Posted by Brian McCullough
If 2008 was the year everyone and their mother showed up on Facebook (literally, my mother!) then this year is the year that Twitter is really taking off.
I don’t have the space or inclination to introduce you to Twitter or how it works (simple google searches should give you a nice rundown of how to join the twittering masses) but I do want to explore using Twitter as a job search tool.
The most important reason is that job searching (and job posting) on Twitter is still in it’s infancy. So, first movers might be able to pick up some quick leads and opportunities before the masses catch on.
How To Job Search On Twitter
There are basically 3 main ways to use Twitter as a job search tool.
First, and most basicly, you can use Twitter to shout your job search into the void. Posting, “I am such and such professional in such and such place looking to get a job as an XYZ,” is the most obvious way. It seems the most useless way right now… but it might become more valuable in the coming months as more and more employers do keyword searches on twitter to find candidates.
So, it won’t hurt to put yourself into the Twitter stream. I would suggest posting general descriptions as well as specific skill or experience descriptions. For example, saying you do sales… well, ok, there’s probably a lot of people who do that. But tweeting that you specialize in telecom sales in Latin American markets (and speak spanish) might cause you to show up if someone searches for more specific skill sets. So do general tweets as well as narrow tweets. Can’t hurt.
Also, posting can be useful if you have a bunch of people following you. But at the moment, most people who aren’t in the media or tech fields probably have way more people connected to them on Facebook than they have following them on twitter. So, if you’re in PR and you have 75 other PR folk following you on twitter, then tweeting is literally the best way to get your job search out there. For the rest of us, I’d recommend using you Facebook status update to do the same thing. It would probably reach more people.
The 2nd way use twitter to job search would be to follow people. If you can somehow begin following the person who does the hiring at the company you want to work at, well… let’s just say that’s the best stalking I can imagine. Or, if you know a specific company you want to work for, you could try to follow as many people as possible who work at that company. You never know when mentions of openings or opportunities might crumble down…
A lot of companies are getting wise and are setting up specific twitter accounts. So if your dream company has set up an account to announce job openings, then you’d darn well better start following that account religiously. And as soon as a position you like get’s tweeted, jump on that baby before everyone else does. Have your resume ready to submit.
Finally, the third (and in my opinion, most promising) way to job search on twitter is by using twitter search.
Quite simply, this method of job searching/job posting could become huge. Right now, very few companies are posting jobs on twitter. But this could explode over the next few months because it’s quick and it’s free. So, until the masses catch on, if you’ve got an eagle eye on the twitter search, you can jump all over opportunities other non-twitter-savvy folks will miss.
I suggest simple keywords like “job opening” “job opportunity” “help wanted” or “new position”. Stuff like that. Again, there’s not tons of stuff out there yet. But I expect this to change rapidly. For example, I just did a search on http://search.twitter.com for “job opening accounting ann arbor” and got nothing. Just not enough out there yet. But when I put in “job opening accounting” I got a couple of openings from an account called Raytheon Jobs, which redirects to an official looking jobs page for the Raytheon corporation.
Finally, one final thought. If you are in a field like media or tech, you can’t afford NOT to use Twitter for your job search. I’ve already heard stories of hiring managers at hip advertising agencies tweeting job openings as a way to weed-in the most tech savvy candidates.