‘GIF specialist’ is now a real job

Who knew being able to compress 30 frames to under half a meg was a social media asset?

 

Aja Romano

Business

Published Aug 6, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 7:51 pm CDT

Heads up, Tumblr fans, Imgur hounds, and other GIF-lovers: your passion for painstakingly editing video footage into short looping image segments is now your best career asset.

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Giphy, the popular image bank that allows you search for reaction GIFs and other GIFs by theme or type, has posted a hiring notice for its latest staff opening. The position? “GIF Content Specialist.”

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Here’s an excerpt from the job description:

Giphy is looking for a content editor to help us fill the world with excellent gifs. You should be the kind of person who lives on Buzzfeed, HuffPo, and Reddit and who is always on top of the day’s funniest gifs. …

Skills/Qualifications:

  • An extremely strong knowledge of pop culture (both present day and also movies/tv/music of the past 50 years)
  • An extremely strong attention to detail and sense of organization.

Please include a link to your favorite gif when you apply ;)

Responsibilities include “light GIF creation,” but mostly GIF curation. Sounds like the ideal job for at least 70 percent of Reddit and 80 percent of Tumblr.

So does that mean you can start adding that GIF set you made that got so many notes to your résumé? 

Not quite, but Giphy is by no means the first business to start recognizing the importance of good GIF-ing to their marketing and social media strategies. 

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A sweep through jobs at Businessweek reveals numerous job descriptions that mention GIFs or GIF-making as an asset, from positions at BuzzFeed and Tumblr to numerous openings at Disney. One company, Nutmeg, is an app for GIF curation that currently has an unpaid internship for “someone with a sassy, mischievous voice who can speak .gif fluently.”

While speaking GIF fluently may mean different things to different corners of the Internet, it’s clear that to an increasing number of businesses, GIFs themselves mean audience engagement and soft marketing—that is, money.

GIF via Blogspot

So how can you leverage this new career asset you didn’t know you had? We have a few suggestions:

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1) Create a GIF portfolio of your best work.

We recommend Tumblr as a great location for showcasing GIFs in their natural habitat. Link to it on your résumé.

2) Show off your technical knowledge.

Don’t be afraid to list your GIF specs. Knowing a Tumblr-worthy GIF is 35 frames, with a file size of 200MB and a resolution of 256, will help your potential employer size up your expertise when it comes to GIF-making, as well as Photoshop.

But don’t just stop at saying you know how to use Photoshop. It takes a lot of software to create a GIF. You can list Photoshop, CamStudio, VirtualDub, or whatever capture and editing software you’re most familiar with on your résumé.

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3) Put a sample of your work in your résumé.

If you’re uploading your résumé online, consider sticking your favorite GIF creation right there on the page.

4) Create a themed, curated page of your favorite GIF work.

You don’t have to know how to make GIFs in order to harness GIF culture to help you. Many social media managers want to see that you’re comfortable moving in GIF-heavy communities and predicting trends. What better way to show them you can thrive than to create your own Tumblr and curate GIFs around specific themes?

5) Tailor your content for the business you’re applying for.

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If you can show Disney social media that you can already curate a fantastic feed of Disney villains, for example, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition.

If you’re curating, be sure to develop a structured approach to tagging for your GIF collection, so that potential employers know you can cross-reference, categorize, and maximize the reach of your GIFs and GIFsets. (For more tips on tagging on Tumblr, see here.)

Good luck! Now go forth and animate.

H/T ReadWrite | Illustration by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Aug 6, 2014, 3:03 pm CDT