If you’ve been following along you know we’ve started a new series at 24 Seven called Career Over Coffee, where we will interview various professionals on topics ranging from career advice to what to look for in a potential hire. You can submit any questions in the comments and we’ll be sure to answer them in the next Career Over Coffee.
This week we chatted with Dan Chizzoniti who is the blogger behind Real Guys Wear Ties about networking, cover letters, and his career mentors.
Q: Briefly describe your background.
I currently work for an agency within their social media team. My job is to give life to brands through social media. I love being able to innovate unique strategies that help set a brand apart.
I kind of stumbled into my career in social media. Out of college is was hard to find a job because of the recession. Since I had a knack for social media, I began pursuing internships that eventually landed me a job. Now being years into my career, I’m so glad life took me down this path. I love what I do.
I’m originally from LI, studied at Boston University and currently reside in NYC.
Q: How has networking helped build your career?
They say it’s all about who you know. Part of that is true, but it’s a combination of knowing the right people and having the right talent to succeed. I am fortunate to have met the right people who have been able to mentor me. But, it’s up to me to solidify my future. Knowing people will only get you so far.
Q: What are the key elements of a cover letter that will land you the job?
Show your personality. Yes, you want to show the facts about what you have done, but this is a short glimpse into who you are. Don’t be afraid to stand out. I like to throw some humor into my cover letter. If the company cannot handle it, then the place isn’t a fit for me to begin with.
Q: What is your advice for someone looking to break into a creative field with no prior work experience?
If you don’t have the experience, you can create the experience. For example, create your own strategy for a brand you aspire to work for. Show them you have the creativity, the drive and the knowledge to do the job. Once you have this, you can work alongside a recruiter like 24 Seven to showcase your talent to potential employers.
Do you have a business/career mentor and how has he/she helped you on your career path?
I don’t think I can pinpoint one person, but there have been many who have helped me learn and grow along the way. I’m not afraid to ask for advice and it’s the best way to move forward in your career. Always be eager to learn and do because that will ultimately get you far.