The more I learn about Twitter the more I love Twitter. The more I use Twitter the more I understand its ability to help individuals and businesses build powerful brands and develop strong networks. I feel both empowered and humbled by the fact I connect and communicate daily with experts in my field that I otherwise would have never had the privilege of meeting had it not been for Twitter. No other networking venue provides this level of real-time connectivity 24/7.
It's not what you know ... or who you know ...
but who knows you!
Benefits to Using Twitter in a Job Search
As I mentioned, aside from the ability to literally network 24/7, there are numerous other benefits to using Twitter as one of your job search strategies. A few of those key benefits include:
- Twitter is a great tool for building and reinforcing your personal brand. When 45% of employers report they search social media to learn more about candidates before bringing them in for an interview, using Twitter to showcase your knowledge, skills, and abilities can play an impact in securing the interview.
- You can connect with leaders and high-profile people in your industry. No one has to "accept" your invitation to be in their network or to be their friend, you simply begin "following" the people you want to connect with. Plus, those strong networking connections often result in people getting together outside of Twitter (i.e., local networking or professional events).
- Using Twitter to search and follow people is one of the easiest ways to connect with target employers.
- Because you are networking with leaders in your field, you can remain "in the know" on leading industry resources, trends, tools, and information.
- You will be building a strong network that will continue to serve you in your career ... even after the job search is over.
- You begin building an electronic diary of micro blog (140 characters or less) posts. These are powerful nuggets of information that you can reuse in your cover letters, interviews, follow-ups … or to write an article).
Getting Started with Twitter
To begin using Twitter, simply go to http://www.twitter.com/ and create an account. You will want to choose a professional Twitter handle using your name or some combination of your name and profession (JohnSmithEngineer). Your Twitter handle will become part of your "brand" ... so choose it wisely. Other tips for getting started with Twitter include:
- Use an abbreviated version of your branding statement as your bio. Include a link to a site that provides more information about you (i.e., LinkedIn profile, personal website, or Visual CV site).
- Invest in a professional photograph. This helps to reinforce your professional branding message and positions you as being prepared, polished, and professional.
- Create a professional Twitter background that will reinforce your personal brand and position you as being memorable. You can use http://theclosetentrepreneur.com/create-a-twitter-background-using-powerpoint or Google "free Twitter background templates."
4 Steps to Begin Using Twitter in Your Job Search
Now that you have your professional Twitter handle, bio, and background complete, you are ready to begin.
- Make it all about THEM. Using http://www.twitter.com/, http://www.tweetdeck.com/, or some other Twitter application, you can begin creating and posting your 140-character messages. As you get started it is important that you tweet often. Tweet multiple times a day. Tweet about an article, a favorite quote, a book you're reading, tips, or nuggets of interesting information related to your expertise. Tweet about an upcoming conference or training event you plan to attend. Make sure your tweets are interesting and positive. Include links to online resources that may be of benefit to others. People whose posts are self-serving or self-promoting typically do not succeed with this venue. Think about what you can post that would be of help to others. It may feel strange to begin tweeting when you have no followers. But hang in there. After a few short tweets, you will have people following you and you will be on your way to building your Twitter network.
- Start communicating with your network. Networking is about connecting, interacting, and remaining in contact ... and networking is what you are doing on Twitter.
Twitter is not a one-sided communication tool. Quite the contrary. You have the ability to post information, ask questions, reply to someone else's post, send a direct message (aka direct message or DM), or forward someone else's tweet to your network (aka retweet or RT). Look for opportunities to ask questions or comment/contribute to someone's tweet. Take time to develop rapport with your network and to build trust. Following these guidelines will position you as being someone likable, trustworthy, and professional -- just the type of person others like to help.
- Always keep it professional. Although you are tweeting valuable information that is benefiting others, I do recommend that you occasionally tweet something positive about your job search ... "Just got a call for an interview tomorrow. They are intrigued with my Six Sigma Cert. Keep your fingers crossed!" These occasional posts are not blatantly self-promoting and will remind your network that you are in a job search. Also, be careful not to share information which is too personal. No one really cares that you are stuck in traffic, getting ready for bikini season, or having lunch with your BFF.
- Start building your network and connecting to employers by following others. Once you have a great profile, some interesting tweets, and a few followers, start following others. You can do a keyword search on Twitter to locate experts in your industry, other subject matter experts, specific topics of interest, as well as employers.
You can also search Twitter by keyword much like you would Monster or CareerBuilder (i.e., Cincinnati Jobs, Healthcare Jobs, Web Design Jobs, IT Jobs). You may want to explore Twitter applications designed to help people in their job search such as http://www.twitterjobsearch.com/, http://www.microjobs.com/, or http://www.tweetmyjobs.com/ ... just to name a few.
You can refer to the following list of employers or search Twitter by employer name (i.e., Verizon Jobs, Cintas Jobs). This is a great way to tap into the hidden job market. And once you begin following and receiving job leads directly from the employer, you may want to consider turning on your mobile alerts for these accounts so you can be among the first to know when the company is hiring! You can also follow a few of your favorite online job boards through Twitter such as Indeed and SimplyHired.
The objective here is to start building your network and connecting to employers by following others. As you begin following others (even those high-profile leaders), you will be surprised as many of them follow you back.
Employers Posting Jobs on Twitter
(this is a collective list from various online resources)
@Accenture_Jobs - Accenture
@accesscareers - Access Communications
@aculis - ACULIS, Inc.
@ADPCareers - ADP
@AllstateCareers - Allstate Insurance
@AssurantCareers - Assurant Solutions
@ATTjobs - AT&T
@BKCareers - Burger King
@comScoreCareers - comScore
@DaVitaJobs - Davita, Inc.
@JoinDeloitteUS - Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
@Ecolab_Jobs - Ecolab
@EMCCareers - EMC
@EMCCollege - EMC
@Ernst_and_Young - Ernst & Young
@Expedia_Jobs - Expedia
@FSCCareers - Follett Software Co.
@forresterjobs - Forrester Research, Inc.
@fullhousecareer - Fullhouse Interactive
@GartnerJobs - Gartner, Inc.
@HersheyCompany - Hershey Company
@HewittCareers - Hewitt
@Hyattcareers - Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
@HyattSanAntonio - Hyatt San Antonio
@JobsatIntel - Intel
@WeHaveFreight - J.B. Hunt
@KTPA_Careers - Kaplan Test Prep Services
@KWCareers - Keller Williams Realty
@kissitocareers - Kissito Post-Acute Care
@KPMGUSCareers - KPMG US
@KrogerWorks - Kroger
@LN_Recruiting - LexisNexis
@MattelRecruiter - Mattel
@mattelmba - Mattel
@mayoclinic - Mayo Clinic
@Careers_At_MSSR - McCormick & Schmick
@JobsBlog - Microsoft
@MTVnetworksjobs - MTV Networks
@MTVGamesJobs - MTV Games
@MySpaceJobs - MySpaceJobs
@Raytheon_Jobs - Raytheon
@RazorfishJobs - Razorfish
@SodexoCareers - Sodexo
@CareersAtSRMC - Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center
@TRCareers - Thomson Reuters
@jobs - Twitter
@UPSjobs - United Parcel Service
@UPMCCareers - UPMC
@DOScareers - US Dept. of State
@VerizonCareers - Verizon
@WBCareers - Warner Brothers
@KingstonCareers - City of Kingston
@VanMarriott - Vancouver Pinnacle Marriot
@IBMUKcareer - IBM/UK
@KPMGRecruitment - KPMG
@PepsiCo_UKjobs - PepsiCo
@JobsatRBSgroup - Royal Bank of Scotland
@Green_Dot - Deloitte Australia
@ibmbejobs - IBM/Belgium
@IBM_CEEMEA_Jobs - IBM/South Africa
Building a Twitter following is not something that happens overnight. For Twitter to be an effective job search strategy, it will require an investment of your time. The old saying "if you build it they will come" does not apply here. This is something you must work at daily. It is a slow process and happens over a period of time. However, the benefits to using Twitter as a career-management strategy are numerous and, in my humble opinion, worth the investment.
The bottom line? I've been convinced that there is great value in using Twitter in my career. Unlike LinkedIn where you connect with people but a strong networking connection rarely happens, I am connected with and communicate on a daily basis with experts in my field that I simply would not have connected with had it not been for Twitter. It is easier to complete that networking cycle of interacting and remaining in contact when there is an ongoing stream of communication going both ways. Aside from all the benefits to my career ... I enjoy it!
Signing off ... @ValeriePlis.