Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Job-Seekers Guide to Twitter - Part 1

So after a couple of heavy articles on CV and Cover Letter writing, I thought it was time to lighten things up a little bit.

As the title suggests, Twitter, besides from being very cool and fun to play around on,  is also a very useful employability tool.

But, how can you make use of Twitter in your job hunt?

Well, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Twitter first of all I'll run you through a quick step-by-step to setting yourself on Twitter.

Today's SSG Goof pic courtesy of Sarah Chong, co-founder of Penn Olson!


1) Head over to Twitter and click sign up, via this link -
2) Enter in your contact information correctly as it will help you be indexed (found) based on location. It's also a perfect opportunity to self-market, or get the word out about yourself.
3) Voila - signed up. You may have to confirm your account by clicking on a link Twitter auto-sends to your email before you can sign in.
4) Head to your profile page once you've done this and upload a profile pic that is a healthy mix of professional/casual - a high quality smiling pic of your face is always a good choice.
5) Make sure you update your profile information with as much info as possible - this means email address, location, Skype, your blog if you have one, and your Linked-In. You can include stuff like your Linked-In profile in your bio as a link - this way people see it immediately upon viewing your Twitter! To do this, simply copy the web address in the address bar when your on profile page and paste it into the bio box of your Twitter profile!

O.k, now to actually finding some work through Twitter!

Tweet Away

1) There are two very useful Twitter tools you may have seen a lot but never quite understood.
2) The ( @ ) symbol. This symbol allows you to direct a Tweet or mention at a particular Twitter profile or page. Let's say for example you find a recruitment agency advertising a local job in your area, you could Tweet @ RecruitmentAgency asking them if the job was still available and for more details. This tool is incredibly useful for networking with others - but more on this later.
3) The ( # ) often referred to as the 'hash-tag'. The HT (hash tag) indexes words, topics or trends across Twitter. Say for example somebody Tweets about the new Harry Potter movie, if they wanted to connect with others based on this topic their Tweet may look a little like this: "So sad that #harrypotter is finally over! the last #harrypotter #movie was incredible! Was crying by the end!". So yes, there is logic to what initially looks like bad syntax and grammar. What this Tweet is doing, is making itself readily available to anybody who chooses to use the search bar with the terms Harry Potter and Movie. 
4) Using the ( # ) tag. A practical way for you guys to use the HT would look a little something like this:
"Currently looking for #marketing #work in #Norwich - able to work full-time if necessary, have a lot of relevant experience and very hard-working! 

So there is a little intro to the #hash tag, but we will cover this in more detail in part 2.

I Can't Find Any Work

O.k, so perhaps the most important Twitter feature available to you guys at the moment - is the ( Search bar ).
Located right at the top of the screen, opposite the blue Twitter logo, the search bar is an invaluable - and very very easy - tool for locating jobs and work in your area.

Using the Search Bar

1) Step one, locate the search bar
2) Step two, type in what you are searching for - keep it limited to two or three terms. For example:
"marketing work norwich" - would bring back any Tweets referring to marketing work in Norwich. Simples.
3) Step three - locate any recruitment agencies or job aggregation sites that look helpful (in the search results) then 'Follow' them. You will learn to tell as you conduct more searches which Twitter profiles are job sites and which are individuals, you'll also learn to decide for yourself which are more useful to follow!
4) After you 'Follow' these profiles on Twitter - every time they Tweet about a new job it will come up in your home feed, much like your Facebook home feed.
5) Now all you have to do is show a little patience and read through the jobs every day - or - be super active and track down as many job sites as you can find, remember they don't have to be based where you live, as they post jobs from all over the country!

In Part Two next week I'll give a run-down of the best way to contact these people once you're following them as well as a little more on the @ tool!

Thanks for reading - if it helped, remember to help spread the word!

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