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Instagram is Facebook’s crown jewel.
The photo and video-sharing app has exploded since Facebook acquired it for $1 billion in 2012. It offers perks and benefits like free food and long paid leave programs. Its New York headquarters features a gelato bar, library, and made-for-Instagram backdrops.
The hiring process is also highly competitive. According to LinkedIn data, Instagram has more than 14,000 employees, and while hiring activity can vary widely by time of year, as little as 80 open roles across 18 teams might be publicly posted.
Instagram declined to comment or make a recruiting employee available for an interview for this story, but Business Insider spoke with a handful of former employees about what it takes to get through the interview process and land a job at Instagram. The former employees worked in creative, marketing, and community roles for several years. All of the former employees left the company within the past two years.
Having a referral goes a long way at getting a job at Instagram
Instagram uses outside recruitment firms like ProUnlimited along with internal recruiters to find potential hires.
But getting a referral can give candidates a leg up. 25% of more than 6,000 reviewers on Facebook’s Glassdoor page said that they got an interview at Instagram from a referral while 29% said they came through recruiters. Another 29% said they got an interview by applying for a job online. To compare, 12% of Amazon interviews came from a referral and 52% of interviews came from applying online, according to Glassdoor.
Getting a job at Instagram requires candidates to “know your networks and do the work,” said Taj Alavi, who was Instagram’s head of global brand marketing from 2015 to 2018.
Some candidates have found creative ways to get a hiring manager’s attention without a referral. Shelly Xu, a former creative at Instagram and Facebook who is now the founder of fashion brand Shelly Xu Design, wrote a letter to Facebook’s chief creative officer about why she was a fit for a creative role and tried to hand deliver it to Instagram’s New York office before running into security issues.
While she didn’t get the job, Facebook contacted her two years later about another job that she accepted — and referenced her letter.
“I didn’t know anyone at Instagram or Facebook, so I felt like I had to do something that was riskier that would help me stand out,” she said.
Christen Nino De Guzman, a former contracted community manager on the marketing team in San Francisco, applied through an agency, which she said helped her get a foot in the door. She was hired as a temporary contractor in 2017 and worked there for two years, initially as a product community manager, and then worked on teen and brand programs.
Know Instagram’s features
Hiring managers look for candidates who understand Instagram’s products as well as its competitors like TikTok and Snap. A former Instagram recruiter from 2016-2019 recommended candidates understand the problems the company is facing and come with solutions to those problems.
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Source:: Business Insider