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Getting a social media internship – advice from the frontline

We’ve had several great interns join us this year. We offer six month internships, paying the London living wage, and with all the other great stuff we think this makes us a very different, and better, place to work.

The ‘issues’ around ‘millennials’ (awful term) and the workplace are repeated ad nauseam. We don’t see those issues. Perhaps that’s because we’re relatively young collectively, or because we work very differently, or maybe because that’s all a media invention…

So, in practice, what can we advise people looking for social media internships with us, or indeed anyone else in this space?

Well, first, some numbers: our most recent internship we opened on LinkedIn. We had 617 applications. Of those, we offered initial interviews to 12. Big difference, right? Realistically, half those applicants weren’t remotely suitable, whether through lack of right to work in the UK, or other disqualifying criteria. So, 1 in 25 of theoretically possible candidates got interviewed.

What are the lessons from their experience of applying for social media internships?

Top tips for interns trying to get jobs in social media:

  1. Sell why you’re right for the job, not what the job is going to do for you

  2. Explain yourself – beyond certain factual details on a CV: we need to understand you. The seemingly same school, university and extracurricular ‘achievements’ are very different, in practice, from one person to the next

  3. Explain your personal story and give examples of your past work, whether that be academic or otherwise. Nothing is irrelevant

  4. Have some examples of brands from personal experience and/or social creators who you admire and/or think should do better

  5. Have read some of our stuff!

  6. Want it – really want it. This matters a lot

  7. Be proactive: you’ll be amazed at how much you stand out if you do even small things…

What we look for:

  1. Evidence of commitment: either academic or practical. We want to know you know how to try at something

  2. Excellence at something. It doesn’t matter what, but you’ve pursued excellence

  3. Passion for the internet – you can’t fake it, we can’t teach it. It’s at the heart of the job

  4. Humility and confidence – a difficult balance. You’re not amazing. You might be in future, and we want you to believe you might be. But to know that you’re not yet

We’ve also noticed that, when it comes to weaknesses, “I’m a perfectionist” seems to have been knocked off the top spot for “doing everything myself and not asking for help’. This question is more about seeing how self-analytical you are so have a bit more of a think if you’re tempted to go for either….


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