When you talk to people who aren’t familiar with Twitter they often think that Twitter is just for people who like wasting time chatting away with their online buddies. Nothing could be further from the truth. More and more people are using Twitter creatively, for things like finding a job.
Twitter Job Hunt
Before I signed up for Twitter I was skeptical that it had any other uses besides wasting time as well. But since I joined I realized that it’s so much more. It’s a way to share information, to connect and to network. Essentially it helps you to become a part of the larger world around you. And since one of the biggest things you need to do when looking for a job is networking, Twitter can be effective at helping you to make the connections you need when trying to find a job.
So what are some things you need to remember when you’re looking for a job through Twitter?
- Try to use your real name: On the account that you’re using for job hunting, try to have your account name be your real name. Like @johndoe or @jdoe. It will help you to connect with potential employers better than something like @CrazyMotha.
- Keep it professional: Try to keep your tweets on the job hunting account professional. No one wants to hire someone who regularly uses profane or inappropriate language. Also try to make sure you’re using correct English.
- Write and update your profile: When you’re setting up an account, make sure to fill out the bio information and let potential employers know a little about yourself. Try to write it so as to create common ground with your employers – express an interest in your field in the bio.
- Link to your professional or personal blog: Link to your blog so that the potential employer can find out more about you than you can tell in a short bio or in a 140 character tweet. Remember to link to the blog only if it is something you would want them to see.
- Put up a custom twitter background: Use a custom twitter background to give more information about yourself that you might not be able to fit onto your bio. Include information like other social media profiles (linked-in for example), email address and other contact info as well as photos.
- Start twittering professionally BEFORE you need a job: Don’t setup an account on Twitter, Linked-in and other services only after you need a job. Plan ahead for the future, and start using the services now. It will help you build a following and seem less desperate down the road if you actually do need to find a job.
Some concrete ways you can use Twitter as a job searching tool:
- Sign up for updates for job alert twitter accounts: There are a ton of Twitter accounts out there that you can start following that will announce open positions in certain niches. For example, this twitter account for @GetTeaAssisJobs announces openings for teaching assistants. Another example – @journalismjobs posts job openings for journalists. Find one for your profession and start following!
- Start twittering about your field, display your expertise: Use your account to tweet about your field, and display your knowledge or expertise through your twitterstream. Others will begin to recognize that you are an expert in your field. Have an opinion about important topics, and let people know about it.
- Search out and network with other Twitter users in your field: Whatever field you’re currently working in, there are probably hundreds of other users in your field using Twitter. Search out and follow other the big names and recruiters in your field. Chat with them, talk about your field, and ask about job openings they might know about.
- Be helpful and responsive in your tweets: When using twitter be sure to respond to @replies and be helpful to other Twitter users. Everyone loves a helpful tweeter!
- Announce that you’re looking for a job!: If you’re actively looking for a job, announce it on your twitter stream. Someone following you may know of an opening, and can direct you to the right person to talk to. If you never tweet that you’re looking, they may not know!
A Twitter Job Search Success Story
I was reading some other blogs in order to find some Twitter job hunt success stories. Here is an example of one of those:
A couple months ago, I was laid off as part of the economic crisis.
Imagine my excitement.
After the initial shock wore off, I wrote in my Facebook status and tweeted that I was looking for a job in web product management. Within minutes, many people from my network contacted me and asked me for my resume.
A couple hours later, I received a reply from someone who was following me. I wasn’t following her. I had never met her before. I had never spoken to her before. I’m pretty sure I had never seen her name before. Nonetheless, this absolutely perfect stranger who didn’t know me from a hole in the wall told me that another Twitter user was looking for a product manager and had me contact him. I sent him a tweet, and he asked me to email him my resume.
He is now my boss.
So there you go, finding a job through Twitter can really work. Just make sure that you start your account now, start tweeting and follow the tips on this post. Hopefully you won’t need to find a new job, but if you do, you’ll be ready to use Twitter to your advantage in your next job search.