How Twitter Can Get You a Job

the-devil-wears-prada-funny-humor-feminiest-review-anna-wintour-shkA recent article in the New York Times discussed the skills necessary to help you get and keep an entry level media job. And unlike Andy, Anne Hathaway’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, entry levels jobs now demand more than just answering the phone, picking up dry cleaning and running to Starbucks. Increasingly, employers want and need assistants with social media skills. Yes, the Devil tweets about Prada.

And even outside of the magazine industry, growing numbers of all kinds of companies are looking for social media managers to handle communication and promotion through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest.  And some companies have stopped recruiting employees to handle social media. HR directors simply expect all new hires to have those skills. “We are seeing an increased demand for social savvy candidates across the business – from human resources to product to customer service,” noted Amy Crow in Quartz. She’s the communication director for, the popular jobs website.

So what are the must-have social media skills? Here’s a list of things to know and do:

1. Get comfortable with the important social media platforms–Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Seriously, this is a first, basic step.

2. Learn to use social media in an effective, professional way–not just posting a picture of your dinner on Facebook or tweeting what you’re doing this second. Instead, understand how social media can be a promotional tool, how to find information and sources, how to tell stories in words and pictures.

3. Make sure your own blogs, tweets, posts and so on, reflect your strengths and talents. And, of course, be careful that you’re looking and behaving appropriately.

4. Write well. Improve your writing and avoid typos and grammatical errors, even in a 140-character tweet.

5. Take clear, interesting photos. An out of focus, boring photograph won’t attract eyeballs to pinterest or insta.

6. Learn video storytelling. If you can shoot and edit videos on a camera or phone and edit them to post on youtube or vine, you’ll be all the more marketable.

6. Manage your time well. Being a social media maniac–even an effective one–can turn into a time suck.

7. And remember what your most important assets always are: being hardworking, reliable and open to learning.


Media, Fame and Celebrity in the Age of the Internet–Anyone?

Looking to pick up three MCA credits this summer? Sign up for “Media, Fame and Celebrity in the Age of the Internet,” a new course that will be offered Monday – Thursday during the month of June. Adjunct professor Ayana Byrd (shown here) will share her expertise and experience in what is sure to be an interesting, timely class. (It counts as a Journalism elective, too.) Here’s the scoop:

The Media, Fame and Celebrity in the Age of the Internet: MCA, Summer 2011, 3 credits

Lindsay Lohan. Brad and Angelina. Beyonce and Jay-Z. Lady Gaga. The Real Housewives.  You can find out anything and everything about these and other entertainment stars via E! Us Magazine,,, Twitter and many other media sources. Welcome to the world of celebrity journalism.

In this MCA class, Ayana Byrd—an author, journalist and pop culture critic—will offer a historical overview of popular culture in the media to the present.  The course will examine how journalists, publicists, celebrities—and now, thanks to blogs and phones that record videos, the public—document and shape popular culture. Through written assignments, in-class debates, ethics discussions and speaker presentations, the course will deconstruct the celebrity coverage of today, including how issues of class, race, gender and sexuality are celebrated and desecrated in the images we consume.