Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Finding jobs on Twitter

Twitter has taken the social networking world by storm, but there is something that sets this site apart. Giving you access to people, celebrities and heads of industry that you normally wouldn’t come into contact with.

“You can find a lot of decision makers out there really quickly. You can go right from point A to point B really quickly using social media. Using LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook,” says David Gallant, who works on the support team at HubSpot in Cambridge. He says Twitter helped him land his first job right out of college, through a job posting he saw his friend Pete re-tweet, “the president of Garfiled group said, ‘Hey Pete, can you re-tweet this?’, Pete did, I jumped on it. I didn’t know the president of Garfield group, but I knew Pete, so now the triangle is now completed, the friendship circle is there, I know this person two degrees away, because of Twitter,” Gallant says when that company downsized, and he found himself on the job hunt again, his Twitter connections helped him land his current job. “We were following each other on Twitter, so we were talking, sharing jokes, this and that, built up a relationship enough where they knew my name, I knew their names, so when it came time to coming in, it was like, ‘that guy’s a familiar face at this point,” Gallant says.

You don’t need to be a computer whiz, creating a Twitter profile is your first step. Put a nice clear picture of yourself, and maybe a custom background, but that’s not enough. Creating your brand, learning how to market yourself online, is a huge part of finding a job, according to Dan Schawbel, managing partner of Millennial Branding and author of “Me 2.0”. “Brand yourself for the career you want, not the job you have. That’s the key because people are going to be searching for key words based on different expertise and if you’re branding yourself for a job you hate right now, you’re just going to keep getting more opportunities for that type of job. So you really want to position yourself for something you’re really passionate about because then those opportunities are going to come to you,” Schawbel says. You can start by searching for leaders in your industry, even targeting specific companies where you want to work, and follow them. Using an advanced search will help you figure out what topics people are talking about and jumping into a conversation can show off what you know.

Twellow.com is one site that Schawbel suggests, it allows you to search for people in specific careers and you can even isolate where you’d like to work. “For every single day that you don’t have a profile on these top social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn as well as maybe your own website, that’s one opportunity you miss every single day because people are already searching you or people like you with that type of expertise,” Schawbel says.

Don’t just focus on promoting yourself, but try broadcasting information you think your network or followers will find useful. Because it’s not just who you follow, but what you’re tweeting about that makes a difference to potential employers. “Do they understand the Twitter culture? Are they @ replying people, are they re-tweeting people? Do they use Twitter in the right way, or is it something that they just goof around on? It’s a great way to see someone’s personality,” says Tom Lee of 451 Marketing. Lee often uses Twitter to find employees, and tweets about job openings at his company. “You can’t imagine the number of resumes I get every day that are addressed ‘To Whom It May Concern’ and its sent to the info@451marketing. I don’t even open those. Where as I would say the converstion rate for the people who reach out to you through Twitter is probably for every three people who reach out to me, two of those get interviews,” Lee says. So if job websites and posting on employment pages haven’t lead to a steady paycheck, you may want to reach out to the Twitterverse, and see what follows.








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