How to use Twitter to find your next job.

It was particularly apt that I came across this WSJ article entitled ‘Twitter yourself a job’ today of all days and also incidentally via Twitter. I came across it through Mitch Joel who was retweeting a message from Steve Rubel (phew, that was some mouthful!)

FYI – retweeting is the art of broadcasting a message on Twitter that has been written by someone else but you feel will be of interest and value to your followers.. think of it as a kind of mini chain mail but one that has a use and purpose and doesn’t tell you that you’re going to die if you don’t send this email to 20,000 people in the next 12 seconds.

So why is it apt? Why should I care? Here’s why.

I’m starting work as a Social Media Strategist for Consolidated PR as of tomorrow, Monday 5th January 2009. I was hired through Twitter. No recruitment agencies involved, no external costs, no bells, no whistles. Just me, @PBizzle and Twitter. Well, a mutual friend recommended me to @PBizzle who then sent me a message and it all went from there.

That’s a pretty big deal when you think about the costs of recruitment for one new hire for the average company who would typically be looking in to advertising the position online, advertising in specialised print publications and on top of that, getting a recruitment agency like Reed on the case also. It all costs and learnings can be taken from this. You can eliminate all of those costs in one fell swoop and be seen to be a very forward thinking company at the same time.

You’ve probably seen a fairly heavy emphasis towards Twitter related content recently and that’s because although it’s starting to garner mainstream attention, there’s a lot of people out there who don’t get it. I’m trying to help, to provoke thoughts, to provide a sounding board. I’d be very rich if I was given £1 for every person that’s asked me “Why Twitter?” I’m not saying I ‘get it’ but I’ve been using it fairly religiously for the past few months and it seems like I’m learning something new about the tool daily.

How I did it and how you can do it too.

Due to my limited experiences thus far in the Digital / Social Media / Online PR realm if you’re looking at this and not involved in the slightest with any of the above then it can still be applicable to any industry. Replace Edelman for example with a company of your choice in said industry. They however, may or may not have a presence on Twitter.

1. Sign up to Twitter.com, most have their name @joebloggs, a nickname @joeyb or the name of their blog for consistency @joesblog. Mine’s @litmanlive to tie in with the blog. Using your name is the easiest for people to remember I reckon but I always seem to do things the hard way..

2. Write a bio. I don’t follow people without a bio. It might sound rude but I’m selective with the people I follow. I don’t follow everyone that follows me. Similarly, I like to follow people who share the same interests, more often than not work in the same industry or have a website that I visit regularly. There has to be some common ground or why am I choosing to follow them?

3. Think about the people who inspire you in the industry you’re looking to go in to. A few, if not quite a few of them will be on Twitter, dependant on industry.

For example, some of the first industry people I followed were:

@wadds, @bmcmichael, @chris_reed, @simoncollister & @dirkthecow

Similarly, who do you want to work for? Same applies. Do they have a presence on Twitter?

4. You don’t have to have a blog, but it shows another side of your personality to a potential employer. Put a link to it in your bio. One of the biggest drivers of regular traffic to my blog is my Twitter profile. With a blog, employers can instantly see what interests you (what you write about) and often reveals a lot more than any CV can.

5. Be yourself. Be true. Be genuine. Don’t write about things you don’t know anything about or say you can do things you can’t. It will become evident sooner rather than later. If you talk about the things that interest you then an employer would hire you for being you. They call it being transparent.

6. Bring something to the table. Have an opinion. What do you think about topic X or topic Y?

7. Help people out. If they have a question and you can answer it, don’t hold back, go for it. They’ll thank you for it and it’s a great way to build relationships with like minded people.

8. If someone follows you, say hi, they won’t bite. I engaged in random conversation a few times with my soon to be manager. Completely unaware that a few months later he’d be hiring for a suitable position.

9. Get job alerts on Twitter. Examples, Add EdelmanHR and keep up to date with positions available within the company straight in to your Twitter stream. Journalism.co.uk will also deliver all sorts of jobs, from Entry Level to Editor and ranging from freelance to contract to permanent!

10. Finally, I don’t wish to try and put a square peg in to a round hole, I’ve been there myself. All this online micro blogging malarky is not for everyone. It takes time to get in to, for some, weeks, months or a year! If you think it’s for you then it’s definitely worth the investment.

Would you recommend Twitter as a resource for job finding like WSJ?

My original motivation for joining Twitter wasn’t to find a job through it, I was interested in a new way of communicating, a tool which is a round the clock way of getting answers to questions from all across the world. It’s always on and always useful!

As I was finishing up with this post here’s something you should also take note of when joining Twitter.

4 Mistakes to avoid when using Twitter.

Brilliant advice.. from a 10 year old, they start ’em young don’t they!

Here’s a few more links you should check out.

Using Twitter for finding a job

Living Under a Bridge – Job offer in 5 days

6 tips for Twitter job hunting

Job searching on Twitter

58 Replies to “How to use Twitter to find your next job.”

  1. The 2010 challenges I believe are going to be more demanding than before. Personal branding and focus on career development needs to be addressed more carefully. Particularly the resume writing techniques need to be revised by creating a resume that can be used as a marketing brochure for the candidate.

  2. Twitter had been a useful online marketing tool for several business owners well its not really surprising if it had also become a useful job search engine tool

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  4. So Twitter is awesome for Taking traffic to you website . It is very
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  6. Hi Mike,

    A very interesting post, thank you, it’s always helpful to know how we can increase our traffic via Twitter, and it’s certainly a great application for candidates and recruiting employers alike to share their job information.

  7. Hi here……….
    Great and Excellent post Mich. It’s realy good. You make a good point about how to writing a bio, it’s great. Twitter is another way to sharing job information and etc……Finaly the ten points about “how you can do it too” is fantastic and i agree with all points.
    Thanks Mich for sharing…………

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  9. Hi Mike, Twitter is amazing, everyday I learn something new about it! It’ s a phenomena that will redefine social media, web 2.0 marketing and Business as we know it. Anyway just wanted to say thanks for a great post and good luck with the new job.
    Anteek
    http://Twitter.com/anteek

  10. I haven’t been recruited via Twitter yet. I have been recruited through Facebook though and it seems like maybe they are taking notice because of Twitter. I am NOT really sure. I think it is a great tool to use. It is just one more thing for you to use in the arsenal of Social Media.

  11. I found a job through Twitter as well- I start next week! Everything you mentioned in your post is very true- what worked for me, I think, was transparency. Being yourself lets people know what kind of person you are and what to expect from you, which is a lot more than what they’d see on a CV; so when it comes to finding a job through Twitter there’s none of that pressure of pretending to be someone you’re not just to ‘get the job’, which is really refreshing.

    Good luck in your new role!

  12. This is a really good read even if people aren’t looking for a job. There’s fundamental information for anyone wanting to have a better experience on Twitter. Thank you for sharing.

    “THINK, PLAN, EXECUTE!”

  13. Twitter is another way of sharing info, so why not? Plus you have lots of chances to find someone deeply interested in a topic relevant to the operations of your company, well connected to like minded people.

  14. Great post.

    I haven’t used Twitter directly for job hunting, but it cements relationships and through that, I’ve been offered work through the site. But I don’t think it works unless you’re already an active user of the service. For making new relationships more concrete, and getting to know prospective employers, it’s brilliant.

  15. Great Post Mike, Great to see how the success of twittering can be used from an applicants point of view. UK Companies are starting to get the nack of twitter, but so far this is the first success story I have seen from an employees perspective. I will link back on my facebook group. And, thanks jon for the advise on how to increase blog traffic from twitter. I have written a few articles to help the job seeker with other areas of looking for a job on the internet
    finding a job

  16. You make a good point about writing a bio. I think for most people the hardest part of writing a professional bio is choosing what to put in and what to leave out…so they avoid it! What I tell my clients is that a bio is a little advertisement for you. So think about who will be reading your bio and what you want them to know about you. Then advertise your best and most relevant features!

  17. Excellent post Michael. People often try to pidgeonhole Twitter, but it’s so much more than just a glorified Facebook status update, as you’ve demonstrated above.

    I’ve made useful contacts for work through Twitter and have been pointed in the direction of some great blogs, articles and very useful information via Tweets.

    There’ll be a lot more of this in the future, mark my words 🙂

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