I just finished giving a presentation on utilizing Twitter for your job search today to an audience of in-transition professionals. While most of the professionals had a LinkedIn account (albeit half of them joined LinkedIn while being in transition), only a handful of them were on Twitter. There is still a lot of confusion and fear about Twitter, and it takes a little while before you have your “Aha!” moment and become an active Twitter user. If you’re already on Twitter, I hope this gives you a new perspective on Twitter. If you’re still new to Twitter, jump aboard! There’s never a better time to start embracing this incredibly addicting social networking and real-time communication platform!
I see Twitter going through what LinkedIn has gone through over the past few years. I call it the “LinkedInization” of Twitter. With LinkedIn, the executives joined, followed by the headhunters, and now the jobseekers have become active members. With Twitter, the recruiters and corporate HR are also starting to join in troves. And it is the same reason why they are on LinkedIn: it’s free!
Well, LinkedIn is not completely free for many organizations with paid accounts or using the LinkedIn Talent Advantage software. But being able to pinpoint people you want to interview and contact them is free.
Twitter, as you know, is completely free at this point in time. Why post jobs on Monster and HotJobs for hundreds of dollars when you can do it on Twitter for free? The economics of Twitter’s attractiveness is easy to understand. Plus, it helps brand the company being active on Twitter as well as get the message out to the type of employee they may want to hire, the social media-savvy type.
What does this mean for the jobseeker? It means you should be taking advantage of the situation and establish a Twitter presence. There are three basic strategies I discussed today in some detail with regards to how Twitter can aid you in your job search:
1) Windmill Network with Professionals That Can Help You Find Your Next Job
Just as you use LinkedIn to network and find hiring managers, employees at target companies to have informational interviews with, and recruiters, the same can be done on Twitter. The advantage of Twitter is that the atmosphere and culture is a casual one, meaning that you can try to reach out and communicate with someone with an @Reply message. No fear of an IDK on Twitter! (Although you can be blocked and reported for spam on Twitter, so try to develop a rapport and use common sense when communicating.)
2) Brand Yourself as the Subject Matter Expert
There is no better place for online personal branding, other than your own blog, as Twitter. Just as you want to be found on LinkedIn with LIPO: LinkedIn Profile Optimization, you also want to be found on Twitter tweeting the same keywords. By sharing information that you have expertise on, be it your own opinion, blog, an informative article that you found interesting, or ReTweeting someone else’s information that you found relevant, you are branding yourself as the expert. Don’t worry about numbers of followers: Twitter is the Field of Dreams. Tweet relevant and valuable content and they will come. And recruiters looking for someone with your subject matter expertise will find you. Brand yourself with your tweets: After all, You are What You Tweet!
3) Follow the Twitter Job Posting Tweets
Networking is the best way to find a job in the hidden job market. When you look for a job on the Internet, you are playing roulette. On the other hand, if you only spend a few minutes a day looking on the Internet for a job by limiting your time on these job sites, there is no harm done (the problem being when you spend ALL of your time on the Internet and not networking in person). Just as you may get email alerts from Simply Hired or Indeed.com or even search LinkedIn Jobs for a position on a regular basis, give Twitter a try. But instead of inefficiently following tweeters who tweet jobs or search for relevant hashtags, let TwitterJobSearch.com do the work for you. TwitterJobSearch not only searches Twitter for every relevant job posting, it does it better than Twitter’s only search engine. Add on their unique JobMap feature that actually visually puts jobs on the map for you to search for and you have a site that any jobseeker should be checking on a weekly if not daily basis.
There are many other ways to use Twitter for your job search, and there are also many subtleties involved in using any of the above three techniques. But if you didn’t think Twitter could help you in your job search, think again.
And if everyone else is on LinkedIn, why not differentiate yourself and establish a Twitter presence? A few tweets a day and you are on your way!
How do you use Twitter for your job search? Any success stories to share?