Social Media Jobs in Edinburgh - How to Get a Foot in the Agency Door


You might remember we were hiring for a Social Media Executive. We were surprised and pretty humbled by the quality of the candidates and so the competition for the role was pretty fierce.

We whittled our candidates down, taking the time to read every CV that came in, then a couple days worth of interviews and tasks and eventually came out with one successful candidate.

Speculative applications come in frequently, and I’ve been asked a few times, “how do I get a start agency-side?” So I thought it would be a good idea to share some insight on how I got started, and more generally how to get a job in social/digital,which can be super competitive.

Be Thorough

  • Who am I emailing?
  • Does my CV have all the relevant info I need?
  • Can I actually do the job?
  • Am I a good fit?

These might seem simple, but the details can make you stand out. Remember that for the majority of companies, there is a human on the other end of the application.

“To whom it may concern” or, “Hi there Fino”? I know which email I’d rather read.

Leave the hiring person/team in no doubt that you are the person for this job. Examples are great for this too, not just, "I can do X, Y and Z".

And finally, please make it easy for us to contact you. One of our applications didn’t even leave a reply-to email address…

Be Likeable

It sounds a bit bleh this piece of advice, but it’s really important. We’re going to be spending lots of time together and we want to feel comfortable working alongside you. We also want you to feel comfortable; a mutual fit is always important. It makes a huge difference when you're spending 40 hours/week together that you are enjoying the people you're around.

Be Yourself

We say be likeable, but don’t try and change who you are! Own your quirks, your interests and your pet peeves. You’re you and we want to hire someone who feels at ease with expressing that. Don’t shy away from your real personality because you think it might help you get a job.  You'll begin to resent the job and that's never a good place to be.

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How happy do these people look? Not very.

Be Bright

And not just because our agency is called Sunshine. When I say bright, I don't mean bubbly and happy (although that's preferable to being miserable...), I mean switched on.

If you're working across multiple clients, you'll find that sometimes having a conversation about one client could spark ideas for another, or even potential new business. Having that perceptive skill is so valuable.

Be Willing

To learn. To get stuck in. To provide ideas. To speak up. To take on any work you can.

We said in our job ad that we don’t expect people to be the finished article, nor do we want you to think you are. I can't tell you enough how strongly I feel about that. Constantly evolving and learning is an unwritten part of the job description when you work in social media and digital marketing given the very nature of the industry.

Whether that’s just starting to learn how to design, or edit video, or write better copy, or how to more cleverly target audiences on ad platforms - as a social media manager you might need to do 10 different jobs rolled into one day. You can always be better.

And Yes, Be Good.

If you’re starting out, this can be sometimes hard to show, but it’s really about how you put yourself forward. Think of clever ways to attract people’s attention. Want to work for a specific company? Send an email to the guy/girl who has your ideal job, ask them if you can pick their brains over a coffee. Create a social media campaign around getting yourself an internship or a job. Spend £15 on LinkedIn ads targeted at the people you want to speak to. Attend any events you can. Think of yourself as the brand.

Personal anecdote time. With not a lot of success when I was searching for internships whilst at uni, I created my own website. It wasn't great, it certainly wasn't perfect, but it worked. Global tech companies and agencies alike started to take more notice. It doesn't need to be perfect, but showing effort goes a long way.

Passion is underrated, and skills can be overrated. Show you’re enthusiastic, interested, interesting, and ready to learn, and you’ll find a job in no time.