A question I frequently hear from job-seekers at all stages is, “Why do I need to be on Twitter?” Twitter is a platform for interests of all kinds, and many users abuse its power by over-tweeting—so its value is sometimes misunderstood. But Twitter is an amazing career and job search tool, and can be used to help you pinpoint what you’re interested in and who can help you find the right job. Here’s how.
Follow Your Interests
I find the term “follow your passion” clichéd so I won’t use it here. But a great way to do some self-reflection with respect to your interests is to review the people and institutions you choose to follow on Twitter. Often what we find most elusive is right in front of us, and this is a great example. Once you’ve set up your account and have a list of followers developed over a few months, make a list of everyone you follow and group them by area of focus. Who you follow can provide a roadmap to what captures your attention, which can lead to a career epiphany.
Promote Your Blog
Have an interest you’d like to explore and you like to write? Blog about it. This is not new advice but what is new is the number of blogging outlets available to make blogging easier and to help you attract attention to your posts more quickly. LinkedIn now has an open blogging feature for its members, which is a great way to convert LinkedIn connections to blog subscribers.
Twitter is a great medium for promoting your blog posts and for re-tweeting articles and news relating to your field. The more you share, the more followers you’ll have.
So you’ve been spending some time on Twitter and you have a pretty long list of people and groups you follow. Many of them are also following you back. Now what?
Maybe you’ve decided that as a news junkie, CNN is a great target for you. Or maybe you’re concerned about fracking’s impact on the environment and you want to work for Greenpeace. Twitter is a mix of official corporate mouthpieces and individuals from various departments. Sometimes they tweet on their own behalf, sometimes on behalf of their company. If you can identify a specific individual, you have a better chance to make an impact with a Direct Message. Find out who’s in charge of the department you’re targeting and see if they have a Twitter feed. If so, try contacting them directly. You’d be surprised at how often they’ll reply!
(Photo credit: “Wherever You Go” by streetwrk.com)