Can I tweet my way to a job? Most definitely. Can I tweet my way out of a job? Most Definitely (but that is another post).
Twitter has 284 million “active” users. No real surprises in the top 10 list. Twitter isn’t allowed in China otherwise they would definitely be on the list.
“Top 10 countries, number of Twitter users: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, France, India, South Africa.” (Forbes)
As you can see from the graph above – Twitter users are in their prime job hunting age. 54% of Recruiters are now using twitter.
When you join Twitter, be prepared for your network to grow in leaps and bounds. What next? Let’s start off with the basics.
Open an Account
- First you need to open an account and set up a name. You can use your real name or make up a handle. Make sure if you use a “handle” that it is professional. @ilovecats (is probably taken) wouldn’t offend me, but might not present the degree of professionalism you would like.
- Post a professional picture of yourself or make up a logo based on what type of job you are looking for. If you are a web developer you could do a cover photo with the different languages you use, i.e. html, java, j2ee, etc.
- This account should be used for your job hunting only. If you wouldn’t talk about it in an interview, don’t tweet about it, i.e. don’t be tweeting about how many shooters you did on a Friday night. Although fun healthy family events present a positive lifestyle, so tweet pictures of your nephews and nieces.
- Don’t start tweeting until you are finished with your set up, i.e. profile, picture, etc. First impressions do make a difference.
- Need help signing up, click here
- What’s a hashtag? It is basically a way to put tweets into a category so people can find them. One of my favourites is #onstorm (oh yeah a hashtag has a “#” in front of it). Every time there is the threat of a storm I check out #onstorm and find pictures and tracking information about where the storm is. I’m a storm groupie. #Leafs, #BlueJays, #cometlanding – there are hashtags for everything from sports teams to current events to traffic and yes the big one for job hunters.
- The networking capability is massive in Twitter. Here are top hashtags used for job searches and job openings. You can also qualify your tweets by your skill, ie #java, #html, #banking, #ongov. Do a little research to find out the popular ones. Try one and see what happens.
- Oh one last thing, maximum of 3 hashtags per tweet. Do a little research to find out the popular ones. Best thing is to try and find the one that works the best.
Now you have to decide who to follow:
- If you know what companies you would like to work for, then follow them first. Most of them will post jobs on Twitter. Try and find out who the hiring managers are, and if they have a Twitter account then follow them.
- Again what skill are you selling? Follow groups and people who have the same qualifications/interests.
- Recruitment companies all have twitter accounts and they all post jobs on Twitter. Find the ones that are in your area and have expertise in your field.
Next step is forming a relationship with your followers
- ENGAGE – yes you have to engage with your followers. You can start off retweeting their tweets, but it is much better if you actually respond to one of their tweets. It shows you did actually read their tweet, blog or story.
- “CONTENT CURATION is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.” (wiki). Tweet stories that interest you, retweet breaking news (if you see the subway is closed – tweet it), find blogs about your field and tweet them (with a comment).
- LISTS – Lists are a way for you to organize all your followers. CompaniesIwouldliketoworkfor, FavouriteTorontoPeople, TopJavatweeters, etc. Lists can be public or private. Followers like to be put on lists so don’t make them all private.
- CHATS – there are chats for everything you can imagine. Love gardening there’s a chat, love the Leafs – there’s a chat for that. Every skill has a chat group from iCloud to BigData to Hadoop to name a few. There are lots of job hunting chats and recruiter chats offering advice to the job seeker from “how to write your resume” to “how to answer interview questions”. One of my favourites is #Tchat on Wednesdays – it starts with a podcast and then a 30 minute question period. Joining a chat and taking part is the easiest and most fulfilling way to actually form relationships.
- BEWARE – you don’t have to follow everyone back. Be prepared to receive follows from Twitter accounts who are trying to sell 10,000 followers for $5. As a job hunter you are using Twitter as a means for job searching not to make yourself look important. All they do is clutter up your stream.
Twitter is just one of the wonderful networking job hunting social media platforms out there. Use it to your advantage and enjoy the education, laughs and up-to-date information you will find as you tweet your way to a new position.
Good luck job hunting
Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment. Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!