can literally see what’s near you, and what other people think of the place — sort of like google street view for your cell phone. Don’t have an iPhone? Don’t worry. The Layar app will do the same 3D thing with even more features — you can set favorites, see stories about what you’re looking at and more. And, it works on any Android phone, as well as on the iPhone.

Augmented reality is awesome and all, but what if you just want to find a place that fits your picky preferences? Enter UrbanSpoon. This fun little app lets you set up a search by location, cuisine and cost. You can also set separate filters like popularity, no chains, distance, etc. Or, for a really fun experience, just turn it on, and shake it up. It makes a sound like a slot machine and serves up a random mix of results — perfect for picking out an appetizing adventure. You can get it for the iPhone and Blackberry, and you can also get it on any phone via text.

So, you’ve shaken your phone, seen the wonderful world of augmented reality and finally picked the perfect place to take your date. Now what? Well, if you’re smart, you’ll bust out yourOpenTable app and start setting up some reservations. Don’t have an app-friendly phone? No problem. Just hit the mobile version