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5 in 5! Justin from Highly Relevant

September 17, 2010

5 Questions. 5 Minutes. 1 Employer. This week: Justin from Highly Relevant.

My name is Justin Hong, and I’m the Chief Operating Officer of Highly Relevant, an Internet marketing company based out of Los Angeles.  We specialize in converting web traffic into tangible results (such as leads, sign-ups, or sales), particularly for eCommerce businesses.  To find out more about us, please visit our website at — and if you’re an ambitious and enthusiastic person who is interested in interning with us, please contact me at  We’re always looking for good people to bring on board.

1. What do you look for when you hire an intern?

To me, a positive attitude, enthusiasm, and ambition are much more important than actual skills.  You can always train people on the skills that you want them to learn.  Attitude, enthusiasm,and ambition are not always traits that you can develop in people.

2. How did you get started in the industry? How can I get started?

I encourage anyone who is interested in being a part of the digital marketing industry to use social media platforms to develop your personal brand.  The traditional format of resumes and cover letters is becoming archaic – to really stand out and be a person that digital marketing companies want to hire,you need to develop and communicate your brand.

Spend some time and figure out your personal brand and how you stand out from your peers – and communicate your brand through a personal blog and social networking platforms.

In addition to building and communicating your personal brand online, you should attend as many digital marketing-related events in order to build your network and meet people who may be interested in hiring interns.

3. What is the future of your industry?

The digital marketing industry – which includes social media, search engine optimization, website design & development, etc. – is extremely hot right now.  What’s exciting is that a lot of companies haven’t figure out how to best utilize digital marketing to build their brands and generate more business — so there is a ton of opportunity in this industry.

4. What is one main thing an intern can do to make a favorable impression? To make a negative impression?

Aside from showing up to the internship every single day with a great attitude, an intern can also make a favorable impression by going the “extra mile” – without anyone asking him or her to.  Showing up early to work, making the effort to learn, sending out useful ideas on how to make things at the company better, etc. are all little things that anyone can do.

Things not to do: showing up late, giving excuses, and complaining.

5. Give us a positive intern story? An intern horror story?

We had an intern (who has now been hired to work for us full-time) named Mike who did such a great job during his internship that we actually shortened his internship and brought him on board as a full-time employee.  Mike displayed (and still displays) the positivity, enthusiasm, and ambition that is truly impressive from an employer’s perspective.  He was always willing to learn, and he delivered results.  He also brought a unique skill set – video editing – to the team and was able to bring value to us in this area.

Mike showed up on time for his internship even though he had to take the train and bus to get here from his apartment — and on the occasion when he would be late, he would alert us of the situation.

Thanks Justin! Leave any questions for Justin in the comments below. If you are an employer who is interested in being featured on 5 in 5! send an email to and we’ll get back to you!

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