Twitter: What You Need to Know and How to Use Twitter to Find a Job
You didn't think you needed another social network to propel your job search? You're on LinkedIn – isn't that enough? I'm here to share information about my favorite social network...You could say I'm a bit of a Twitter evangelist!
Let's face it, when Time Magazine devotes a cover story, Oprah is a fan, you can't watch late-night TV without hearing references to Twitter and various media outlets are sharing stories about people who landed job opportunities as a result of their effective tweets – you need to know about Twitter.
Briefly, what is Twitter?
Technically, Twitter is an online "microblogging" platform that allows participants to send brief, 140-character messages to a group of people who choose to "follow" them. Think of it as a service that facilitates information sharing between people with common interests.
Maybe you have heard that people hop on Twitter to share what they had for lunch, that their flight has been delayed or what cute thing their kids said that day. I'm not going to lie to you – people share all of that on Twitter. However, there is so much more to this social network that makes it a terrific choice for job seekers and careerists hoping to expand their networks of helpful and useful job search connections.
Unique Aspects of Twitter
1. It is casual, immediate and a great place to "meet" informally.
2. You may be surprised by how easy it is to connect with all types of people via Twitter. It's one-stop shopping for your networking needs. You'll be surprised to find that stars in your field may follow you if you reach out to them!
3. Unlike Facebook, where it is kind of creepy if you start trying to "friend" people who are connected to your contacts, it is acceptable (and expected) to follow people on Twitter because another friend or colleague does.
4. Unlike LinkedIn, where you are admonished not to connect with anyone you don't "know," Twitter is a place specifically to connect with people you do not know.
5. It forces you to be brief. Many people, even writers, comment that using Twitter really forces them to get to the point quickly. When writing a "tweet," there is not much space, so you need to be brutal in editing. It helps you focus and gain clarity about what is important in what you are trying to share and to think about how to communicate it in a way that is interesting and makes sense.
6. For job seeking clients, coming up with a "Twit-Pitch" - what you have to offer in 140 characters or less - will help you clarify your value proposition. Remember: less is more!
Why should you spend time incorporating it into your daily routine? What Can Twitter Do For You?
1. The numbers – best estimates are more than 44 million users.
2. Twitter is a democratic gathering place to share ideas and helps create a level playing field that helps you communicate with people of interest for your job hunt. From celebrities to CEOs to your colleagues, recruiters (more and more recruiters are turning directly to Twitter to source candidates) and potential clients,
3. Affords access to other professionals in your field. When you follow industry leaders, you'll know who spends time with them, what conferences they attend (and what they think of the speakers!), what they're reading and what is on their minds.
4. Allows you to demonstrate your expertise to a broad audience in order to gain credibility and job opportunities. Twitter is the easiest and quickest way that I know for someone to share ideas, insights and information. It offers you a venue to demonstrate your expertise and share information in quick, pithy bursts of wisdom. This is perfect if you don't have the time or energy to create a blog.
5. Provides exposure and credibility as well as personal and professional relationships when you connect to others in your industry.
6. If you want to have your finger on the pulse of your industry, using Twitter is a cutting-edge approach. Your colleagues will share blog posts and news items of interest – it's like having a slew of personal librarians, anxious to share knowledge that appeals to you or helps you land a job! Becoming a part of a strong Twitter community will actually save you time and help cull down the informational overload we all face on a daily basis. Let your "tweeps" (Twitter friends) tell you what's worth reading!
You do not need to be a rocket scientist to learn how to use Twitter, but there are a lot of ins and outs, lingo, resources and etiquette that, when used properly, will make your time on Twitter more productive, useful and fun!
We know that you do not have the time to ramp up your learning curve to the point where you can be an expert tweeter. Having used Twitter successfully to help fuel my business and make a name for Keppie Careers (I have even been listed on CNN's "top 10 job tweeters to follow"), I can help you get up-to-speed in no time at all. For starters (and a few additional tips), CLICK HERE to read my intro to Twitter for the job search on my blog at Keppie Careers.
Miriam Salpeter, owner of Keppie Careers, is a job search coach and resume writer with a Master's degree and over 12 years of experience encouraging, enlightening and empowering job seekers. She offers her clients and readers confidence, clarity and job search know-how and authors a highly regarded blog at www.keppiecareers.com. Miriam is well known as a top resource for job seekers on Twitter. You can follow her tweets @keppie_careers.
You may also read Miriam's advice on the nationally known Examiner.com site, where she serves as the National Career Coach Examiner and on GreatPlaceJobs, where she is both the in-house career advisor and serves as the Networking and Social Media Strategy Coordinator.