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How to use Twitter to find a job

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Last week, while doing my usual @jobfairyHQ business, I spotted a job that really interested me and fired off a quick tweet to the poster. Nothing too pushy, just saying that I was interested and intended to apply – and outlining why I thought I was a good fit for the role.

Before I had finished checking out the job spec on the company webpage, the hiring manager had replied to my personal twitter account. 

He had checked out my @jobfairyHQ twitter bio, found my personal webpage (and full name) and gone from there to my LinkedIn profile, had a look, liked what he saw there and went from there to my personal twitter account to set up an initial phone call.

This particular hiring manager was obviously pretty social media savvy, but this story does show how quickly a tweet contact can turn into an interview. If you see a job you want on Twitter, the big question is:

To tweet or not to tweet?

A careful tweet can be a head start in the hiring process, but it could also turn away potential employers. Before you do anything, have a look at your Twitter account from an employer’s perspective. It only takes a second or two to click through and get an impression of your account, so make sure it’s the right one.

First up, have a look at what you use Twitter for – if you just use it for talking with your friends, chatting about TV with other twitter users or complaining about celebrities, then you’ve got some work to do. You’re not going to add any value to your job search with your digital presence, because you’re not demonstrating interest or expertise in your field.

The same goes if you haven’t tweeted in a million years. It’s going to leave a neutral-to-negative impression on someone checking it out.

Making a positive impression:

The main thing in using your twitter account in your job search is to be both interestING and, more importantly, interestED. Begin to build a focus on your chosen industry by following thought leaders and major players – both locally and globally. You might glean some interesting facts or opinions to talk about come interview time.

Some other quick tips:

  • Feel free to butt-in on conversations if you have something of value to add – it’s not considered rude to join a conversation if you’re being constructive. (But if you don’t get a response, don’t press the issue!)

  • Share blog posts or articles that are of interest in your field. Think about including your area of expertise in your bio.

  • If you have a blog – especially if it’s related to your field – link to it in your twitter bio.

  • Make sure your profile picture doesn’t make you look like an idiot. It doesn’t have to be a professionally taken profiler, but leave the party pics for Snapchat!

Basically, you want to demonstrate that you have some level of passion about your industry in order to elevate yourself above other candidates. Using your personal twitter account is often better for this, because it can also give potential employers a sense of you as a person – they definitely want to know if you pass the Airport Test.

So, to tweet or not to tweet?

Now it’s the employer’s turn for a Twitter assessment. Is it worth engaging on Twitter? Does the brand’s account look like it’s monitored? If you’re scrolling through and can’t find a single reply, chances are that it isn’t and you’ll be tweeting into thin air. It might be best to contact them via more traditional channels.

  • Before you tweet – check out the full job spec if it’s available. Do a little digging on the company page if it’s not linked directly.

  • Say something interesting. If you’re responding about a specific role, talk yourself up a little or ask a valid question about the process or the role (making sure that the answer isn’t available in the job spec)

  • The idea is to initiate a brief, positive conversation that results in them requesting your CV. Don’t lose sight of the goal!

If you do it right, making contact via Twitter can give you a headstart in your application. Like every stage of your job search, the first step is to make a good impression.

Best of luck in the job hunt!