Twitter Your Way to a New Job! Print E-mail

by Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC

Using social media to accelerate your job search should seem like nothing new to candidates in the know. But many career experts are suggesting that one of the more succinct ways of communicating -yes, Twitter- may be another tool to break network barriers.

You may be wondering what this technology, known for celebrities “tweeting” about what they had for lunch, can do for you. In fact, the use and usefulness of Twitter is broadening. We all know how important networking can be in finding great opportunities and with current technology, you may be able to expand your network into the inner circle of organizations in which you are interested!

Lurking to Learn

A smart way to get started with Twitter is to research how to use the tool for career searching, as opposed to jumping right in with non-work related content. Search Twitter.com to learn more and check out Twitter-specific tools such as www.Listorious.com to identify keywords and find people in the target companies or professions of interest to you. When you become more comfortable with the technology and the makeup of typical tweets, you are ready to get started on your own.

Smart Account Setup

When setting up your account, think strategically! Follow guidelines similar to what you might use when setting up an email account dedicated to your job search. Above all else, be professional. Using your name as your unique identifier has some advantages over using your profession as your username because it builds recognition and contributes to your personal brand. If your name is already taken, you may consider combining your name and the profession, such as “JohnSmithSales” or “JaneJonesGraphics.”

Employment-Oriented Profile

Twitter provides 160 characters for your personal description. Think of this space as an opportunity to apply your elevator pitch. To use this prime real estate wisely, think of your greatest value or most significant accomplishment. Examples include “Trusted resource for signing major accounts” or “Cutting edge technology guru.”

Do Include a Photo

Using a photo helps personalize your profile and is expected as part of a Twitter profile. Select a photo that is consistent with how you want to look when appearing for an interview. The photo helps you connect with followers. If you are hesitant about using a photo, you can select an avatar or clip-art icon, but again choose professionally.

Professional Links

Include links to additional information about you in your profile. Examples include your own website, links to articles you have written, a LinkedIn profile, or professional organization listing.

Build a Brand

The way to build a brand on Twitter is to include information related to your profession or industry. Think of each tweet as a mini-sound bite for an employer’s ear. If you aren’t sure what to tweet, take some time to review leading industry articles or align the tweets with accomplishments from your resume.

Identify People to Follow

When selecting people to follow, identify target companies, individuals within those organizations, or leaders in your field. You may want to use the information gained from your “lurking” days to help you expand this list into a network of important contacts.

Let People Know You’re Looking

Consider posting your interest in specific industry opportunities based on your geographic area, but not too often. Letting people know you are looking is important in gaining information and leveraging the network, but be cautious about posting too often. Once a week is frequent enough, and don’t forget to build your network first – this rule applies across traditional and tech-savvy networking!

Using technology tools will help accelerate your job search by expanding your network beyond your typical contacts and geographic area. Take advantage of technology, tweet wisely, and you may quickly land your next job!