When it comes to standing out to employers, Wolfgang Ruth has it all figured out. Instead of using standard methods such as LinkedIn or Handshake to find a summer internship, Ruth used the medium he knows best; Instagram.
“I direct messaged the managing editors on Instagram and introduced myself. I explained why I loved specific pieces they wrote and asked if I could find out more about their company,” explained Ruth. “You have to stand out. Be hungry for what you want.”
While this may not be the best avenue for everyone, it worked for Ruth because his Instagram doubles not only as a social outlet, but also as a personal branding tool for employers. By reaching out to the managing editors through this platform, Ruth gave the company quick and easy access to his creative portfolio.
Shortly after Ruth reached out via Instagram, he found himself traveling to New York City to start his editorial internships at PopSugar and Nylon. Once he was there, he found himself immersed in the industry. At Nylon, Ruth had the opportunity to interview and write features on American Horror Story star, Leslie Grossman, and well-known drag queen, Adore Delano. At PopSugar, Ruth focused on quick and trending news ranging from fashion to entertainment and celebrity stories.
Working at two different companies this summer gave Ruth experience writing different types of pieces. This helped him discover his true passion. Among many things, Ruth learned that you need to be present and pitch ideas. Don’t float by during your internship, make it known you want to be involved and don’t settle for anything but being the best.
“The most valuable thing I took away from my experiences was the power of networking. I took the time to get to know people and learn about their experiences. I made so many connections this summer and I learned that people will vouch for you,” said Ruth. “The most important thing is to make it known what you want and be strategic about it. Be humble.”