Social Media Manager Jillian Ryan '07 on how to advance in your career.

Jillian Ryan CroppedWe invited Adelphi alumni who are part of the University’s Alumni Mentoring Program to share their career insights with  Adelphi University Magazine readers.

In last week’s edition, the Adelphi Career Center’s Assistant Director of Experiential Learning Bernadine Waller, M.A. ’10, shared her favorite ways to get noticed by potential employers.

This week’s respondent is Jillian Ryan ’07, social media manager at Private Wifi, a firm “dedicated to protecting individual privacy and corporate data security online.”

What is the worst career advice you’ve received?
To settle. I was working for a small town local newspaper right out of college and writing boring advertorials. I hated it and I was making chump change, but it was the height of the recession that a lot of people told me to be happy I had a job and to settle for what I had. But my aspirations were higher than that so I kept pushing and eventually found a job as an editor at a family travel website.

Which is more important: making money or loving what you do?
It needs to be a balance between the two. When I was travel writing I LOVED it, but at the end of the day I couldn’t pay my bills with a free trip to Turks and Caicos (no matter how awesome it was). Now, I’m content with what I do (and missing all the travel), but the solid paycheck makes it worthwhile. (And now I can just pay for my own trips.)

How much of your day do you spend on social media and what is your favorite platform?
I am a social media manager by occupation so I am connected 24/7 for the companies I work for. Personally, I use social media to brand myself online, and I try to spend an hour or so a day. Facebook is my favorite.

What is the most important business trend of the decade?
Social media. I am obviously biased since it is what I do for a living, but these networks give big businesses and small the opportunity to connect and engage with their customers. It breathes life into a once one-way conversation, creating a dialogue between the masses and brands.

What is the most ridiculous management theory you’ve heard or have been asked to follow?
I did freelance, part-time work for a digital branding agency as an outreach specialist. I was happy to be hired, but not happy to learn that there was no management theory. The office was run by disorganized people with bad communication skills and unreleastic expectations of my time. Needless to say, it didn’t work out and I moved on rather quickly.

What has been your most embarrassing professional moment and what did you learn from it?
You spend 40 hours a week (plus) working. You make mistakes, say things you regret, lose your cool if things are stressful; no one is perfect. I have had moments like this, and luckily I cannot remember any of them specifically. The most important thing to do in the workplace after a flub is to put your best foot forward, move on and work hard.

What makes a résumé stand out?
I want to see things that make a candidate unique and show off a specialized skillset. Don’t just put that you worked at XYZ as an ABC, but spell out exactly what you did while you were there. Someone who lists their specific accomplishments and the goals they achieved is more likely to impress me.

What turns you off from a résumé?
Bad formatting and typos! You would be surprised how many people don’t think to proofread their résumé. Take an extra hour and make sure that it is perfect. I wouldn’t hire someone who spelled something wrong or doesn’t space bullets evenly.

What is the best way to pass time on a long commute?
Right now, I am lucky enough to work at home full-time, but when I do have to commute I recommend a good book, a delicious cup of coffee and a positive attitude.

Follow Jillian Ryan on Social Media:
Twitter: @Writing_Jillian

Previous entries in the Ask a Mentor Series:
Epic Records executive Scott Dimig ’06
ABC News Radio Vice President and General Manager Steve Jones ’89
Adelphi University Center for Career Development Assistant Director of Experiential Learning Bernadine Waller, M.A. ’10

Part of the Adelphi University Magazine Ask a Mentor Series

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