Job Searching Using Social Media - Twitter


icn-tw Twitter

The next best social media site for your job search is Twitter. Over the last several years Twitter has become immensely popular, with over 500 million users. While not typically thought of as a job search tool, Twitter has proven to be an effective tool for personal branding.

As a micro-blogging site, Twitter allows users to communicate in ‘tweets’ with 140 characters or less. Similar to LinkedIn, you can also ‘follow’ influential people in your field. The only difference is, you don’t have receive approval or confirmation to follow someone. It happens automatically.

As a networking tool, Twitter allows you to access people you might not have otherwise. It brings your brand to the forefront and helps you get noticed. Some have said it is like being a networking event all the time. There are no guarantees that it will help you get a job, but Twitter is definitely proven itself as a valuable networking tool.

To use Twitter in the job search, the first thing to do is create an account. It makes sense to make your username (or Twitter handle), your personal name. If your name is taken include a combination of your name and industry. Include a personal photo that is professional and makes a good first impression.

Create a bio that uses keywords from your resume and include a link to your LinkedIn profile. Users will be able to search for keywords and tweets by topic, so a good bio can get your some valuable exposure.

When you first start out on Twitter, don’t just blast a message out to people that you are looking for work. Build momentum slowly by following individuals in a company you’d like to work for, or influential people in your industry. Follow their tweets, and get a sense of the kinds of information being sent out. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the functionality of Twitter.

Once you feel comfortable, start tweeting yourself by offering opinion on news and industry happenings. Not only can you follow others, but you can establish yourself as an expert in your field.

If you like what something someone has tweeted then retweet (forward) it. Send a direct response to the person in an informal manner. You can begin to establish a connection with this person. This is what Twitter is all about!

As a job seeker starting out in the new  Twittersphere, you may want to familiarize yourself with hashtags. A hashtag is like a category that tells Twitter how to categorize tweets. It is essentially a keyword or lablel followed by # that people can post in their tweets to tag their message to a specific category.

A job seeker may want to follow a hashtag about their industry such as #pharmaceutical or #sportsjobs. You can also follow a company of interest like @TD_Canada and watch for job postings.

There is a website that compiles all the jobs on Twitter. It is a global site where you type in what job and location you are looking for. It is worth checking out.

Keep in mind with all social media sites that there is a fair amount of ‘noise’ that occurs, especially on Twitter. Individuals don’t always follow proper etiquette in tweeting and as a result there is much useless information floating around. Twitter is not the professional site of LinkedIn. Keep focused on your task at hand when using Twitter – to brand yourself and establish a network of influential people in your industry.

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