How can you use Twitter as a potent job hunt tool? Most candidates on Twitter have barely scratched the surface. Many more aren’t on Twitter at all!
In my view, Twitter is vastly underrated as a job-hunting tool. So I’m writing this piece to help you to:
- Quickly track down and start a dialogue with recruiters at your dream employers
- Know exactly when those people are on Twitter so you can engage them most effectively
- Find other specialist recruiters in your sector to connect with
- Know what the hot topics are within each company you are targeting, to effectively start a dialogue and also to prepare for interviews
I will assume you have a Twitter account already – and that your bio and the tweets on your account mean you come across professionally to other Twitter users. If you’ve never used twitter, you can create an account and write your bio in a matter of minutes, so don’t let this put you off…
For the purposes of this article I’m going to recommend that you use SocialBro and TweetedTimes. There are no doubt other tools you could use to achieve the same results, but I want to hand you on a plate exactly what you need to tweet your way to a new job. SocialBro has various paid plans, but I use the free Google Chrome plugin. Desktop versions are also available (get free SocialBro here)
Step 1 – Quickly track down recruiters at your dream employers
Once you have SocialBro up and running, you’ll see on the left side of your screen a search interface like this:
We’ll talk about searching in just a moment, but you’ll see you can narrow down the search results with filters. Have a play around with these to suit your needs (languages, timezones, etc.), but my recommendation would be to include only results for people with custom avatars (ie. they’ve taken the time to upload a photo / image on their account rather than using the default icon – most professional users will do this); and to use the “Time Since Last Tweet” icon to filter out those who aren’t active on Twitter.
Next up, click on the tab next to Filters called “Adv. Search”. This you’ll see allows you to search the Twitter bios of other Twitter users. Try searching for “Google Recruiter” and you’ll start to see how this can work for you. For larger companies you’ll probably see some generic branded recruiting accounts, but also loads of accounts of individual recruiters within the business – individuals you can strike up a relationship with! Now try inputting the names of the companies you would most like to work for. Use variants of recruiter like HR, hiring and recruitment. You should start to see lots of interesting folks appearing – hiring managers, HR managers and the like.
Now you can of course follow these users as one way to appear on their radars. Nothing wrong with that at all – and some will have notifications enabled that mean they’re made aware of the new followers they get each day. But what I would encourage you to do is to click on the “add to list” button. You can then create lists for each company you are interested in joining. So you might have a Google list, an Apple list, an IBM list and a Microsoft list if those were the companies you wanted to target.
For what we’ll be doing shortly, you may want to have a clean list with just recruiter contacts; and then another list with a far broader selection of employees included. Each list can contain up to 500 twitter users and you can set each one to be private (accessible only by you) or publicly available.
Step 2 – Know exactly when your target Twitter users are active on Twitter
Here’s where things get interesting. At the top of your screen you should see a tools icon (screenshot below) and clicking this reveals a number of fantastic tools you can freely use.
Real-time analytics is one such tool. Click on this and it will show you which members of your twitter network have been active on Twitter within the last five minutes. Woah! But it gets better still. You can also select any one of your lists and get results just for that list. Hey presto, you can now see which of the eg. Microsoft recruiters you identified in Step 1 are actually there on Twitter for you to engage with right now.
Note: you’ll see it’s also possible to track the same results for other people’s lists if they have left their settings as publicly available. So within your sector a quick internet search may well turn up other lists of recruiter contacts you might want to approach – and for whom you can get the same availability insights.
Step 3 - Find other specialist recruiters in your sector to connect with
Another fantastic job-seeker tool you'll find in that same menu area is called “Analyze your competitors”. Click this and you’ll see you can bring up much of the same information you have about your twitter account for other twitter users too – and conduct Twitter bio searches within each user's twitter network.
So let’s say you want to cast the net wider than just these 4 companies, maybe interact with some executive recruiters / recruitment consultants or also engage with smaller businesses or start-ups. Delve into the accounts of some of the recruiters you’ve found in Step 1 using “Analyze your competitors” and you will then see you can conduct a Bio search (under the Adv. Search tab) on just their followers and friends. So you can search to find which of their contacts also have “headhunter” or “recruiter” in their bios. This opens up a pandora’s box of recruiting contacts within your industry, all of whom you can obviously also add to lists and also establish whether or not they are active on Twitter right now.
Step 4 - Know what the hot topics are within each company you are targeting, to effectively start a dialogue and also to prepare for interviews
Now it’s time for us to bring TweetedTimes into play. This wonderous site presents you with a newspaper style layout of the articles that are being Tweeted most by a segment of Twitter users. The default view is to show you what’s being tweeted by all your Twitter friends in aggregate – and that alone can make for fascinating reading.
Where it’s really powerful though is in allowing you to see what’s being shared by people within the lists you’ve created. You can create a TweetedTimes for each of those lists (provided you leave the setting for each list as publicly available). So you can now see what recruiters within eg. your Google list have been sharing most frequently. Or if you created a broader list of Google employees too, you can see what’s been creating waves more broadly within the business.
How’s that for real insight into the business just hours before you head into your first interview??! It’s also a pretty good door opener to start conversations – either by retweeting or commenting on some of the tweets that your list members have shared; or by sending one of these relevant links on to contacts you’d like to strike up a relationship with as something you saw that you thought would be of interest to the team.
So in summary you've learnt how you can quickly and effectively:
- Track down recruiters at your dream employers on Twitter
- Know exactly when your target recruiters are active on Twitter
- Find specialist recruiters in your sector to connect with on Twitter
- Know what the hot topics are within each company you are targeting
- Prepare for job interviews by gaining insights into employers using Twitter
For 9 out of 10 people reading this article, I’m quite certain the results will be a real eye-opener to you as to the power of Twitter to further your career change aspirations. Do give this approach a try and leave comments below to let us know how you get on.
Of course there are many other Twitter job search approaches you could try out too. What are some that have worked well for you? Again please do add your own thoughts and experiences using the comment form below.
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