What We Regarded For In Content material Author Purposes


We’re in a really lucky place at Buffer the place we all the time have a tremendous group of people that apply once we put up job openings. Consequently, we’ve to make some fairly troublesome choices. Not too long ago at Buffer, we’ve employed for a number of positions and had lots of of purposes for every:

  • For Workers Product Supervisor, 657 folks utilized
  • For Senior Engineering Supervisor, 564 folks utilized
  • For Advertising UX Designer, 516 folks utilized

Primarily based on these outcomes and previous expertise, we thought there was a possible that we’d see a excessive variety of candidates for the Content material Author position. Plus, we anticipated that a lot of our wonderful clients and neighborhood members could be enthusiastic about and certified for a job like this, and that’s exactly what occurred.

We initially needed to depart the Content material Author position open for 2 weeks to obtain purposes however determined to shorten it to at least one week due to the unbelievable response we obtained. With the intention to be clear about this, we put the brand new deadline proper on the job posting a couple of days prematurely.

Ultimately, we had 1,518 candidates for the Content material Author position in a single week.

This was each thrilling and a bit overwhelming. We’re a reasonably small staff at Buffer — at present 79 folks — and in our case, we had 4 folks reviewing 1,518 purposes, so it was a giant process.

We managed to answer to everybody inside three weeks of closing the appliance, however that was nonetheless a reasonably lengthy timeline so far as this stuff go.

Making use of for a job might be time-consuming, and we had an in depth utility course of. It’s comprehensible that after receiving a rejection e mail, some candidates had been eager for suggestions to study why they weren’t moved ahead. We will’t reply to everybody at that quantity of purposes — although I want we may!

As a substitute, we’ve put collectively this weblog put up with extra about our utility course of for the Content material Author position at Buffer and a few normal themes we seen in purposes we had been rejecting. These may not apply to everybody, however we hope this may be useful to some people who need readability on this course of, or who’re making use of for future roles at Buffer or elsewhere.

Concerning the utility

Earlier than we share the key causes we didn’t transfer purposes ahead, right here is a bit more concerning the utility we had candidates fill out. That is the principle piece of knowledge that our staff reviewed alongside each applicant’s resume.

Along with asking the applicant for his or her title, pronouns, portfolio or web site, and resume, the appliance touched on three areas: expertise, data of Buffer and our area, and alignment with Buffer values.

How we assessed expertise

Listed below are the 4 utility questions we needed to assess expertise stage:

  1. Please choose all areas you may have advertising expertise with: (You aren’t required to have abilities in every of those areas, that is simply an evaluation.) Choices had been: Content material writing, Content material advertising, Social media advertising, Video advertising, Video creation, Graphic design, Analysis, Information evaluation, Conducting interviews, E-mail advertising, Audio modifying, Podcast internet hosting.
  2. Please share three URLs for articles that you just’re happy with:
  3. Write a brief pitch for the form of piece you’d need to write for the Buffer weblog (buffer.com/sources): (Max 250 characters)
  4. Why did you pitch that subject? (Max 250 characters)

You’ll discover that we requested for a most of 250 characters right here — that’s primarily as a result of we needed to check candidates on whether or not they may condense their concepts, which is a vital talent for this place, and secondly as a result of it’s simpler for our staff to assessment shorter inputs.

How we assessed data of Buffer and our area

We had 5 questions that had been extra targeted on Buffer, our trade, and data of the area we cowl on our Content material staff:

  1. Have you ever used Buffer earlier than? (Y/N)
  2. If sure, what did you utilize Buffer for? Why was Buffer the instrument you chose? (Max 250 characters)
  3. What’s your method to rising your private model? (Max 250 characters)
  4. What’s a latest development in advertising or social media that you just’re a fan of? (Max 250 characters)
  5. How would you incorporate that development into your content material creation course of at Buffer? (Max 250 characters)

How we assessed values

Values are a giant focus for us at Buffer, and we’ve had a wide range of methods we assess values through the years. This time, we requested three high-level questions that might give us a good thought of whether or not an applicant was a match for Buffer’s values and distant tradition. Nevertheless, a values evaluation continues all through the interview rounds.

The three questions we requested had been:

  1. How do you method speaking successfully in a distant atmosphere? (It’s okay to speak about instruments, however please suppose past that, too.)
  2. Please share your method to selling an inclusive work atmosphere, and embody an instance out of your skilled previous.
  3. Please share a time if you realized you may be fallacious about one thing. What was the result? What did you study? (Please use knowledgeable instance, if in case you have one.)

Themes we noticed in purposes we didn’t transfer ahead

Just a few larger themes got here by way of with purposes that we didn’t transfer ahead that transcend not demonstrating the abilities we had been on the lookout for, or being misaligned with Buffer’s values. This record gained’t cowl all the causes an utility might need been rejected, however it’s a broad reflection of what we had been seeing.

1. The applying was incomplete

A number of purposes had been incomplete or the place an applicant selected to skip a query, typically even writing, “I don’t have a solution for this.” The entire purposes we moved ahead had been accomplished fully.

2. The applying didn’t comply with the rules

A number of questions had a 250-character restrict. We didn’t instantly reject folks over the restrict, as a result of some folks misinterpret it as 250 phrases and saved to that all through their utility. Nevertheless, many purposes wrote over a number of hundred phrases, and people didn’t get moved ahead.

3. The pitch wasn’t particular sufficient or was not tailor-made to our weblog

We requested each applicant to pitch a subject for the Buffer weblog, and we put a variety of weight behind this query as a result of arising with concepts for weblog posts and sharing them with the remainder of the content material staff is a giant a part of this position.

Quite a lot of purposes didn’t pitch a selected subject or pitched one thing unrelated to some other content material on our weblog. We seemed for pitches crafted with our present content material in thoughts and for strong explanations of these pitches.

4. The writing samples weren’t related to the position

The primary bullet level underneath the necessities for this position was that we had been on the lookout for folks with expertise writing about social media, advertising, and enterprise subjects. We learn every utility first, however finally when the writing samples weren’t related to these subjects, we might not transfer an utility ahead.

5. The applying was clearly written by AI

Extra usually than I anticipated, we’d encounter a block of textual content written very unnaturally. We used a instrument known as Copyleaks to verify whether or not or not it was written by AI. After all, no AI detector is 100% correct however there are broad patterns we seen amongst content material flagged as written by AI. Ultimately, we had a bigger variety of purposes written by AI than I anticipated. We’re all for utilizing AI in our content material creation course of, however we by no means publish or submit ultimate variations fully written by AI.

6. The particular person was very unfamiliar with Buffer

We ask whether or not or not somebody has used Buffer earlier than as a result of for Advertising roles particularly, we’ve discovered a considerable profit to working with individuals who already perceive Buffer’s product and goal buyer.

We didn’t instantly reject folks in the event that they hadn’t used Buffer, however it was an enormous profit to any utility to have used Buffer earlier than and researched how we function at Buffer earlier than making use of. In lots of purposes, it will be clear the particular person wasn’t acquainted with Buffer, and we didn’t transfer these purposes  ahead.

It’s doable you utilized for the position, and also you’re studying this understanding that none of those apply to you — in that case, I need to say I’m grateful for the time you spent making use of and that you’d think about Buffer as a spot to work.

Personally, I utilized to Buffer thrice earlier than I joined the staff, and that has been the expertise of quite a lot of others on the staff as nicely. You’re very welcome to use to Buffer sooner or later if Buffer nonetheless calls to you as a spot to work, and within the meantime, we’d be thrilled to have you ever as a member of our neighborhood.

We’re wishing everybody who utilized all the most effective with what’s subsequent for them and, once more, are so grateful for the overwhelmingly constructive response we obtained to this job opening. ❤️



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