Tweet Your Way to a Job

If you google “Find a job using twitter” you’ll find MANY articles with case studies showing how people have found their jobs from connections they made on Twitter.  Not all industries are active on twitter, but it’s worth checking if yours is.  Don’t be intimidated by Twitter if you don’t know how to use it.  You can dip your toe in and it will all become clear with use. http://tweeternet.com/ explains the basics of what Twitter is and how people use it. Start there if you are completely new to twitter and then you can come back and implement the job searching twitter strategies outlined below once you are comfortable with the Twitter basics.

Whether you are unemployed or have a job, you can still use Twitter for a job search.  These tips are targeting those who are unemployed so if you are employed and seeking a new position, use common sense about not broadcasting that information across the twitterverse.  You can still use the research tools discussed to find out about job openings and broaden your network.

There are a few aspects of Twitter that are important:  What to do with your profile, What to tweet, who to follow & how, and Twitter Job boards.  Let’s start with your profile.

YOUR PROFILE:
When you set up your profile, choose a professional profile name – your actual name or something professional “engineerdave” as opposed to “lovetopartydave”

Use a professional looking photo.  If you have a LinkedIn profile, use the same photo for consistency.  In the bio section, you have 160 characters to give your job search “pitch”

Twitter pages can be plain, or they can have a designed background. Twitter gives you some options for designed backgrounds, but for a job search, you want something that will help sell you to visitors. Consider creating a Twitter background – and get creative. Take a look at other peoples’ backgrounds for some ideas on how they promote themselves.  It’s like the about us section of a website homepage in a very small space. You can usehttp://theclosetentrepreneur.com/create-a-twitter-background-using-powerpoint or www.twitbacks.com or create the background.

If you have an online resume, make sure you link your profile to it.  If you don’t, 
Link Your LinkedIn profile to your twitter profile.  If want to create an online resume, you can use www.visualcv.com.  

When it comes time to tweet your resume to people, you can use www.tweetafile.com/ .   More on tweeting later.


RESEARCH

Directories
Use the directories both to list yourself in a particular industry expertise, but also to research other people to follow.  Look at industry categories and recruiter listings.


TwitDir.com
Twellow.com
Wefollow.com









Watching Tweets
You can use www.monitter.com/ to track real time tweets for a 3 keywords at a time.  You can even set the geographical proximity to yourself so you can see who is talking about your industry that is close to you.  

TWEETING
Twitter is a conversation.  It’s like a virtual industry cocktail party where you can engage with people you don’t know who have a common interest.  You share information and you help build a network of like-minded folks who pass along pieces of interest and help one another.  

You can get started by tweeting some links to articles of interest.  Then you can start to add tweets about your job search, job skills, and areas of interest.  If you use keywords in your tweets, people will find you and start following what you have to say.  You, in turn can follow them back and a network is born.



Add personality, but keep it professional.  As Blue SkyResume's Blog points out, you want people to want to hire you and that means you need to be impressive and add value. No matter how well you do at attracting followers and making the right connections, no one will want to hire you if your tweets are all about what your kid just did, what you’re making for dinner, or how you got smashed at a party last night and couldn’t find your way home. 

You should help others and retweet others’ job searches as well.  The favor will likely be returned.  That’s networking – twitter style.

Tweet daily, but don’t overdo it.  A few tweets a day is more than enough to show that you are engaged and interesting.  You can spend more time watching and learning what others have to say.


Hashtags
Hashtags are a way of “tagging” your tweets as being relevant to a specific keyword.  There are standard hashtags that people use when discussing a given topic.  If you want to find out who is talking about a keyword, you can go to:  www.search.twitter.com/ and put in the hashtag.  You will then see all the people who are tweeting about it.  That helps you find people to follow.

According to an article by Keppie Careers, use hashtags (the # sign) to “tag” your posts and to search for tweets about subjects of interest to you. These tags make it easy for people to search for your content. Cision Blog explains this well: “Hashtags are used on Twitter to create groupings around a particular topic, event, community, industry, location, etc. By using a hashtag, tweeters can follow an entire conversation chain uninterrupted by other tweets.” Tagalus is a service that provide the definition of hash tags, so take a look if you are following people and have no idea what their tags mean! For additional resources about hashtags, follow THIS LINK.

You can use the hashtag #resume in your tweet and then link to your resume.


Retweeting
When you see something interesting that someone else says, you can “retweet” it.  And that essentially means passing along that information to your followers.  It’s considered a nice thing to do.  If you say something interesting, people will likely RT you too.  It’s good to have a balance of information generated by you and information you pass along that came from others.

FOLLOWING
Once you start tweeting, then you can start following other people to read their tweets as they write them.  Start by following companies that you want to work for. Often recruiters in the HR department tweet about their hiring.  Or an employee tweets about working there.  You can also search for industry thought leaders who tweet gems about what’s happening in your field.  Definitely search for recruiters who are tweeting in your industry.  They often post job openings and tips that can remind you how to stand out from the crowd, for example: FPC National's twitter page 



You can find the people to follow through the “Find people” twitter tab, or by directories such as www.wefollow.com  Often a company or industry expert will list their twitter profile name on their website, so check that first.  Many people also link their LinkedIn profiles to their twitter page so you can find people through the LinkedIn groups or a keyword people search.

To find people to follow who are tweeting on a certain topic, use www.search.twitter.com/

You can follow Microjobs which posts job opening across many industries.  Also search for the hashtag #tweetmyjobs which employers put in their postings to have them broadcast to a wide audience. 

A blog posting at Blue Skies Resumes reminds you “Don’t just add people as fast as you can so that your own number of followers increases – instead focus on finding people who can help with your search.”


JOB BOARDS
There have also been job boards adapted to Twitter, such as Twithire where you can find job postings. You can use www.nearbytweets.comhttp://www.nearbytweets.com  to find people tweeting about job postings in your area.

Sites like @indeed @Simply Hired are job aggregating boards (Indeed and Simply Hired
 ) that have twitter profiles as well.

GETTING STARTED
To get started, 1.  set up a profile 2. start tweeting 3. start following  4. search twitter job boards and 5. research job and industry-related keywords

Give it a try.  Get out there and join the conversation.

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