How To Use Twitter In Your Job Search
I meet people who are looking for a job all the time. When I ask if they are on Twitter most of them say, “No, Twitter is not for me.” Why not?
If you’re looking for a job you should be using Twitter. It’s a great way to learn about the job-search process (think Twitter chats) and connect with new people. You may even find a job. And, at least for right now, it’s free.
So where should you start? It’s easy. Just go to Twitter and create your profile. Be sure to think carefully about the handle you choose – that’s how people will know you in the Twitter universe. As with your email address, it’s a good idea to avoid names like @luckylady or @tigerguy.
When you visit Twitter.com you’ll see there is a search feature at the top of the main page to help you find people to follow. You can look for people you know and search by your interests. If you’re looking for a job you should search for recruiters. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of them on Twitter.
Many employers are on Twitter too. Some have company recruiters Tweeting jobs and actively engaging with potential candidates. Be creative. You may be surprised at who you’ll find.
Another way to find people on Twitter is to Google them. For example, if you Google “Annette Richmond on Twitter” you’ll come up with a several Annette Richmond’s with different handles. Mine is @careerintell
Once you’re following a bunch of people you’ll need a dashboard like HootSuite. While HootSuite is one of the most popular there are many others available as well. A dashboard allows you to use Twitter in a “grid” format which will help you organize who and what you’re following. For example as the people you follow increases you may want to organize them into lists.
You can create a list for anything that interests you. You might want to follow a list of recruiters or a list of companies you want to learn more about. You can use each “grid” on your dashboard to follow a different group of people.
Dashboards are also helpful when you want to follow particular hashtags which mark certain keywords in tweets. Hashtags are simply the number sign (#) followed by a word or phrase like #career or #jobsearch.
If you’re looking for a new job you might want to follow the hashtags like #jobsearch or #jobs. Many TV shows post their hashtags on the screen during the broadcast so fans can follow tweets related to the show. You can also set up “grids” on your dashboard to follow hashtags that interest you as well.
One of the best ways to learn and connect with career professionals like recruiters, coaches, and even company representatives is via Twitter chats. While you can use dashboards like HootSuite to participate it’s much easier to use a something made just for chats like TweetChat.
If you decide to use TweetChat, you simply sign in through your Twitter account and then enter the hashtag of the chat you want to follow. You’ll see a stream of posts with that hashtag. Those are the people taking part in that chat.
The bonus is that TweetChat will add the hashtag each time you post a tweet. This is helpful because if you don’t add the hashtag no one participating in the chat will see your posts. If you’d like to learn but aren’t ready to jump in right away it’s perfectly acceptable to “lurk” until you’re comfortable joining the conversation.
There are hundreds of chats on Twitter every week. There are dozens of chats focused on career-related topics alone. Many specifically designed to help job seekers. My favorite is Open Mic Chat or #OMCchat which is hosted by some knowledgeable folks and runs from noon – 1pm every Friday.
While you may think Twitter is not for you – if you’re looking for a new opportunity you need to be part of the conversation. Start off by following a few people and companies who interest you. When you’re ready begin participating in chats.
It’s one of the few job search tools that allows you to interact directly with recruiters and your target employers. And it’s free. Sign up for an account today. There’s an entire world of information and potential connections just waiting.