In the first part of this series on how to use Twitter to find a job, I interviewed Jacob Share, a job search expert who created the award-winning JobMob, one of the world’s most popular job search blogs. He’s also author of “ The Ultimate Twitter Job Search Guide,” and you can follow him on Twitter @jacobshare.
Share introduced us to Stacy, a young woman who leveraged Twitter to snag a job offer before she even left the parking lot of the company that laid her off. Stacy quickly found a new job because she used Twitter to:
- Build her personal brand.
- Network with people who appreciate her brand.
- Publicize her availability to a network of people who appreciate her brand.
You can read the first part of the interview with Share here, and here is the rest of the interview.
Question No. 3: Jacob, how should we use Twitter to network with people?
Your objective is to impress the right people so that they jump to recruit you when they have a relevant opening — or refer you to someone who does — regardless of whether you actually need a new job or not.
It doesn’t take a big Twitter following — quantity helps, but quality is more important. Look at Stacy: she had only 150 followers.
Question No. 4: But who are the right people?
Remember, we’re talking about a job search here, not socializing. These are the right people to target:
- People you know from work: current and former clients, co-workers, business partners, etc.
- People you’d like to know for work: industry influencers, event organizers, tradespeople, headhunters, recruiters, and HR reps of companies you’d like to work for.
You can find them quickly on Twitter by using their email addresses or searching for them by name.
Follow each one and add them all to a dedicated networkingTwitter List to keep them separate from your main Twitter feed. You might even make that list private, so only you can see it.
Question No. 5: How do you impress the right people?
1. Have a good daily habit.
For at least 20 minutes every day, 1-2 times a day, and preferably when your followers are most likely to be online (Tweriod will tell you when), catch up on recent direct messages and tweets from people on your list. Retweet the best tweets, and make an effort to respond to as many open questions as you can.
Don’t limit yourself to just professional questions, but try to keep roughly 75% or more of your tweets and responses relevant to your profession or business.
Tweet about achievements, but also about the occasional mistake and failure, especially when they hold a lesson for others. This will make you more likable and approachable.
Include photos and videos when it makes sense, and sometimes when it might not — it makes you more engaging and attractive to follow.
Popular but relevant #hashtags will improve your tweets’ chances of being discovered by people who aren’t following you. How do you know a #hashtag is popular? Do a Twitter search on it and see how often it was used in the past few minutes (popular) or hours/days (not popular).
2. Have a good weekly habit.
Participate in at least one Twitter chat per week. Use TweetChat’s calendar to find upcoming chats in your industry or profession. Experiment with a few — if the regulars like you, they’ll usually follow you. Introduce yourself the first time, but otherwise only participate if you have something worthwhile to add.
Schedule at least a daily topical tweet for each day of the coming week such as an article you liked from the previous week, a favorite tip, or recommend someone worth following.
After a few weeks, you’ll start to understand which people on your list aren’t really contributing to your networking. Maintain your list by removing a few people and adding others. Don’t unfollow them; just remove them from your networking list so that their tweets don’t get in the way of those from people who are actually contributing.
On the other hand, through retweets and questions, you’ll discover new people worth following and adding to your networking list — you might also find people of interest on a friend’s relevant public Twitter list, or you can ask your followers who their favorite tweeters are.
Question No. 6: Jacob, how do we use Twitter to publicize our career availability to our network?
After a few months, you should start to feel the value of being on Twitter, and others should feel value in having you there. While a few weeks might be enough to make your presence felt, it usually takes more time to build strong ties with the people you follow.
Continue moving forward with what’s working for you: Once you get to a point where followers consistently share and respond to your tweets and — in particular, your questions — you will have enough network engagement on Twitter to get good job search results.
Tip: Do NOT announce your availability on your bio.
Sadly, employed job seekers appear more valuable to recruiters and headhunters than unemployed ones. While your engaged followers will know your work status, people who don’t are most likely to discover you via your Twitter profile and bio. The appearance of being unemployed will be a turn-off for some.
Worse, Twitter uses your bio to promote you on the profiles of other people with similar bios, and, unfortunately, that similarity might just be “open to new opportunities.” This will emphasize to the viewer that you’re unemployed, and might lead them to someone who is virtually competing with you for jobs.
Instead, announce your availability with your tweets: Follow Stacy’s example and tell your audience outright that the moment they’ve all been waiting for has finally come. No need to be overly formal — mention it overtly a few times if your followers tend to come online at different times during the day, and bring it up again from time to time so people know you’re still looking.
Remember, even after you find a new job, continue your good Twitter habits. Don’t let up: A strong brand is one that is consistently being reinforced, and the stronger your personal brand, the more easily you’ll attract new and better job offers in the future.