Leverage Twitter for Your Job Search

twitter-job-search.pngIn this post Miriam Salpeter from Keppie Careers shares some tips on using Twitter to help you search for a Job. Follow Miriam on Twitter @Keppie_careers.

Would you believe that you can tweet yourself to a job opportunity 140 characters at a time? It’s been done! Statistics show that job search networking is much more effective when you make “loose” connections – touching base with people beyond your immediate circle whose networks and contacts are much different from your own. With over 3 million users, Twitter offers an unparalleled opportunity to create an extended network.

Not convinced that Twitter is actually a high-powered job search tool? Read on to learn how Twitter can uniquely position you for job-hunting success!

What Can Twitter Do For You?

  1. Afford access to other professionals in your field. When you follow industry leaders, you’ll know who spends time with them, what conferences they attend (and what they think of the speakers!), what they’re reading and what is on their minds. This is great information to leverage for your search.
  2. Provide exposure and credibility as well as personal and professional relationships when you connect to others in your industry.
  3. Offer you a venue to demonstrate your expertise and share information in quick, pithy bursts of wisdom. This is perfect if you don’t have the time or energy to create a blog.

Unique Aspects of Twitter

  1. It is casual and immediate and a great place to “meet” informally.
  2. You’ll find an array of people on Twitter, including CEOs, top-level executives, hiring managers, recruiters and everyone in-between! It’s one-stop shopping for your networking needs. You’ll be surprised to find that stars in your field (mentors) may follow you if you reach out to them!
  3. Unlike Facebook, where it is kind of creepy if you start trying to “friend” people who are connected to your contacts, it is acceptable (and expected) to follow people on Twitter because another friend or colleague does.
  4. It forces you to be brief. Coming up with your “Twit-Pitch” – what you have to offer in 140 characters or less – will help you clarify your value proposition. Remember: less is more!

Convinced? What To Do First?

  1. Brand yourself professionally. If you are planning to use Twitter for a job search, set up a designated profile and account. Choose a professional Twitter handle using your name or some combination of your name and profession that sounds good and is easy to remember. For example, JaneSmith or MarketingExpertJane.
  2. Take time to create a professional profile that will attract your target market. If you don’t have a website, link to your LinkedIn profile.
  3. Before you follow anyone, start posting some tweets! Don’t succumb to the temptation to share your lunch menu…Tweet about an article, an idea or share a link of professional interest to your targeted followers. Do this for a few days. It may seem strange to be tweeting when no one is following, but you may be surprised to gain an audience before you even try. Once you have a great profile and a set of interesting tweets, start following people in your industry. Aim high! Follow stars – some will follow you back.
  4. Continue to build your network by using Twitter Search and Twitter’s Find People tool. Manually review profiles and use Twubble to help you find new people to follow. Use directories such as Twellow and TwitDir. Grow your network slowly – you don’t want to follow 1000 people and have only 30 following you. That makes you look spammy, not professional.
  5. Give, give, give! Think about what you can do for others. Don’t blatantly self-promote. Instead, help promote others. “Retweet” (pass along information someone else shared, giving them credit) – you will earn followers and friends this way. Those who know (and like) you will become part of your network and will be willing to help you. (See picture for an example of when I retweeted @AnitaBruzzese’s post.)

Job Search Twitter.png

Sustain Your Twitter Network

  1. Twitter doesn’t have to be very time-consuming, but if it’s going to be part of your job search strategy, make a point to keep up with it by sending out something useful every day.
  2. Read what other people write and respond. Join conversations and start your own.
  3. Don’t be afraid to send a message directly to a star in your field. Simply address your tweet to @their Twitter name, and they should receive it. (Be aware that Twitter isn’t 100% reliable, so feel free to try again if you don’t hear back or have reason to believe your message wasn’t delivered.)
  4. Use the direct message feature if you have a private or personal note. Remember that the recipient may respond publicly, though.
  5. Feel free to tweet that you are looking for an opportunity. (See below for a success story!)

People Who Found Jobs and How!

  1. Jessica Smith found her current “dream job” as Chief Mom Officer simply by tweeting to approximately 400 followers, “Anyone looking for a marketing or biz dev person?” Within minutes, she received a DM from the founder of Wishpot.com, asking for a phone interview that resulted in a perfect position!
  2. Kyle Flaherty used Twitter to find a job that moved him and his family to Austin, TX from Boston. He tweeted to approximately 650 contacts that he had left his job. He included a link to a blog post outlining his interest in connecting. He explains, “Within hours I had several emails, IMs, phone calls and tweets about the topic and it actually ended up that I took a new job.” Follow this link for an interview with Kyle’s new boss, Pam O’Neil, who explains how she and Kyle used Twitter to fill the position.
  3. Heidi Miller, the “Podcasting Princess,” found a freelance project using Twitter by tweeting updates about her job hunt. Many of her colleagues questioned the wisdom of being so open about her search; they worried she look desperate or foolish. However, the ends justified the means.

As more and more get involved (dare I say addicted?) to Twitter, opportunities to leverage this tool for job search networking will grow exponentially. Don’t be the one left behind! Get on board and start connecting for success!

Comments

  • November 22, 2008

    It really does show you how powerful Twitter is becoming, who would have thought when it first started just how big it would be?, anyone not using Twitter really is missing out;)

  • November 22, 2008

    I would also add that Twitter can be invaluable in doing a company search. I am currently “between challenges” and was scheduled last week for a telephone interview with a company hiring manager. I knew very little about the company itself, so I used monitter (http://monitter.com/) and typed in the company name. I found a number of Tweets referring to the company and was able to use the information gained to channel my interview questions and answers. I think it can be impressive when answering the question: “What do you know about our company?”.

  • November 22, 2008

    I have been trying to follow some job posting portals or communities which may help me in landing onto my dream job. Don’t know how far twitter can help in finding it. Wish i could get one soon. Anywayz tweeted this articles which will help my followers :-)

  • November 22, 2008

    This is a good article not only for those looking for a job but for anyone interested in using Twitter to build their network. I’ll be bookmarking this post and sharing it with others that ask me what the point is of Twitter.

  • November 22, 2008

    Miriam – thanks for the helpful article. I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about social media and career advancement, so this article was quite timely.

    I did notice that there is no link in this sentence, “Follow this link for an interview with Kyle’s new boss ….”

    Thanks,
    Frank

  • November 22, 2008

    Hi Darren Grate post. One opinion how about putting your qualification and top experiences on background of twitter? I remember you traced lot on having a meaningful background to twitter.

    One another thing liked the new field twitter id on the comment section

  • November 22, 2008

    Helping others and using search have worked really well for me. I have found almost all of my freelance positions through contacts on Twitter. And I never directly said I was looking for work. Twitter is useful, informative, and fun. I love it!

  • November 22, 2008

    I hope i dont have to use it, one of thins days, but its a good pots.

  • November 22, 2008

    Great and timely information for in our current economy. Thank you for sharing this knowledge and I will be sure to pass it on and spread the word on my http://www.interviewteacher.com/blog/
    This is an option that we all should consider, electronic networking at it’s best.
    Thanks again.

  • November 22, 2008

    Hi Darren, I’ve been reading your blog at Pro Blogger for about six months or so, and finally got the courage to do something. Now I have my own site “GT Enterprises Mall Of Stellar Opportunities”. It’s less than 1 month old with a blog I plan to promote with called “Stellar Opportunities”. I am not able to impliment any PPC or other paid advertising, so it is at a dis-advantage, but I intend to keep reading your blog and hope that everything will eventually fall into place. Thanks, for the great information that you make available…..turnNburn!

  • November 22, 2008

    Interesting approach to finding a job… I think Twitter is fantabulous for finding clients, however.

    Thanks for the good work, Darren.

  • November 22, 2008

    Thanks for all of the nice comments and additional suggestions! I agree that Twitter is also terrific for connecting with clients and contacts in your field when NOT looking for a job.

    The missing link to the interview with a boss who hired using Twitter is here:
    http://tinyurl.com/6l53xo

  • November 22, 2008

    This is absolutely great post for someone looking for jobs and the power of twitter is growing each day.

  • November 23, 2008

    Twitter is going beyond the expectations. Now we can use twitter for multiple purposes. Grow with the twitter.

  • November 23, 2008

    This is an awesome post! I’m definitely going to tweet this and link to it from my blog. I’ve also used twitter to get clients for my virtual assistant business, so I’ve seen first hand how useful twitter can be when used properly. Keep up the good work.

  • November 23, 2008
    Larry Wallace
    @glwallace

    Great post! Very timely, considering the amount of layoffs that are occurring in the US. The Twitter/LinkedIn combination could prove powerful for job hunters.

  • November 23, 2008

    as an online tutor and academic mentor i find twitter an excellent resources for sourcing potential clients, providing help and networking for better community development.

  • November 25, 2008

    Great advice! I work as a recruiter in Boston for Holliser (www.hollisterstaff.com/?=451) and have been encouraging my clients to get on Twitter and use it to network. Your tips and advice for how to utilize it properly are really great, I am definitely going to pass this post along to my clients, I think it will really help them. Thanks again!

  • November 27, 2008

    These are some great tips. Here is an article on Turbocharging your Job Search Using Technology. There is a full video walk-through demonstrating the entire process.
    There are a lot of helpful tips.

  • December 7, 2008

    @ Steve Cornelius – thx for the moniter.com link. Looks very useful.

    Majority of my LinkedIn connections still play their cards close to their chest and I don’t find many tweeting. Then again most aren’t looking for a job at present.

  • December 19, 2008
    Collins Denny
    @collinsdenny

    This is a great post, one that I’m going to share with my followers, though most are fairly well established and likely don’t need this information. On the other hand, this is so well prepared that we can all share this with the skeptics we know.

    I’ve started a career networking group in Richmond VA. Yesterday, I presented Twitter to the group, but had a difficult time stating precisely how it might be useful in their job search. One of my participants actually shared this post with me.

  • January 29, 2009

    Love this article! I’m a Career Specialist at Kaplan University and I’m working on a project right now to show our students how they can utilize social networking sites to help in their job search. Your article is exactly what I’ve been talking about!

    Please let me know if I can link to your article via my blog. It would be such a pleasure to feature you.

    Thanks for the time it took for you to put this together. I appreciate it!

    Kirsten Grant

  • February 22, 2009
    Abraham P

    I think twitter is an awesome tool to network relationships, and then potentially get a job. We must remember that once the network is established you must have more than 140 words to describe why you ought to be hired! Twitter can brand a name for yourself you you also need to use other tools. Start using PersonaVita to create a professional portfolio and wow them with your career experience. Let twitter open the relationship and let personavita open the door to the new job.

  • February 27, 2009

    Have you seen http://www.tweetmyjobs.com? It organizes your job searching using Twitter….

  • June 1, 2009

    I compiled two lists that may help you start your job search on the right foot.

    1) Where to Find Your Job on Twitter – the guide to and list of all the companies, job sites and career resources that you should be following on Twitter to find your job -
    http://www.careerrocketeer.com/2009/05/where-to-find-your-job-on-twitter.html

    2) 150+ Experts on Twitter ALL Job Seekers MUST Follow – the ultimate, definitive list of who you should be following on Twitter, including authors and bloggers of and coaches and experts in personal branding and marketing, career and job searching, networking, social media, resume writing and more – http://www.careerrocketeer.com/2009/05/150-experts-on-twitter-all-job-seekers.html

  • June 6, 2009

    Check out my new blog post on Lawyerist – “Land Your Dream Job on Twitter”. “Whether you are already a Twitter guru, or are just beginning to curiously test its waters, here are the best resources for finding your legal dream job on Twitter, with a bit of general Twitter advice as well…”

  • June 6, 2009

    You can tweet your resume and public profile at http://www.tweetmyjobs.com. Great for exposing your profile to the twittersphere. We also have 4600+ vertical market Job Channels to subscribe to on Twitter.

  • June 17, 2009

    It’s amazing how many new tools there are to help people use Twitter for the job hunt since I first wrote this post! It goes to show the power of social media to expand into its space in a short time! Thanks to everyone for commenting and adding ideas and resources!

  • July 10, 2009

    Take a look at joblink.tw for a quick and easy way to share jobs and candidates on twitter. It’s like bit.ly for jobs.

  • July 28, 2009

    Another new tool is our recently launched Twitter based job search engine- where you can search jobs tweeted over the last seven days by job category and location.

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