How to use Twitter During Your Job Search

May 19th, 2010

Help WantedJust recently I was interviewed by Wallace Immen from the Globe and Mail “Tweet your way to a job” along with Mark Buell, Randall Craig, Jacob Share, and Deb Dib. The article shares how to make the most of Twitter with advice from both experts and users on the smartest ways to make Twitter part of your job search.

twitter job search guideImmen was looking to interview Canadians who has used Twitter for job searching. He stumbled across my name because I was published in The Twitter Job Search Guide (by Susan Whitcomb) where I shared some Twitter tips  last fall. Her book shows you how Twitter can energize your job search and advance your career in just 15 minutes a day.

Here’s my original interview with Susan Fall 2009 for Whitcomb’s book above:

The position I had prior to landing new position
I was previously the Online Marketing Director at a software start-up, unfortunately I was laid off with a bunch of staff (budget cuts) end of June 2009. So my job hunting was while I was unemployed, so it was easier to be vocal on Twitter. I started looking in September and was hired on at end of October.

In summary
Twitter and blogging help me attract and convince employers that I was a good candidate, especially when I was shortlisted for a few positions. I  received tips on new opportunities from others through my network because I was very vocal that I was looking for something.  I also had recruiters and people in the industry connecting with me about other positions coming up. Even after I started at my new job, I had about 5 direct responses asking if was interested in other positions, but I couldn’t consider them because I already landed my new job. So my tweeting definitely paid off for me.

The way I found other job seekers
When I bumped into interesting job postings that didn’t fit me, I then tweeted for others to see.  I had dm’s thanking me for posting them. I  still post job opportunities from time to time if I come across any interesting ones.  Someone is always looking for a new career that is in my network, I am sure. And some people who have jobs like to keep on top of what’s out there – making sure they are on the right path for professional development, so I am happy to help. I didn’t necessarily look for job seekers, but if I wanted to, I would search by profiles on twellow/tweepsearch or search tweets with the keywords.

Susan: Did you intentionally set out to make Twitter an integral part of your job search or was it happenstance?

Me: Yes, I intentionally set out to use Twitter for my job search. Since I was already on it for a year, I knew how it could help me with my new career.

Susan: How vocal were you about your job search on Twitter? Did you make your objective and employment status a topic for discussion—or did you keep it to yourself?

Me: I did not keep it to myself. Nor did I spam everyone all the time. I mixed my tweets in here and there. The most important is that I updated my profile (saying that I am looking for a job) and I updated my other profiles that are listed on my twitter background too (Facebook, LinkedIn and Blog about page).

For example, this was my profile on my Twitter page when I was looking:

twitter profile job hunting

And here are some sample tweets I did during my transition not keeping it to myself:

sample tweet

Susan: What was the “tweet” or Twitter marketing campaign that made a difference for you?

Me: I tweeted here and there and shared my experiences through the process. Updating my profile, tweeting that I am looking, that I am interviewing, that I found other jobs people may be looking for, tweeting that I got my job.

Susan: What’s your advice for current job seekers using Twitter?

Me: There’s lot’s to do here’s a few:

  • Integrate Twitter with Facebook, Linkedin and your blog (if you have one).
  • Facebook and LinkedIn now have Twitter Apps, so when you update your Twitter feed, it automatically updates within your profiles.  Also add your Twitter feed on the side bar of your blog (if you have one)
  • Update your profile in Twitter settings and say it outright that you are looking for a job (like my sample above).
  • If you don’t have a blog, link your Twitter profile to your public LinkedIn profile.
  • If you do have a blog link from your Twitter profile and make sure your “About” page has at the top of the page “Currently looking for career opportunities” or something like that. Be very clear on all of your profiles that cross link to Twitter that your are looking for a job. If you don’t tell anyone, no one will help or refer you. Twitter and all social media is about helping others, you will be surprised.
  • If your blog is about the topic you are an expert on and the topic and it is relevant to your job. Put more effort in compiling great posts that show your expertise during this time, it is VERY important. I found that showing what I know and directing people to my blog helped me through my job process. I had multiple comments from potential employers that it actually helped me stand out of the crowd and convince them that I had the skills they are looking for.
  • Make sure your tweets during your job hunt is reflecting mostly your passion and expertise that is related to the job. Question if you posted valuable tweets that show your passion on the topic. Even if you are commenting on others blog posts or you are researching topics to make yourself better on the job. Let others know. Avoid filling your twitter stream up with every day stuff that doesn’t matter. Your potential boss doesn’t care if your cat threw up or if you are having a martini on a sunny deck.
  • Set up tweetbeeps, twitter searches and Google alerts with keyword phrases that match the title of the job you want (and city or you’ll get too many alerts). This was the only way I looked for most of the job postings.
  • Help others that are looking for a job on Twitter and then they will help you back.

Susan: In 140 characters or less, what’s your favorite piece of advice for the current job search market?

Me: Ask for help, help others, tell people you are looking for job and tell them what exactly is your ideal job.

Susan: What is your job now? What is the job you held when you started your job search?

Me: I am the Online Marketing Manager at a software company now. I was unemployed looking for a job prior to this position.

Susan: What job search handles or sites do you recommend on Twitter?

Me: Not handles per se but alerts with search terms.

Tweetbeeps, Twitter search and Google Alerts. Here are some queries that I was watching out for:

  • “looking online marketing manager vancouver”
  • “looking web marketing vancouver”
  • “online marketing manager vancouver”
  • “online marketing director vancouver”
  • “hiring online marketing vancouver”

Do you have any experiences that you can share when you have used Twitter for your job search? Please feel free to comment below.

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