Understandably, Twitter is now the second-most used social media site for finding work; only LinkedIn trumps tweeting for finding our next gig.
But how many of us are leveraging Twitter in the best possible way to find work?
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Erin Osterhaus, HR Analyst at Software Advice (and a person who knows a thing or two about using Twitter for job search) about exactly how to leverage Twitter to build and execute a successful job search strategy…
YT: What makes Twitter such a good tool for job seekers?
Erin: Twitter is more responsive, and also more transparent than other recruiting channels. With job boards, job seekers often have no way of directly connecting with the recruiter or the hiring manager. And with LinkedIn, applicants have no way of knowing who has viewed their profile unless they decide to upgrade to a higher membership status.
With Twitter, there is more, for lack of a better word, equality.
Recruiters and applicants are on the same level. Candidates can see what the employer has to offer in terms of jobs and company culture (if the employer is fully utilizing Twitter) and the potential employer can vet candidates for style, communicative prowess and attitude – all things difficult to garner from other recruiting channels.
YT: Not all of us are using Twitter as well as we could to find our next gig. What is the key to using it effectively during a job search?
Erin: To use Twitter effectively during a job search, first and foremost, you need to be active on Twitter. If you’re interested in marketing jobs, read articles about trends in the marketing sphere and Tweet about them. Follow people who are thought leaders in your area of interest. Follow companies that are on your shortlist of best places to work. Once you’ve done those things, add your voice to the discussion.
There’s no better way to demonstrate an interest in a certain field than to establish an online presence to back it up.
YT: How can job seekers best use hashtags to aid their search? Do “personal hashtag” campaigns work?
Erin: There are certain standard hashtags that are frequently used by job seekers on the job hunt. For instance, #hiring, #tweetmyjobs, #jobopening, #internpro, etc. (For a more extensive list, click here.) If you want to find job postings, search these terms and you’re sure to find a plethora of job postings.
However, if you already have a more specific idea of the field you want to work in, or the special skills that job will require, you can also search those hashtags. For example, software developers, you can use hashtags such as #hadoop, #linux, #ubuntu, etc. This strategy can work for all types of positions, you just need to think of keywords related to the job, then put a # in front.
For reference, there are also useful tools to help you discover which hashtags are trending in certain industries. Hashtagify.me is one such tool. Just type in a keyword in the search box, and you’ll get a list of trending words to use in your searches.
YT: If a job seeker doesn’t have a huge Twitter presence, how can they best connect with recruiters on the platform without being spammy?
Erin: It’s often best to Tweet to a company you’re interested in working for once you’ve submitted an application through the proper channels.
You can use Twitter as an opportunity to brand yourself or contribute something interesting… as opposed to just saying “I want a job, gimme a job!”
If your information is already on file, that Tweet might be the push you needed to go from being one resume in a huge stack to getting into the hiring manager’s hands. But be careful, because it can be a two way street. If you Tweet something inappropriate, incorrect or just plain old uninteresting, you might get your application thrown out.
YT: Should job seekers “cold Tweet” companies and recruiters about open positions or wait to respond to a Tweeted job position?
Yes, put yourself on the company’s radar by Tweeting to them about a job… just know the person managing that account might not be a recruiter or hiring manager. If you’re following a professional recruiter, whether they work in-house or for a staffing agency, cold Tweeting is fine. But understand that recruiters are very busy people – so don’t take it personally if they don’t Tweet back.
About the Author: Erin Osterhaus is the HR Analyst at Software Advice, where she reviews and compares HR technologies. She joined Software Advice after earning an M.A. in German and European Studies from Georgetown University. She focuses on the HR market, offering advice to industry professionals on the best recruiting, talent management, and leadership techniques. When she’s not writing about up-and-coming trends in HR, she’s reading novels or traveling to exotic locations (or both). Feel free to connect with Erin on LinkedIn.