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