Tweet Your Way to a New Job
by Caroline M.L. Potter, Yahoo! HotJobs
Are you on Twitter? Thirty-two million other folks are, but most of them aren't using it to search for work. A recent Yahoo! HotJobs poll revealed that only 8% of respondents have used Twitter to help with a job search. Don't let this valuable medium go unmined as you look for your next opportunity.
Dan Schawbel, author of "Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success," has tips to help you use Twitter to raise your professional profile and fast-forward your job search.
1. Create your personal brand. Instead of just jumping in, Schawbel says, "Before using any social network, create a single, unified social-media strategy, so that your brand remains consistent throughout each network that you join, including Twitter." He recommends using the same professional picture/avatar and user name, a consistent bio, and a personal brand statement that explains what you do and who your audience is.
2. Tweak your Twitter homepage. Take advantage of all of Twitter's tools to make sure your Twitter homepage looks professional. Says Schawbel, "Just like your other social network profiles, your Twitter profile should be completely filled out. This includes your full name, location, a biography, and -- the single most important element -- a single link to a site of your choosing. I recommend directing people to a blog, your LinkedIn profile, or a site that you feel best represents you. If you really want to take your brand to the next level, then a custom Twitter background, which you can make using twitterimage.com or twitterbacks.com, is required."
3. Build your audience. Don't think you know anyone on Twitter? Think again. "A percentage of your friends, family, and previous coworkers are already on Twitter," he reveals. "You can easily import contacts from most Web-mail programs or find people using Twitter's search engine and invite your network onto Twitter with an email invitation. Then, use Twitter search to locate people in your industry, follow them, and interact with them through a series of tweets and 'retweets' over time."
4. Start tweeting. Not sure what to tweet about? Tweet what you know, says Schawbel. "The more you tweet about what you know, the more you'll become the go-to person on that topic in the Twitterverse. The key to building an audience is to remain interesting to your current followers so that they retweet your messages and more people discover and follow you. And, again, by constantly following more people, namely the influencers in your industry, and pushing out relevant tweets, your audience will grow rapidly."
5. Let folks know you're looking. There are a few ways to alert followers that you're in the market for a new job. "First, revise your Twitter profile to call attention to the type of job you're looking for. Second, customize your Twitter background and add in text that talks about where you're headed in your career. Finally, you can send a tweet after you've built your follower count, which states your expertise and the type of job you're looking for," he advises. To get a job you may have to help others find them, too.
Adds Boston-based Schawbel, "If you discover a job lead on Twitter and it's not related to what you want to do, passing it on is an effective way to network."
Follow one of these Yahoo! HotJobs accounts on Twitter for jobs in selected metro regions, and you'll get "tweets" when a relevant new job is posted.