LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB? TWITTER MIGHT BE JUST THE PLACE TO START.
As a job seeker, a company tweet with the sweet words “We’re hiring!” is exactly what one hopes to find. Bull’s-eye! And indeed, many companies list their job openings on Twitter—but it isn’t always that simple, and you may need a more savvy, subtle way to use this platform in your job hunt.
We asked Los Angeles-based social media expert, Gwen Paja, editor of the popular blog “The LA Girl”, for some of her best tips on how to leverage Twitter to land a coveted new position. Paja has amassed 16,000 followers on the social network, but don’t worry, you can use these tips even if you are just starting out.
“Twitter is a great way to connect with people without being too confrontational and saying outright, I need a job,” says Paja. “Let’s say you wanted to work at Elle. I would start retweeting their tweets and replying to their questions. The social media people know who their most engaged followers are and you’ll get on their radar.”
Basically: Bring something to the Twitter table. Post tweets that are relevant and on trend. Share new articles and reports, as well as your insights on them. Paja suggests you also tweet about content you’ve created, such as: “Check out my blog post about 10 things to do in LA this weekend!” Tweet the link and if it looks interesting (and relevant) enough, your target audience—hello, future boss!—will read it.
If you are following someone on Twitter and they have followed you back, you can send a direct message to them, says Paja. “Tell them, ‘Hey, I’m interested in your brand and I’d love to talk about partnering with you.’ Social media is all about connections and partnerships. What can you offer to them? It’s a different way to approach things.”
Use Twitter’s relatively-new photo tagging features to draw the right eyes to your feed. “You can tag anybody in a photo. They’ll get a message saying ‘you’ve been tagged in a photo,’ and who can resist checking to see what photo that is?” says Paja. It’s a great way to get attention from specific brands and build your reputation as an industry thought leader.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Once you’ve grabbed their attention and nailed your interview, keep the conversation going. “Stay as engaged with the company as you were before the interview,” Paja says. “You never know. Maybe someone else is more qualified than you and lands the job, but then something else opens up. Or maybe you’re less qualified but more engaged, and they will value that.”
MORE IDEAS FOR TWITTER JOB HUNTERS
Use Twitter Search to see what jobs have been posted lately and find people to follow.
Here’s an example: I typed “jobs Conde Nast” into Twitter Search and found actual leads like “CondeNast is looking for a Senior Interactive Designer,” and other equally important information, such as updates on internship opportunities. Twitter Search also pulls together a lot of ancillary articles that have been written about the company, making researching a snap.
Follow a company’s job Twitter handle, rather than relying on the company’s “Careers” section of its website.
Many companies—the wise ones!—have a Twitter feed dedicated specifically to job opportunities and potential employees. This feed is often more up to date and inclusive than the brand’s general Twitter profile. (Personally, I fantasize about working at “This American Life,” so I follow @NPR Jobs.)
Make sure you have a nice, clear headshot up.
Not just an avatar. As with all social media profiles, make sure your photo is recent and professional-looking.
Follow recruiters in your industry, as well as actual companies.
While it’s helpful to connect with the companies you want to apply to, you’ll need contact with actual humans (with hiring power) in order to go after the job you want.
Build your network on Twitter.
Hiring managers want to see that you have a following. Paja says you can follow up to 1,000 people a day, and many will follow you back. Then you can periodically go through your followers and weed out anyone who is tweeting content you find inappropriate and remove inactive followers. (You can use a tool like Untweeps for this.) You can—and will—also gain followers by actively and consistently engaging with the people you follow; sharing important, interesting, and relevant information; and participating in relevant Twitter chats.
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Have you used Twitter to find your next job? Let us know which tips you’ll use in the comments below!