Looking for a job? One of the best ways to get your foot in the door is by networking, knowing people in important positions that know you as a competent and capable professional. But this is the 21st century, and there are tons of new ways to network. One often-overlooked resource is social networking site Twitter.
Twitter, with its 140-character limit, may not let you do a whole lot to get long messages across, but the service’s strength is in its brevity. Instead of big, high-pressure networking opportunities, Twitter’s short, frequent interactions build up connections gradually over time.
Here’s how you can use Twitter to land a new position:
Decide who and what you want to be
One of the great things about the Internet is how you can reinvent yourself. This isn’t to say you should make a new identity and fake being someone you’re not – lying will eventually get you found out, or even sent to jail if you commit fraud – but you can decide how to present your personal “brand” to potential employers.
Find the people who can help you
There are millions of users on Twitter, but only a relative few you want to talk to, and even fewer who can help you land a new job. Use Twitter’s hashtags (keywords preceded by the “#” symbol – skip those related to Justin Bieber) to discover people talking about your topic, and find the people most engaged and knowledgeable in the conversation. Follow industry leaders, and use Google and Twitter’s native “advanced search” features to find specific people. Use secret Twitter lists to organize the most critical of these for easy reference.
Connect with key players
Once you’ve identified people you want to connect with, go and connect! Follow, retweet, favorite, discuss, debate (respectfully), and form professional relationships with your new connections. Read articles about the business and tweet them, offering your opinions and sparking intellectual exchange.
Don’t just use Twitter as a networking tool, use it to learn more about the business and make yourself a more knowledgeable, well-informed and well-connected potential employee. And don’t be a robot – use Twitter to get a little personal (but not too much!) and connect with people through shared hobbies and interests. Does that bigwig at Company X like the same football team as you? Is he or she an avid lover of the outdoors? Find that common ground and make a connection that’s not only interesting, but can help get you a job.
Twitter networking, when used correctly, can help you land key interviews and establish your own personal brand within your professional community. We can help you shape the message you’re sending out, or assist your job search in any number of ways. Don’t hesitate to talk with us today!