There are certain tools every job hunter needs to land a position. You must have an attractive resume, references who will vouch for you, job leads, contacts and a strong “elevator pitch” briefly explaining what you have to offer. This is nothing new. What’s new is that everything noted above has gone viral.
Even if you are not currently looking for a job, in this economic climate it’s best to take nothing for granted. Networking provides the best kind of job security there is. You must stay connected with colleagues and learn more about your industry and the companies you may one day want to target for employment opportunities.
You can do all of this and more on Twitter.
However Twitter, as a job search tool, is least used by those who need it the most say the authors of The Twitter Job Search Guide: Find a Job and Advance Your Career in Just 15 Minutes a Day. Many Twitter users are there for entertainment purposes only. If we want an up to the second update on our favorite sports figure or reality show celebrity, we know just where to go. However, if you’re using this growing social network simply for gossip you’re missing out on all that Twitter has to offer. Currently, Twitter is being used by thousands of people who want to build their personal brand, grow their network, increase their visibility and even to land a job.
What is Twitter and how is it different from other social media platforms?
According to Brad and Debra Schepp writing in How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and other Social Networks, Twitter was launched in 2006 as a means for friends to keep in contact with each other in between e-mail, blog posts and other “slower types of communications.” Then businesses caught on and began to use the microblogging site to communicate with their customers. Also individuals began to use Twitter to land jobs.
In terms of other social media sites Twitter is among the top of the heap along with Facebook and LinkedIn. Facebook is by far the largest with 500 million active users. LinkedIn boasts 100 million users and Twitter revealed last October that the site has 175 million registered users.
Aside from the numbers, Twitter differs from the other popular social networks in that Twitter users have the ability to follow the updates of other users without having to send out a friend request or join a group. Also Twitter is barebones social networking. Users have a very limited amount of space for their bio and interests unlike other sites.
Simplicity is one of Twitter’s greatest strengths. It’s a snap to set up an account and begin following colleagues and leaders in your industry. In fact you don’t even need a Twitter account to read posted updates.
Find the good stuff (job leads and recruiters) on Twitter
Hundreds of companies such as Zappos, Ernst and Young, Comcast and Apple currently have a presence on Twitter to market their brand and to find job candidates.
You can join the conversation by doing a simple search on Twitter to find companies and industry leaders in your field. A recent Twitter development lets users “list” their favorite people to follow. Lists allow users to filter or separate whom they’re following into separate categories. This is especially helpful if you’re looking for jobs in more than one industry or have multiple interests.
You can also follow lists that others have set up. The authors of Find a Job Through Social Networking: Use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and More to Advance Your Career, Diane Crompton and Ellen Sautter, devote a section of the book to advance Twitter features and applications. The Twitter Job Search Guide offers guidance on how to find and create relationships with influential recruiters on Twitter.
Protect and promote your professional image
Part of the beauty of Twitter is that you can set up your account so that your tweets appear on other websites like LinkedIn. Make sure your updates are tasteful, professional and useful.
According to Janet Nagle, author of How to Use the Internet to Get Your Next Job, a 2009 survey done by CareerBuilder found that 45 percent of employers interviewed said they used social networks to research their job candidates. If you’re having trouble thinking of something to say, don’t resort to talking about personal matters. Instead, post a link to a news article that people in your industry would find interesting.
“It will do no good to showcase yourself as the right job candidate if your Internet profile is weak or unprofessional,” writes Nagle who says while you should be professional there is no need to be modest. “Sing your own praises, accentuate your major accomplishments, and provide viewers with a glimpse of who you are.”