When it comes to networking with recruiters and professionals in your field, there are hundreds of options to pick and choose from. The fact is that there are other channels to network and find career opportunities outside of LinkedIn (Read: LinkedIn For Job Seekers – Simple Tips & Tweaks to Find Your Next Job).
If you’re not using Twitter as part of your job search and networking strategy, you’re missing out on one of the most valuable and fastest growing global internet tools available. It is estimated that more than 25 million people visit Twitter every month, and that includes recruiters, hiring managers, industry experts, and most likely, key players in companies that you want to work for.
In a recent article published by Business Insider columnist Vivian Giang, “Now There’s A Way To Apply For Jobs Directly Through Twitter”, she states that “By now, many employers think that who you are online is more revealing of your character than a resume.”
In her article, Vivian interviews Joe Budzienski, founder of Gozaik, a free social web application recently launched that searches through Twitter users and aggregates content of job openings directly to the Gozaik’s user dashboard, so they can apply using their Gozaik resume.
Twitter has 3 basic functions: (1) read content (tweets) on Twitter, (2) share content on Twitter with your followers, and (3) you can find, connect and interact with other Twitter users. Sounds simple enough? It is, so what’s stopping you from using Twitter as part of your Career Development strategy?
Twitter allows for a bit more personal, less formal, more fun mode of communication. It allows you to catch a glimpse of you as a regular person sending SMS texts from Wal-Mart, rather than as a serious, detached individual. Why is this useful? It allows people to connect and relate to you on a personal level – it makes you look just like a “regular Joe”, especially if you include random/fun tweets among the more serious, business-driven tweets.
Why is it important to be personal? Because your character, your personality will win job leads and promotions, not how smart you are and how good you are with Excel.
Although I’m not going to break down step by step how to open up a Twitter account, I’m going to focus on the main points that you can use to help you network and find your next job. Even if you’re not looking for a job at this moment, Twitter is an invaluable tool to network with professionals in your field.
Make it easy for people to find you by using your full name, and if is taken, be creative and add numbers or symbols that people can still search for you using your name.
Make sure you are using a professional picture, preferably the same picture that you’re using on LinkedIn and any other social network; consistency is the key.
Your Twitter profile is the thing that tells people who you are, what you like and what you do. If you'll just put a link in there and nothing else, people won't go to that link, because they don't know if it's relevant or interesting to them.
Unless you’re trying to connect with everyone, regardless of who they are and what they have to offer, you should keep your network relevant and on the same theme. For example, if you’re an Accountant, don’t follow people and companies who Tweet about baking, painting, etc. Focus on following people in your field of work.
The same goes for those that follow you, make sure the people that follow you are relevant, because a bad follower can jeopardize your relationship with your network. For those that follow you, you can actually “block” them if you rather not have them following you for whatever reason.
Stay up to date with the latest news and resources from your field by using Twitter to find and digest the latest content. No matter what your industry and function is, there’s always something interesting happening that could help your mind stay fresh and can even help you introduce some cutting edge tools and ideas in your own job.
If you have an upcoming interview, Twitter is a great source to learn what’s happening with the company, who’s who, and any other interesting facts that could help you earn points during the interview.
If you’re not familiar with Twitter hashtags: a hashtag is simple a word or phrase with the “#” in front of it. Hashtags are used to search, organize, and consume content on Twitter. Hashtags are a clean way to aggregate tweets that are relevant.
For example, if you type the hashtag “#iPad” on the Twitter search box, you will get a list of ALL the Tweets that contain that hashtag, along with a timestamp, and the account (person or company) it was Tweeted from.
Twitter has been used by many famous people and companies to establish their brands and create a community of enthusiasts from all over the world. It doesn’t matter if people know you or not, you can harness the power of Twitter to effectively brand yourself as a source in your field. Here’s how:
Be Active. If you are new to twitter, search up some hash tags and join the conversation on some local communities and in no time people will know about you. Your job is to provide valuable content and serve the community and people will naturally follow you. Follow news sources, key individuals and companies in your industry. Chime in and become a part of the conversations taking place.
Promote yourself. When it comes to self-promotion, be humble, but aggressive. What does this mean? Be humble enough to appreciate those who have helped you along the way, those who are willing to connect with you and share knowledge. But aggressive in putting yourself out there in front of those that are highly known in your industry, especially those individuals and companies that put out content, comment on it and offer your opinions.
Learn how to create buzz for yourself by going against the odds, if you don’t necessarily agree with something, don’t go with the flow like everyone else, respectively disagree and offer valid and credible reasons why you disagree. This will help you establish your brand and credibility in your field.
Create a customized Twitter background for yourself. You can put up contact details, accomplishments, links, etc. on your twitter background and anybody who sees your background will get a better sense and idea of who you are and what you do. Take advantage of this empty space and infuse it with your personality, your brand, your voice.
Organize events. People like to socialize and share insights, especially in a business setting. Organize local events that encourage people to come in, have some fun, and connect with like-minded professionals in their fields. It doesn’t have to be a conference, it could be something as simple as bowling, which is actually much better because people come to have fun and converse, without feeling the pressure that traditional professional events such as conferences have.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Make the event about the connection and the people, not about you. Make sure that if you’re organizing the event, the main goal is to create an environment that puts people at ease and allows them to have candid conversations.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Twitter is a great platform for building relationships, make sure you keep an open mind, seize every opportunity to get to know someone, and learn as much as possible from every situation. Twitter is merely a tool, the rest is up to you.
About the author
Yosniel Romero is the Founder of InsoyCareer.com, a blog focused on providing quality tips & resources for Job Seekers on Personal Branding, Job Hunting, Resume & Cover Letter Writing, and Interviewing. You can follow Yosniel and InsoyCareer on Twitter: @InsoyCareer; Facebook: http://www.insoycareer.com/facebook; LinkedIn: http://www.insoycareer.com/linkedinPage.
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