“I work for a large digital advertising agency. My job entails buying and planning media for my clients for their advertising campaigns. The clients tell us what the budget is for a campaign and my job is to determine the strategy for the campaign and figure out how best to spend the campaign dollars. Much of what I do is negotiating deals with publishers who will run our advertising and creating a holistic campaign with the budget that will give us the most bang for your buck.
Currently I work on the Nike account, so anytime you see a Nike commercial or anything Nike-advertising related, my team and I probably had something to do with it. In the past I’ve worked on Microsoft, Holland America Line Cruises, and Hawaiian Airlines.
Social media is still a very new realm, and everyone is trying to figure out the best way to use it responsibly.
Acceptable vs. unacceptable is a constant topic of discussion, and in my field it’s even more so because so much of what we do in advertising these days is related to social media.
We see so many poor advertising examples of social media that I can’t even begin to list them all. In terms of someone misusing social media so much that it would influence my decision to hire them I think there have been many examples of tweets and Facebook statuses that make you question what someone was thinking.
I had an old colleague who during a meeting with one of our publishers posted a Facebook status saying how boring the meeting they were in was. She happened to be friends with one of the publishers who was in the meeting, and they saw the status and reported it to their boss, who reported it back to my colleague’s managers. She was fired the next day.
Another good example is the Olympic athlete who posted a very racist tweet about Africans on Twitter and was expelled from the games. I would never hire her [because of a racist tweet], regardless of her athletic accomplishments or academic successes. It calls into question a person’s judgment and ability to use discretion.
Companies … they will see one picture and form an instant opinion of you, before they’ve even met you. That can seriously damage your credibility and chances of landing the job you want. Look yourself up on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and see what the first thing that pops up is. If it’s not something you are comfortable with, then delete it and try again.
If your Twitter is generally full of positive quotes or inspiring comments, but the last thing you posted was an angry rant on one of the presidential candidates, that is the only thing people are going to see.
As for good examples, I work with two people who entered a contest to be on a TV show where they had to build up their social networks as much as possible in order to complete challenges and advance to the next round. Each of them won a car and $50,000. It was an impressive use of social media, and we are lucky that they work for us.”
Stephanie Jervey is a media planner for Razorfish, a large multinational advertising firm. In her spare time, she enjoys working out at her other job as a kickboxing instructor.
“Suits are essential to professional life. When buying a suit, know your measurements and find a good tailor. If your suits aren’t tailored, don’t bother wearing one. You just look sloppy and sad. Suit up at your local J.C. Penney or Dillards, then find a tailor.
Women, do not show up at a job interview wearing a little black dress. Wearing a little black dress is fun when you’re on a date, but it’s not acceptable in a job interview. For interviews, do research on the company for which you are interviewing so you can dress appropriately. For example, if I was interviewing for Microsoft, a suit and tie would be inappropriate. I’d wear a button down shirt and slacks.
However, the general rule: if you’re not sure what to wear, it’s always better to slightly overdress for the occasion than underdress. For great inspiration on what to wear to work, visit Calvin Klein’s Wear to Work section on their website and check out their outfits.”
Leo Lam is a fashion photographer, business manager, and classical operatic tenor. He was born in Hong Kong, educated in the U.K., and teaches electrical engineering in the U.S. Leo’s work has been featured in magazines and galleries in four continents. Leo’s full interview is available on our website. To view his work, see
“One good use of workplace social media that I’ve come across about was when someone was trying to apply for a creative director role.
This person figured out how Twitter would display the last 7 people following you to read out HIRE ME! That was ingenious to reach out to a big agency. Nothing otherwise in my direct contact have I seen something as good.
As for bad uses of social media… Recently I was reviewing some candidates for a position. When I did a social media search, two people in particular had rather interesting habits.
The first was one who wrote they love to boondogle: a.k.a. spend money and party on the company’s dime. We all love it, but it shouldn’t be your listed strength on Facebook.
Another person had an e-mail address listed as email@example.com. Are you serious? You really expect to get hired with that listed as your contact address on a professional social media website like LinkedIn?”
Syed Shariq Khalid Al-Hasan is a screening and operations director for Expedia, a national online travel services agency.
“It [appropriate social media behavior] really depends.
Whatever activities they participate in their personal life do not bother me as long as they are good at what they do.
I think that I would be cautious about hiring someone for a social media or PR position if they had built up a following for themselves around controversial topics (politics, etc).
There is a good chance that their [job candidates’]personal, online profiles will be in some way tied to their corporate [profiles] and as a big hiring company, we have to stay neutral.”
Gloria Yarovaya is an internal marketing manager at a software company based in Seattle. In her spare time, Gloria enjoys yoga and traveling. She speaks Russian, English, and some German.
Tim O’Connor, corporate and law firm recruiter, backpacks through Mexico.