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by Alexis Grant
For job seekers who tweet, tag, and text, there's something to "like" about this mostly dreary job market: a rise in social media jobs.
Three times as many jobs with "social media" in the title were indexed in November by
Indeed.com, a search engine for jobs, compared with a year ago. That's nearly 1,220 job openings last month compared with nearly 400 in
"It's becoming a vital part of what companies do, and that's good news for job seekers in a market that -- admit it -- you know is brutal," says
Jobs with "social media" in the description have also tripled over the last year, reaching more than 14,000 in November compared with about 4,300 during the same month in 2009, Indeed reports. That increase in unique jobs -- openings posted on several job boards count only once -- shows the demand for these skills isn't isolated to jobs that focus on social media.
"It's not tied necessarily to one particular industry," says
The most common job titles that include "social media" on Indeed.com are Social Media Strategist, Social Media Manager, and Social Media Specialist. But titles and responsibilities for social media jobs run the gamut. "[They range] from community managers to digital strategists who help with the company's overall social media campaign to developers, the people who build the campaigns,
The number of job listings on Mashable has increased to about 250 per month, up from about 20 each month at this time last year, Ostrow says. While some of that increase is due to the increase in popularity of Mashable itself, the growth of the job board, which the company launched in late 2008, has outpaced the site. That's impressive, considering the nation's unemployment rate is nearly 10 percent.
Even job seekers who aren't looking for social media positions sometimes end up in those jobs because there are more openings than in other industries, says
The pay for social media positions varies widely. Recent college graduates tend to make between
Since social media is a young industry, there aren't many professionals with years of experience. "This is a terrific opportunity for new grads because they're coming into the workforce for the first time in decades understanding more about something than the people that are hiring them," says
But just because you use
Some people who follow developments in social media expect salaries to increase as demand continues to rise. Others predict the opposite, that eventually most employees will be expected to use social media, so the position will fold into more traditional jobs. Already social media has changed the face of public relations, with communications and marketing specialists increasingly using online tools to spread the word about their clients' services.
How can you get ahead of fellow job seekers when it comes to landing these positions? Here are a few tips:
Build a quality following on popular social networking sites. Not only does it demonstrate your ability to use the tools, a company may also see your following as a base for their own network, says Mashable's Ostrow. "You're providing the employer an asset beyond yourself. You're providing an audience you're bringing with you."
Include social media skills on your resume. Don't make the mistake of thinking everyone knows how to use Twitter strategically or create a video that goes viral on YouTube. Even if you're not looking for a position specifically in social media, those skills will make you more marketable. As
Showcase your skills beyond building an online following. Creativity plays a big role in social media, so look for outside-the-box ways to prove your value. Create a video resume and upload it to YouTube. Start a Twitter chat around one of your professional interests. Or use
Take on social media responsibilities at your current job or volunteer to gain experience.
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