Instagram, the long-time iPhone-only app, recently came out with an Android version and then got acquired by Facebook. Plenty of people got all pissy about it because it might “ruin it.” Hopefully it will remain the amazing app it is. For now I see it as the more the merrier.
Instagram is pretty much my favorite app. Now I enjoy a good game of Draw Something and Words with Friends and I won’t deny my admiration of the Starbucks app in developing customer loyalty. But despite all that, Instagram is my favorite and all awesome people should be using it. Why? Well let me tell you five reasons you should download Instagram now.
1. It’s like a photo diary of your daily life.
Now be wary, I might get a little deep and sappy here. As someone who lives and plans life from big moment to big moment, Instagram makes me appreciate the smaller moments of my everyday. From time to time I look at my photo feed as a whole and appreciate the beauty of each day from the sunrise on that early morning drive, to my pup watching snowflakes fall, to random joy I find at the office. “Just another cup of coffee” or “that bouquet that’s going to wilt tomorrow” becomes a little artistic pick me up that lives beyond that moment in my memory. When we’re not looking, time flies, and I don’t want to look back at days, months or years of my life and forget the things that shape me, however small. Okay, cheesiness done.
2. It makes your phone photos looks pretty sweet.
They always say the best camera is the one you have with you. Let’s face it, in this day and age I don’t carry my beautiful Nikon SLR (appropriately named “the baby”) with me everywhere, but you will rarely see me without my iPhone. Even when I don’t have service. I know, I’m “that girl.” That all being said, my phone takes pretty decent photos and is there to click away at a moment’s notice. With Instagram you can then add filters, enhancements, and/or the appearance of shallow depth of field (that blurry back or foreground that makes it look like it was taken with an SLR). Then instantly share with your other social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, email, Posterous) or just with your Instagrammers.
4. It’s a creative outlet.
When I was little I used to lay awake at night, not able to sleep because I had creativity that I needed to let out. I’m always looking for a way to do, share, and create. Whether for a little mid-day therapy or just because I saw something amazing, Instagram lets the creativity out. And it’s #instagood.
4. You can connect with the world through images.
Now the three reasons I named before are reason enough, but here’s where Instagram gets really cool in my opinion — the community. As humans, images are one of the things we can connect to across cultures, languages and other barriers. Photos evoke emotions and while I may live an entirely different life as someone across the country or globe, we may both react the same to a photo. You can choose to set your photos to private and share with a small group of approved friends, but I feel the experience is most rewarding when shared with others in the community. I may have never had a conversation with someone I follow, but I feel through their images I get to know them. They get a peek into the beauty of my life and I get a peek into theirs.
5. You can connect your images through hashtags.
A few weeks ago my friends called me a “hashtag whore.” I cried a little bit. And then I told them why #hashtagsareawesome! Hashtags help you connect with others in the Instagram community. Similar to Twitter, Flickr, etc, they categorize your photos so you can connect like images such as #travel, #breakfast, #iphoneography, or #dogsofinstagram. There are also photo challenges that use these tags to share with others that participate. Basically it’s a good way to start sharing with a wider range of people. If you want to check out some of the most popular hashtags on Instagram, you can see the top 100 here.
So to sum it up, Instagram is fun and also free. Download it and then follow me @amfairbanks. Let’s be friends (pretty please with a cherry on top)! What’s your Instahandle?
I’m in the process of hiring and it has me thinking about how grateful I am for my training in applying for jobs. In marketing there is some extra pressure in this area. If you can’t properly advertise yourself, what makes me trust you can market our company? If you don’t take the time to strategize details in your presentation or don’t catch my attention instantly, why I would take time out of my day to call you in for an interview?
I promise I’m not a bitch. In fact, if anything I’m the opposite, always giving people the benefit of the doubt. However, when I have limited time, plenty on my plate (without the extra help I’m hiring for), and high expectations for candidates, you’re going to need to go out of your way to impress me. Always remember, that’s your job. In marketing you are trained to target your audience. Assume your audience (your prospective boss/HR/hiring manager) is in my same boat.
There are a few key things you need to do to landing that dream job you’re applying for. Fail in these areas and your resume will likely go straight to the “no” pile.
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This goes for any job, but when you’re in marketing, you have to show you know how to spell and punctuate, while showing your flair. Read it, read it again, read it out loud and make your friends critique it. If you have typos, you’ll make it really easy to put in the “don’t bother calling” pile.
2. Customize your resume and cover letter.
Again, this goes for any job, but please, please, please write a personalized cover letter for the company you’re applying for. Possibly even a custom resume. When I applied for my current job I even went so far as to rearrange my online portfolio to best demonstrate the skills I needed for this particular position. Your application materials may look vastly different for the marketing job at that bank than they do for an ecommerce company, and rightly so. Write your resume inverted pyramid style. Don’t know what that means? You may want to consider a different career.
3. Make your resume scannable.
Marketing professionals know people don’t take the time to read every word anymore. Because of that, your job materials need to be well-formatted and easy to scan at a quick glance. You don’t like reading big blocks of text. Neither do hiring managers. Intrigue them with headings, bold text, and color that is fun and easy to read.
4. Include visuals.
Photos, videos and *things the look shiny and pretty* are clicked, read, and shared. Prepare an online portfolio, include photos or videos and make your headings have pops of color. Show your professional personality and make them excited to meet you. If the paper copy of yourself doesn’t get them excited, you may never get the chance to shine in that interview.
5. Walk the talk.
Looking for a job in social media marketing? Include your Twitter handle, Youtube channel, Facebook page, Google+ ID, etc. Even doing these things on a personal level shows valuable skills that can be converted into commercial use.
6. Keep it short and sweet.
In school I was told my resume should be one page, at least until I’m so
damn important that my accomplishments simply can’t fit on one. Condense your resume to your skills, experience and qualifications that matter most for the job you’re applying for. No need to elaborate on everything — special details should be highlighted in your cover letter and more can be shared in your interview. Remember how you wrote it inverted pyramid style? Now if it doesn’t fit, it can likely be deleted.
7. Make it about the company.
“Wait, isn’t my resume supposed to be about me?” Well, yes. When I was in my last semester of college and freaking out about finding a job, I read this book called “What Color is My Parachute?” It helped me so much in understanding the way I should pursue looking and applying for jobs. Go back to your lessons in Marketing 101. Show your audience (the company) that you know them, why they will love this product (you) and how it will benefit their lives (the company’s success).
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If you can do all that, you are armed and ready to put your best foot forward and make it to the interview.