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If you’re looking for a job you should be using Twitter. Not just for finding out where your friends are meeting for lunch, but to learn about the job-search process and maybe even find a job. You should use Twitter for job search. It’s is a great way to connect with people and, at least for right now, it’s free.
So where should you start? It’s easy. Just go to Twitter and create your profile. Be sure to think carefully about the handle you choose – that’s how people will know you in the Twitter universe. Even if you’re not using Twitter for a job search right now it doesn’t mean you won’t be in the very near future. For that reason it’s a good idea to avoid names like @luckylady or @tigerguy when it comes to Twitter.
Twitter also has a search feature at the top of the main page to help you find people to follow. You can look for specific people you know. Search by your interests. If you’re looking for a job you might want to start by searching for recruiters. There are hundreds of them there. Today most companies are also on Twitter and many have company recruiters Tweeting jobs as well. Be creative. You may be surprised at who you’ll find. (Another way to find people is to Google people – for example Google Annette Richmond on Twitter.)
Once you’re following a bunch of people you’ll need a dashboard like HootSuite or TweetDeck. While these are two of the most popular there are many others available as well. A dashboard allows you to use Twitter in a “grid” format which will help you organize who and what you’re following. For example as the people you follow increases you may want to organize them into lists. You might want to follow a list of recruiters or a list of companies you want to learn more about. You can use each “grid” on your dashboard to follow a different group of people.
Dashboards are also helpful when you want to follow particular hashtags which mark certain keywords in tweets. Hashtags are simply the number sign (#) followed by a word or phrase like #career or #jobsearch. If you’re looking for a new job you might want to follow the hashtags like #jobsearch or #jobs. Many TV shows post their hashtags on the screen during the broadcast so fans can follow tweets related to the show. You can also set up “grids” on your dashboard to follow hashtags that currently interest you.
One of the best ways to learn and connect with career professionals like recruiters, coaches, and even company representatives is via Twitter chats. While you can use dashboards like HootSuite to participate it’s much easier to use a something made just for chats like TweetChat. You simply sign in through your Twitter account and then enter the hashtag of the chat you want to follow. You’ll see an automatically updated stream of that chat. The bonus is that Tweetchat will add the hashtag each time you tweet which is very helpful because if you don’t add the hashtag no one participating in the chat will see your posts. If you’d like to learn but aren’t ready to jump in right away it’s perfectly acceptable to “lurk” until you’re comfortable.
There are hundreds of chats on Twitter every week. Whatever your interest there are bound to be a few. There are dozens of chats focused on career-related topics – many specifically targeted towards job seekers. Two of the most popular are #jobhuntchat, Monday’s from 10 pm – 11 pm Eastern and #OMCchat which is hosted by some knowledgeable folks and runs from noon – 1pm every Friday.
While you may have thought that Twitter was not for you – if you’re looking for a new opportunity you need to be part of the conversation. Start off by following a few people and companies who interest you. When you’re ready begin participating in chats. There’s a world of information and potential connections just waiting.
About Annette Richmond, MA
Annette Richmond, MA, CARW, CCELW, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Business Insider, Monster, Vault, and WSJ. She helps motivated, senior level professionals tell their unique career story. She also serves as executive editor of career-intelligence.com.