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How Do I Use Twitter In a Job Search?
Twitter is useful for so much more than streams of consciousness about what people are eating and cat videos and memes. If you leverage the potential that Twitter provides more making an impression on many different people at once, it can be just as powerful for advancing your career as LinkedIn. The following suggestions are just some simple principles that you can incorporate into your Twitter time that will give you a serious leg up over any competition that isn’t seriously investing in social media for their job search.
Tip #1: Always follow the right kinds of people and businesses
Your number one priority for job-hunting through Twitter should be to identify exactly who and what you need to be following. It can be a bit of a slog at first, but if you focus on quality over quantity, you’ll find that the investment in time spent looking for the best profiles to follow can literally pay off in the long run.
As a rule of thumb, try to prioritize following the kinds of institutions that you could realistically see yourself working for if all goes well. Twitter’s advanced search settings allow you to pinpoint your profile search to profiles registered within a certain geographical range, which can make it easier to lock down companies within an easy commuting distance.
Tip #2: Create a steady, continuous traffic flow to your profile at all times
If you happen to be on any content publishing platforms, like WordPress, you can accelerate your traffic by always sharing links to any articles that you’ve made that are relevant to your field. By sharing your most recent content, and encouraging social media sharing at the same time, you can create a two-way flow of traffic that feeds your influence and expands your network on both platforms at once.
Tip #3: Don’t be shy about reaching out directly
Of all of the strategies for increasing your professional network through social media, this is probably the most powerful and potentially the most challenging as well. Help melt the ice a little bit by interacting with potential mentors or networking contacts through retweets or responses first. Networking is helping others achieve goals by answering questions, providing resources that can help, or putting people in touch with a person or people that can assist them in reaching their objective.
Tip #4: Make your professional credentials and achievements visible on Twitter
A solid way to get your Twitter profile on the right track to being a professional asset is to think of it as your digital business card. One of the key ways that you can incorporate more professional flair into your Twitter profile is to showcase a link to your portfolio website or blog in the public profile settings.
Even if you’re not a regular blogger or an artist with a portfolio, you can still benefit from having a link to something that serves as a “hub” for your professional profile.
Tip #5: Be a curator first and a creator second, but still a creator
Tweeting your own content is a necessary part of making a personal impression on other Twitter users in your field, but more importantly, be sure that you’re also sharing high-value links. Generally speaking, you’ll get a better rate of engagement if you focus on bring relevant external resources to people’s attention, instead of only sharing your own opinions and pictures.
It may help to create a small backlog of relevant articles to share. You don’t need to be concerned with being the very first person to share a story, leave that to the news outlets; just make sure that you’ve always got 2 or 3 high-value articles on deck to share with your Twitterverse. You can schedule posts through a third-party website like Hootesuite.com. Hootsuite gives you an extension for your browser called a Hootlet that will allow you to bookmark, schedule, and tweet curated content you find on the web.
Tip #6: Stay on the lookout for any job opening announcements
It’s true that the most valuable job openings will generally be the kind that you have to do some digging for, but companies will still oftentimes post job opportunities directly on their feeds for all to see; this is where being swift and decisive matters the most. To make sure that you’re always on top of these emergent job offerings, give yourself an advantage by preemptively following job recruiters and your target companies who may post an announcement for job openings in the future. Even if they’re not offering anything at a given point in time, being notified when they do will make all the difference.
Tip #7: No wasted steps: make sure that everything you share serves a purpose
It can be extremely tempting to post whatever inconsequential thing is on our minds when the day is going slowly, but for your own sake, try resisting the urge to share something that doesn’t serve a purpose. To make things easier, you might want to create a Twitter account exclusively for business purposes, apart from your personal account.
Tip #8: Stay on top of any breaking news relevant to your professional field
The primary thing that Twitter offers all of us is a constant river of breaking news and announcements, and this can be invaluable to refining your job search. You’re going to want to make sure that you’ve always got the most up-to-date knowledge about your industry as a whole, and Twitter can help you get synopses of any conferences or conventions relevant to your interest. Follow the trail of hashtags that lead to any events that you may want to make a guest appearance at to meet your peers in person. Additionally, setting up Google alerts on your industry keywords can be a great strategy for tweeting out the latest news and important information in your field of expertise. Go to www.google.com/alerts to sign up email alerts for these industry specific keywords.
Tip #9: Pay special attention to the industry leaders
Just about every leader in the industry has a Twitter account, and following them is going to be a direct line of insight into their key initiatives and comments. You have complete freedom to find out as much as you can about the top professionals of interest, so follow them and use what you learn to be even more competitive.
Ideally, what you’re going to want to do is create a network of different professional networking campaigns on different social media websites that can all work together. Once your social media presence gains momentum, you’ll find that the opportunities for networking will start coming to you just as much as you search for them.