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Finding a Job on Twitter: How Clients Can Successfully Use Twitter in Their Job Search

by Beth Spooner

With the decline of many traditional occupations and emergence of new technologies, job-seekers may start to include social media tools like Twitter in their job search.  As I spent several months researching and designing a Twitter Initiative for Training Innovations integrating social media with traditional job search strategies, it became evident that Twitter is an innovative solution to current employment challenges.

Twitter combines access to traditional job postings with attraction-based marketing to find employment.

Getting started with Twitter can be intimidating for those who have never used it before. The following strategy provides a foundational understanding on how individuals can use Twitter to attract employment by expanding their network and showcasing their professional expertise.  I also provide practical examples for each step.

Plan

Begin by exploring Twitter for a feel of the content and structure. Become comfortable with the navigation and experiment with the search feature using unique keywords for your industry. Try searching for professionals in your field to see how they are using Twitter and brainstorm ideas for showcasing your own unique skills.

Joe is an accountant who specializes in small business taxes. He googles “twitter small business tax accounting” and finds information related to his area of interest. He starts brainstorming how he can share his knowledge through Twitter.


Present

When creating your account, make yourself easily recognizable by using your full name or a blend of your name and expertise.  Be mindful of the number of characters, as your username is included in any tweets reposted by another user (“retweet”).

Use a professional photo and customize your background using the design feature.  Write a thoughtful bio showcasing your strengths and use the URL feature to provide a link to your website, blog or LinkedIn profile.  Prior to selecting people to follow, post a few valuable tweets as a sample of who you are to set an expectation for your potential followers.

Joe sets up his account using a pleasant profile picture and a larger picture of him with his computer. He decides to use his full name as his user name and links his account to his blog about small business tax strategies. He starts tweeting about small business tax issues to showcase what his niche is.

Participate 

Start by tweeting tips, interesting links, news or resources related to your expertise (use a URL shortening service like bit.ly, to reduce the length of links).  As people begin to follow you, follow back to build your network. Talk to people using the @username feature and offer advice where appropriate. Look for innovative opportunities to connect and contribute.  For example, build your portfolio by providing a service in exchange for promotion or publicity.

Joe starts to follow other people in his industry and uses keyword searches to find conversations about small business tax issues in BC. He responds to questions and offers tips and strategies to individuals.

Persevere

Know that your success will come from maintaining your presence and accessibility. Schedule 15 minutes per day to log on and participate.  Be patient knowing that it takes time to establish yourself as a brand.

Joe continues to build his network while participating in the community and people start to contact him for services. He is able to provide individual consulting services while continuing to look for work. He promotes his blog and Twitter account in his cover letter when applying for jobs with accounting firms.

Beth Spooner is a Social Media Specialist with Training Innovations in the Metro Vancouver region.  She tweets about incorporating social media into job search strategies and is passionate about utilizing technology for obtaining employment goals.  To learn about using social media career development and share your own experiences, follow her at http://twitter.com/BethSpooner

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