The Smart Job Search #10: How to Use Twitter to Find a Job

This is the last in a 10-part series entitled ‘The Smart Job Search.’ You can find links to the series so far by clicking here.

If you don’t currently use Twitter, you might see it as more of a distraction than anything. Isn’t it just a bunch of people babbling about what they had for breakfast and sharing celebrity gossip?

And even those of you who are on Twitter right now might not have considered all the ways it can help you find work.

But the truth is, Twitter has enormous potential and used correctly, it can be the key to finding hidden job opportunities while also making connections that will pay off for years to come.

What is Twitter and How Does it Work?

Twitter is a site that allows people to send out messages to anyone who is listening, as long as those messages are not longer than 140 characters. Once you have joined the site (which is free) you can choose to listen to anyone you like and tune out everybody else.
If you choose to follow me for example, you will see my tweets when you log in to your account. But if you ultimately find me boring (surely not?!) you can stop listening to me any time you like.

There are infinite possibilities for using the site to help with your search, but there are three I’d like to focus on today.

1) Demonstrating knowledge and building a reputation
2) Making valuable connections
3) Searching for job opportunities

How to use Twitter to demonstrate knowledge and build a reputation

In the fourth post in this series, I told you how Gary Vaynerchuck turned himself from wine store manager to best-selling author and TV personality using the power of sites like Twitter.

You might never reach those heady heights, but it’s really not hard to build a reputation as a person with knowledge in your field or profession.

Let’s say you are a web designer. You could set up a Twitter account and keep your tweets focused on the art of web design. You could share links to particularly good designs, you could share advice, and you could link to news items of interest to web designers. If you follow step 2 (below), you will soon have people following you (the Twitter term for people choosing to read your tweets) and before you know it, people will view you as a knowledgeable source on all things related to web design.

And of course, the added bonus is that when a recruiter checks you out online, they will find a Twitter page that demonstrates your knowledge, professionalism and passion.

How to make the right connections

The beauty of Twitter is that you don’t have to ask permission to see someone’s tweets. Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, where you have to send a request and then be accepted, here you simply click the ‘follow’ button and you instantly have access to everything a person says.

Imagine for a second that you are a resume writer and that you want to work for Blue Sky Resumes. You follow me on Twitter (@louise_fletcher) and you read my tweets. Now you need me to notice you, so you start to comment on the things I say, and share them with your followers (this is called “retweeting”). If you do this regularly, I will notice you and reply, opening up the opportunity for a conversation. I may even follow you back. And I will certainly recognize your name when you contact me asking for a job.

Do you see how helpful this could be? Simply by listening and responding, you can easily connect with hiring managers and recruiters – and those hiring managers and recruiters will be impressed when they check out your page and see all that knowledge, expertise and passion.

And once you’ve made those connections, there’s no reason you can’t ask them about job opportunities.

How to Search for Job Opportunities on Twitter

Right at the top of your Twitter home page, you’ll see a search box. This allows you to follow conversations that include keywords you choose. This is an excellent opportunity to passively surf for vacancies as many hiring managers will tweet about their openings.

Simply go to the search box, type in your key words (for example ‘web design jobs’ or ‘PR internships’) and in the upper right hand corner you will see a button that says ‘save this search.’ Choose that and any time you log in to Twitter you’ll be able to check for tweets containing your keywords.

And one more thing …

Your Twitter bio is often the only thing people see before they decide whether it not to follow you, and as always, you’re restricted to 140 characters. Here’s an article on how to write a Twitter bio that attracts more followers

New Series on the Way

That’s it for this job search series. I hope you’ve found it helpful and been inspired to take a whole new proactive approach to your search. If you have any questions or suggestions for future topics, please do drop me a comment.

In my next series, I’ll be focusing on the use of LinkedIn for job search, so if you’re interested in learning more about this great site, do sign up to receive email updates here.

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