Interview with Rene Thomas–Hootsuite’s newest intern!
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Rene Thomas, who was using his social media super powers to try to get a highly-coveted internship at Hootsuite. He was asking for my help. While I wasn’t able to really help him much, he still landed the internship, and I wanted to write about it, so that we can learn from his experience.
- I love HootSuite’s product and use it to manage and monitor all my social-accounts
- I can’t think of a better place to gain experience
- I’ve heard wonderful things about HootSuite’s company culture *this is very important to me*
- HootSuite University is up-to-date on the latest trends and practices regarding social-media marketing
- HootSuite is growing rapidly, meaning there’s potential to advance within the company
- If this doesn’t translate into an actual position, HootSuite has a great reputation and will add to my resume
RC: I assume you went through the regular application channels. Do you have any sense of how competitive it is to get an internship at Hootsuite?
RT: A company as large and influential as HootSuite can be very selective about who they hire. I noticed they didn’t post their internship position on the regular channels. I saw this as a sign that they were receiving so many applicants that they didn’t need to advertise the position.
Furthermore, HootSuite’s online application was fairly involved, leaving me with the impression that they have the luxury of being selective about who they employ.
RC: So you decided to “give yourself and edge” by being creative and using social media to market yourself. What was your plan?
RT: Essentially, I wanted to make myself as irresistible as possible. For me this meant:
- Letting them know I’m for real by launching a Twitter campaign with a custom Twitter-handle: @intern_rene
- Create entertaining content, designed to create buzz, and more importantly deliver my brand message.
- Get them talking about me within the company. I.E. Utilize all appropriate channels at my disposal; Twitter, blog articles, and personal recommendations.
- Climb! Continue to release entertaining content and keep people interested and excited
- Cross my fingers and pray that things go my way!
RC: When you met with Hootsuite, did they specifically mention aspects of your plan that caught their attention?
RT: HootSuite was interested in knowing how I came up with the idea to launch the campaign. They mentioned that they were impressed by my ambition and creativity. They spoke about how ambition, creativity and being a self-starter are qualities they are looking for in an employee.
RC: What advice would you have for other job-seekers?
RT: I find it helps to approach an employer the same way you would a marketing plan. Find out everything you can about the company and its values.
What are they wants, needs, and goals? What are the challenges they’re facing? Why are they looking to hire and what’s their ideal outcome?
Who are your competition and what are their strengths and weaknesses? How can you exploit their weaknesses and build on their strengths? What’s your value proposition, and how does it stack up against other hopefuls?
Essentially, try to be objective and put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Try to bury the insecurity and anxiety and focus on what they want.
Most importantly – TRY! I’m pretty sure a large-majority of people put in the bare-minimum requirement. This is terrible news for your potential employer, but incredible news for you. If you have great character and are hard-working, you’re laughing!
As an individual, you have something different and unique to offer an employer. Find it and sell it.
RC: Thanks, Rene! Congratulations on your internship, although I really would have loved to see you dressed up as an owl!!
How to connect with Rene: