How Twitter Can Land You....a Dream Job!
1/16/2013 12:05:00 PM
We know Twitter causes many things: spreading news or gossip that goes viral; self promotion; social media beef and even may hinder your job.
Or does it?
Though the 140-character cesspool is filled with celeb gossip, reality star platforms, teen outbursts, if used correctly, it can be a killer job-hunting tool. Example? As Mens Health points out in the article, "Tweet Your Way to Your Dream Job",k Jerry Rizzo, Social Media Coordinator for the Philadelphia 76ers,used Twitter to make the connections to land his dream gig. How? When the Sixers launched a contest to choose the team’s new mascot, Rizzo registered Twitter accounts for two of the final suggestions, @PhilEMoose and @BFranklinDogg, and started tweeting. Impressed with him, Sixers execs offered him a plush social media job.
He's not alone: nearly 300 million mentions of jobs, job openings, and hiring opportunities were on Twitter in 2012. However, where there is social media, there are risks and when it comes to tweeting your way to a gig, you need a strategic plan and some 411 on what to do - or not. Peep Men's Health 7-step plan to help you tweet your way to a career:
Step 1: Pick the Right Handle and Headshot
Create a handle that is reflective of who you are, but also professional, says Rich DeMatteo, co-founder of Bad Rhino, Inc., a Philadelphia-based social media marketing agency. It’s probably easiest to use your name-particularly if you’re in a more traditional field-but if you’re trying to brand yourself, tie it into your blog title or company name. As for the picture, a simple headshot (it doesn’t have to be professional) is best.
Step 2: Fill Your 160-Character Profile
Keep it memorable yet professional, and avoid long sentences, says DeMatteo. Make sure what you say makes sense for the industry and company you want to work for. For example, if you’re looking to work in accounting, be a little more formal. Try “I’m John Smith. I have a CPA from XX University.” and link to your LinkedIn. If you’re in graphic design, be a little quirky. Try “John. Social Media. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches.” with a link to your portfolio. Most importantly? Be transparent, says DeMatteo. You want to sound the way you actually are.
Step 3: Go on a Following Spree
Find and follow industry leaders and recruiters of companies you’d like to work for, says Jenn Pedde, community strategist at 2U, who found two full-time jobs via Twitter. They’ll usually post job opportunities or useful information about the company. Not sure where to start? Try more general recruiters like @SparkHire, @ResumeInterview, @CareerHelper, @linkedIn, and @Glassdoor.
Step 4: Unleash Your Tweets
Re-tweet interesting posts, and pose questions to the movers and shakers in your stream. If a bigwig engages you, don’t try to be a job candidate-just try to get to know the person, says Pedde. Show him you know what you’re talking about, and he’ll respect you more as someone he wants to hire versus someone who clearly just needs a job. But limit your interactions to three to five a week per person to avoid seeming overly aggressive, DeMatteo says.
Step 5: Search the Right #Hashtags
Hashtags can make searching for jobs and industry experts much easier. For general job advice, try #recruiting, #jobadvice, #job opening, #jobposting, #jobhunt, #resume or #jobsearch, says Twitter spokeswoman Shavone Charles. But you can also be more specific. Looking for a job in public relations? Try #prjobs. Make a list of what works and check up on each hashtag once a week. But don’t use hashtags in your profile-they don’t add to your search ability, and they look terrible, Pedde says.
Step 6: Join the Wider Conversation
Participate in weekly industry chats (like Hire Friday’s #hfchat or #jobhuntchat) where you can spend an hour talking to industry experts and HR reps who are looking to connect you to jobs, says Pedde. They can also help you fine-tune your resume and cover letter. And most industry conferences have a specific hashtag associated with them, like #CES2013. Find out what yours is so you can join the conversation, even if you can’t attend the conference, Charles says.
Step 7: Don’t Be Intimidated
A lot of professionals are willing to talk to you because social media has streamlined the process, so it only takes a moment to answer you and people are happy to give advice, says Rizzo. Twitter puts the job search, CEO, and hiring managers at your fingertips. It’s effective, fast and you can do it in your pajamas. Nervous? Start your conversation with a friendly, “Hey, I’d love to learn more about what it is you do at XX company.”
Twitter is used for fun, some good and even not-so-good things. Take the time to use this free source of promotion and information to your benefit - especially if it will impact your wallet! Happy job-tweeting!