Main image of article Getting a Job at Sprout Social

Chicago-based Sprout Social will add about 25 employees at its headquarters by year’s end. The three-year-old social media management platform provider has about 85 employees now, and plans to bring on more engineers and sales reps before January. Sprout Social will also add more engineers and designers during 2014, taking the headcount up to about 200. =Sprout Social LogoIn an interview with Dice News, Vice President of Operations Rachael Pfenning said it’s the expanding market that’s spurring the growth. The company’s paid customer base recently topped 10,000 and includes big names like McDonald’s and Pepsi, as well as global agencies and small businesses. About 30 percent of Sprout Social’s clients are outside the U.S. While Pfenning wouldn’t go into specifics about pay, she did say that Sprout Social’s salaries are “very competitive.” In May, Sprout Social rolled out Team Report, a feature that allows companies to measure the activity of their front-line social media managers. Pfenning said the company’s “product roadmap is loaded for the foreseeable future,” adding that they’re looking for engineers who can “help us keep on top of those ever-evolving plans.”

How to Stand Out

If you’re looking to get hired, Pfenning says to emphasize problem-solving and live coding experience. “Your resume can state one thing, but we need to see in a live demo, the coding process. That can uncover much more.” Expect to be up against talented competition, she adds. Chicago is a big draw, so competition can be strong. Also, make sure you’ve got a strong cover letter. It needn’t be a traditional one, Pfenning says, but make sure it’s clear and to the point. Incorporate a paragraph that tells the company how you’re different from the masses, and how you can fill the company’s current needs. “We want to know how you’re going to help us,” she sums up.

How to Read a Job Posting

Sprout Social’s most current jobs are on their Facebook page and website. But Sprout Social isn’t only interested in “reactive” job seekers, as Pfenning describes them. It’s much more effective to connect with the company and a desired position through social media.

Advice for Seasoned Professionals

For seasoned professionals looking for a position at Sprout Social, Pfenning recommends being persistent. The company encourages current employees to reach out and find new hires, so having connections is a very good way to get noticed.

Advice for Recent Graduates

The company has its own recruiter who meets recent graduates at local job fairs and universities. But social media and online are still the best ways to get a sense of the current available jobs. Pfenning admits that Sprout Social has had more luck with experienced hires, not those fresh out of school. “Our successes have been more with people with at least a few years of experience in engineering and operations,” she says. The largest teams are in Engineering and Sales, where recent grads aren’t necessarily in demand.