5 Ways to Use Twitter to Land a Job
By Arnie Fertig
When you think of social networking for your job search, your mind naturally turns to LinkedIn. Without question, every serious professional engaged in a job hunt is expected to have a well-composed LinkedIn profile. If you are nowhere to be found when a recruiter or potential employer wants to check you out, you've done yourself a disservice.
But using LinkedIn without the benefit of additional social networks can be self-limiting. The problem is that using LinkedIn these days is "in-the-box" thinking. Because everyone is there, you have less of a chance of standing out from your competition. Moreover, while LinkedIn has become a publishing powerhouse for its influencers and everyone else who makes long-form posts, your chances of finding rare or up-to-the-minute information is highly limited.For multiple reasons, if you want to really get a jump on your competition, your job search should include active Twitter engagement. With a professional sounding Twitter handle, such @[your_location]engineer or @[your_occupation]expert, you can expand your online branding and begin to be noticed in new ways by people who you would otherwise never encounter.
Here are five ways to incorporate Twitter into your overall job search strategy:
1. Shepherd people to your online content. Write a short bio of articles you've published, your online portfolios and website coupled with one or two hashtags, like #engineeringnews, and a shortened URL. This text can do wonders to help you get discovered by people who might have otherwise never heard of you.
2. Share things you find professionally interesting. Tweet a line about an article of interest to you, along with a link to the article and a couple relevant hashtags. This way, you show you're up to date and following and sharing the latest in your field. You gain visibility for yourself with minimum effort.
3. Find the latest live job openings. Many companies and recruiters flash their latest high-priority openings on Twitter. Make a point of following recruiters who specialize in your industry and job type, as well as target companies where you would like to work.
Moreover, you can do a simple search within Twitter for something like, "HR generalist" and "jobs NY." Try playing around with any combination of job field, title, location and so on, and then save a set of results you like as a stream in HootSuite (hootsuite.com).
Another way of finding job opportunities is through the popular TweetMyJobs (tweetmyjobs.com). On this website, you can easily fill in a few fields to find jobs of interest to you and have them sent to you as more are posted.
4. Stay up to date with your industry and profession. Chances are good that any professional organization in your field will tweet notices of upcoming meetings, symposia and conferences. You can follow the relevant organizations to learn about these bonanza networking opportunities.
These organizations will also create hashtags specific to a given conference or convention. Organizers and participants will live tweet what speakers are saying, program topics and much more. You can easily build your network by simply following those people who have something interesting to say now, because these are the kind of people who will likely share insights and other things of note going forward. Plus, you learn from their tweets what people are attending.
5. Follow key leaders at companies of interest. Every business leader has his or her own Twitter account these days. These professionals use Twitter to promote their company's key initiatives and comment on issues of concern. It's an open invitation to see what's important to them and their company when you follow those who lead the kinds of companies you seek to join.
In today's competitive marketplace, your key to success can be stretching your comfort zone to include Twitter activity, if you're one of the many adults without an account.
Arnie Fertig, MPA, is passionate about helping his Jobhuntercoach clients advance their careers by transforming frantic "I'll apply to anything" searches into focused hunts for "great fit" opportunities. He brings to each client the extensive knowledge he gained when working in HR staffing and managing his boutique recruiting firm.