5 Secrets to Use Twitter for Job Hunting
In 2012, 45 percent of companies expect to increase their budgets for recruiting on Twitter and other social networks, according to a recent survey by TweetMyJobs, a Twitter-based job-finding service. Companies "are crazy if they're not distributing job openings" on Twitter and other social networks, says TweetMyJobs CEO Robin Richards. "They're missing a tremendous opportunity."
Companies such as Starbucks, Kaiser Permanente, AllState and Tiffany & Co. already are using social networks to locate new employees.
But you can't just create an account and expect company recruiters and hiring managers to find you when you're making a career change. There's an art to using Twitter to find work. First, set up a professional profile that recruiters will notice. Then start following the right kinds of people in your field, use job-hunting and other search tools, and take part in jobs-related chats.
Here are some tips on how to get the most out of Twitter for a job search:
1. Get your account in job-hunting shape.
It's just as important to make a good first impression online as it is in person, and that's why you want to take care in crafting your Twitter profile. For recruiters, "Your profile is your chance to get on their radar screen and let them know your value and what you're a match for," writes Carrie Krueger, vice president of job-search website Jobfully. For a username, use your real name or something close to it instead of something silly or obscure. A Twitter profile bio is limited to 160 characters; be sure to include your location and the type of work you do or are looking for, plus keywords that recruiters might use to search for prospective candidates. Don't forget to add a professional-looking photograph.
[Related: 10 Steps to Start on Twitter]
2. Use job-hunting apps.
Job hunters can use Twitter add-on applications -- web-based software that uses the social network's tweet stream as a database to perform tasks such as locating job openings or helping you apply for work. One app is TweetMyJobs, which has 10,000 specific job channels on Twitter and adds 50,000 new positions a day. Job hunters fill out a form explaining the types of positions they're looking for, and TweetMyJobs sends daily updates to them via Twitter, email or mobile phone. TweetMyJobs also offers a free iPhone and iPad app that shows job openings on a map and allows job hunters to locate those positions as they walk through a city or town, according to Richards, the company's CEO.
3. Find people who can help with your job search.
Twitter isn't just another place to search for job listings. It's also a way to build relationships that could lead to your dream job, says Miriam Salpeter, a job search and social media coach, and author of Social Networking for Career Success: Using Online Tools to Create a Personal Brand. Salpeter recommends using Twitter apps such as WeFollow.com or Listorious.com to find and follow people who could help you get into your preferred occupation or industry. To keep up with hiring trends, follow career coaches, resume writers, job industry experts and government employment agencies. Finally, follow companies' human resources or career accounts for the latest job openings. Once you've built up lists of industry insiders, experts and companies to follow, Salpeter suggests using apps such as TweetDeck or HootSuite to make it easier to track their tweets.
[Related: Are You a Connector?]
4. Follow job-search-related hashtags.
Twitter uses hashtags -- a single word or phrase beginning with a "#" and with no spaces or punctuation -- to tag individual tweets or conversations on specific subjects. Jobs and job hunting are big topics of conversation on the network, and people use multiple hashtags to discuss employment topics. Some of the most popular include: #job, #jobs, #jobsearch, #career, #employment, #salary, #hire and #-----jobs (fill in the blank with your city or state).
Susan Ireland, a resume expert and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Resume, put together a much-referred-to list of those and other job-search hashtags in this post on her Job Lounge blog. Use TweetDeck, HootSuite or Twitter's Save Searches feature to save a hashtag that you want to monitor on a regular basis.
[Related: The Art and Craft of Twitter Hashtags]
5. Participate in chats.
You also can use hashtags to follow Twitter job chats -- discussions that take place on the social network in real time. Chats are sponsored by professional groups, career experts or agencies. Some are one-time events while other chats are weekly or monthly gatherings. Before jumping into the conversation, check to see if the chat host has posted questions for that day's conversation, or if there are other etiquette rules to follow. Regularly scheduled job chats include #jobhuntchat (Mondays at 10 p.m. Eastern) and #careerchat (Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Eastern). Sometimes chat sponsors post transcripts in case you miss the chat in real time.
Read more: 4 Facebook Apps for Job Hunters
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