Do I really have to invest my time to use another “social media” channel for my job search?
Isn’t doing some things on LinkedIn enough?
I hear complaints all the time from early career professionals right on up to $100K+ executives about all “social media” platforms. The complaints range from light frustration on up the frustration ladder. We know that when you are in a career search (confidential or non-confidential) wasting time can hurt your productivity. Is it just about too much to keep up with in terms of social media when you are trying to hold down a job and looking for a new job? Yes it is. Is it hard to create momentum online to engineer new leads, ideas and research when you are looking for a job full-time? Once again, yes it is.
Ask yourself this question. Do you need to ignore excellent resources for your career and your job search because it’s inconvenient? I think you know the answer to this question. So let’s focus on one platform for now – Twitter. Let’s focus on the power it can help you create in building a better job search engine. Yes, Twitter should be used by job seekers.
Twitter Can Be An Observation Post so Decide to Get a Twitter Account (Even if You Don’t Want to Tweet)
So what are the fundamentals that you need to know in order to use this powerful platform? First remember that you do not need a comprehensive personal branding plan or graphic design customization of Twitter to harness its power. Certainly “tweeting” makes sense if you want to broadcast and develop your brand. But you can follow industry experts and get great information from Twitter if you just want to use it as an observation post or a listening post. You don’t have to get a following or engineer your brand on Twitter but you really should get a Twitter account to listen.
Listen to Industry Experts (We Do)
On the Career Pro Inc. Twitter account I follow many career experts and friends. We follow companies, hiring trends, recruiting issues and much much more. In turn others follow our insights and advice. It’s a give and take. I recently spoke (and listen through Twitter) to Susan Whitcomb, Deb Dib and Chandlee Bryan who authored The Twitter Job Search Guide. As colleagues I asked them about the most useful tools for 2012. From our notes and coaching clients, their input and some other excellent resources, I developed some core insights and ideas that will help you if you are in a career transition and want to be productive on Twitter. In interviewing our own Career Pro Inc. clients who have successfully used the Twitter platform to brand themselves and conduct a more efficient search, they report good news. Gleaned from the front lines of job search let me provide you with insight into how to make Twitter a professional media and productive part of your job search plan. According to authors Dib, Bryan and Whitcomb “Twitter helps you grow your voice and influence online. It’s a way to connect, engage, and move forward in your job search.” Whether you are trying to grow your voice or just gain more information about the employment market Twitter may be your key to new employment and new ideas.
Decide if You Want to Customize Your Profile
If you want to create a Twitter handle I recommend that you find one close to your name. Claim your name and identity on this platform. Some people who are using Twitter and are trying to be confidential may want to create a bit more of a persona so they remain a bit more confidential. But let’s say you don’t mind if people follow you or that you would be identified as you in Twitter. Then choose a good username but nothing ridiculous. Use the same idea as you would when using a professional email address. No @sexygirlNC or @hotguyNC type of names. You will have 160 characters to build your profile bio. Include your location, the type of work that you do and keywords recruiters may use to find you. If you want a professional type headshot is usually preferred vs. a silly picture of you. Customize your ideas to people in your field or industry who you admire or who share similar backgrounds.
For Job Seekers Use the Basics
Web-based software pulls information from Twitter’s tweet stream as a database powering the location of job openings. Also look closely at key applications such as TweetMyJobs and TwitJobSearch. TwitJobSearch reports that they listed one million new jobs in the last 30 days. Now to TweetMyJobs. This channel boasts 10,000 specific job channels on Twitter and adds over 50,000 new positions daily. As a job seeker you can fill out their form that will help you customize the types of jobs you are looking for and the TweetMyJobs platform will send daily updates with a free iPhone and iPad apps that will even who job openings on a map. You don’t even need to be signed in as a member to get leads sent to your tablet of choice, IPad, IPhone, Droid or whatever.
Find Powerful Job Search Resources and Information Through Twitter
Twitter has job listings hundreds of thousands of them. They are posted by companies, by individuals, and via channels catered to your industry and preference. Twitter is searchable. Use Twitter’s search engine (search.twitter.com) and search by topic with hashtags (any term with a #in front is known as a hashtag. Hastags also include no spaces between words). The authors of argue that you should then “expand the conversation outwards. Then expand the conversation outwards. According to Secondact.com‘s 5 Secrets to Use Twitter for Job Hunting you need to follow job search related hashtags. Authors Bryan, Whitcomb and Dib say their “favorite hashtags for search include #jobs, #career, #employment, #salary, #hire, #jobseekers, #jobangels â€” and of course â€” #twitterjobsearch. Don’t forget to add your city or state by #(fill in the blank with your city or state) jobs. Miriam Salpeter, the author of Social Networking for Career Success suggests Twitter applications such as WeFollow.com and Listorious.com to find and follow people who could help you get into your preferred industry. She also recommends apps such as TweetDeck or HootSuite if you want to track tweets and possibly simplify your experience on Twitter. Whitcomb, Bryant and Dib suggest that Twitter is not only online you can also make your connections powerful IRL (In Real Life) – through gatherings of users (aka Tweet-Ups), conferences (check out Jeff Pulver’s #140 conf) and other publicized events you can create a community. But let’s get back to more fundamentals.
Think About Your Brand
If you do decide to use Twitter to listen or to build your brand make sure you work with and think through the impact it will have on your career and your brand. It can be a powerful job search tool or personal branding building block for you throughout your career. Use it wisely.
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