How to Use Twitter for Job Search

6 01 2011

You might think of Twitter as just a silly social media site, where millions of people are following the constant moves of Brittney Spears, Ashton Kutcher and other celebs.

So, if you’re looking for a job, how would Twitter be of any help?

I was as much of a skeptic as you, if not more.  However, Twitter, as I recently discovered, is much more than following celebs as they journey through their every day lives.  Twitter is an online community, or more, a collection of many online communities.

The other day, I was speaking with a career coaching client who works in the IT field; he has a lot of technical expertise, and he would love to share his expertise with others who would be interested.  I explained to him how Twitter (combined with a blog) provides a wonderful opportunity for him to connect with others in his field with whom to share their respective IT expertise.

I first suggested that he begin to follow others who are in the same field (you can search Twitter by name or by any other key word or phrase).  He can read their posts which may include their blogs as well as other blogs and articles that they want to share.  Then, he can begin writing as well, and post the link to his blog on Twitter.  Some of those whom he is following may begin to follow him back.

He then can take it to the next step.  He can seek out IT Execs who may have a connection to his area of expertise, and begin to follow them.  Then, some of them may also follow him.

To the next step even.  He Retweets (RT), which is re-posting, one or more of the tweets that others have posted.  When they notice his RT’s, they will often thank him in the Twitter feed.  In their doing so, he will gain further visibility with all of their followers, so some can begin to follow him as well.

And, it keeps growing!  Every time someone mentions you and your post, their followers can see your Twitter ID and your post, and some will choose to check you out.  When you follow other Twitter members, some will also follow you.  It is very reciprocal – not always, but quite often.  Every time you mention someone else in your Tweets, it shows up on their Twitter feed.  They appreciate your mentions and acknowledge you for your good gestures.  Members also thank others for following them or adding them to specialized lists.   All of this increases your visibility and ultimately, increases the number of people following you.

So, how does this help you with a job search?

When you are writing articles or blog posts that have good content, and display your knowledge and expertise, you gain credibility with those who read your materials.  As you increase your following and your readership, you increase your visibility to others in your field.  When an opportunity arises, they will now think of you because they have begun to get to know you through your writing, as well as through your Twitter demeanor.  They may reach out to you, connect on LinkedIn, and send you an email to further the relationship.

Even if you do not feel you have an “expertise” to share, or feel that you want to write  a blog, you can still use Twitter to connect with others, and share their blogs, as well as other blogs and articles that you come across in your research.  By sharing with others, you will build a positive reputation and will build connections with others.

Twitter allows you to make a “soft” connection with people in your field and target markets without asking for a job, or asking for anything.  It is all about sharing and building a relationship.  Twitter provides you an opportunity to connect with people with whom you may not otherwise be able to connect.

Use Twitter to target industries, companies, hiring authorities

Using your other networks (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) and internet search, you can identify industries, companies and potential hiring authorities, and then search Twitter to see if they are members.  More and more Twitter members are adding and connecting their Twitter ID to their LinkedIn profile.

Twitter provides you with another way to connect with people who share your interests, or are interested in what you have to share, and you can become visible to many with whom you would otherwise remain unknown.

I welcome you to join me on Twitter (StuartCFried) and add Twitter to your networking (and job searching) arsenal.




One response

6 01 2011

I’m beginning to consider Twitter for marketing my consulting practice. My biggest concern is whether or not it takes a time commitment to do right that gives me good ROI.

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