6. Social-Media Manager

    Photo: Rosaura Ochoa/Flickr

Facebook may be a good way to stay in contact with distant friends and relatives, but with more than 500 million users—half of whom log on daily—it’s also become one of the most powerful venues for companies to reach out to customers. Twitter and YouTube play similar roles, and two-thirds of small businesses now use social media for marketing, according to a recent study. Larger companies, including outdoor-industry stalwarts Patagonia and REI, have hired social-media teams to do every­thing from post videos and sales promotions to dream up interactive contests.

ESSENTIAL SKILLS: Proven ability to develop popular social-media channels—yes, this can include your Facebook page, but more impressive is experience driving traffic to a company’s website. One of Backcountry.com’s recent hires designed a successful Facebook push around a Nashville ­musician’s comeback.

BREAKING IN: Create a prolific Facebook page, Twitter feed, and personal blog; attend social-media seminars like Content ­Marketing World; and keep tabs on job sites like SocialMediaJobsHQ.com.

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