I just returned from the AAPS meeting in Washington, DC and I was very surprised to learn that many graduate students and postdocs have heard of Twitter but don’t know exactly what it is or how to use it! Because of this, I decided to write a post that offered a step-by-step approach for using Twitter as a job search tool for life scientists who may be looking for jobs. However, much to my delight, I found a recent post on the Secret of the Job Hunt website that provides a great “how to” guide on Twitter use for jobseekers.
The post entitled How to Use Twitter to Find a Job” was written by Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW a certified career counselor, resume writer and blogger is a great introduction to using Twitter and she provides insightful tips on how to maximize Twitter’s potential as a job searching tool.
How to Use Twitter to Find a Job
by Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW
For any newbies to social networking, it might seem unusual to use a site such as Twitter to find a job. However, many people can find the right contacts on Twitter to help them to find a job–but it can be a little complicated in 140 characters or less? When using Twitter as a job search tool, it is best to keep content as neutral and professional as possible. Remember, as with anything you write and post online, once you “tweet” it’s out there FOREVER.
The first thing to do when starting up a Twitter account is to choose your user name wisely and word your 160-character bio in such a way that it becomes more searchable, or Google-friendly. Your bio should share a little bit about your career so that when other people look up that keyword, you can gain more traffic to your profile. An avatar will also make your profile more appealing. Choose a professional portrait or a simple picture in which you’re facing the camera and you are not accompanied by anyone else.
A basic rule of thumb when it comes to using Twitter as a job-search tool is to keep content favorable to anyone who might stumble across it – your tweets should balance your work and personal life. If you are looking for a job, you can tweet about the types of jobs in which you are interested. Also, you can tweet about your hobbies or interests so that employers get an idea of what you are like outside of work.
In that same vein, keep in mind that there are many recruiters who actually look to Twitter for new hires because it gives them something of a real-world perspective of what that person is like. In an extremely competitive economy, where plenty of people are qualified for the same job, many companies look at an applicant’s personality to see whether they would be a good fit in the company’s culture. In this case, it helps to follow these recruiters for the companies in which you are interested.
On a similar note, you can connect with these recruiters and industry leaders and show them your interest in their tweets. You can either “retweet” to forward their tweets along or you can address them directly by putting the @ symbol before their user name. By keeping in touch with these people, you will have access to the latest information in your industry. Therefore, when you are called in for a job interview, you will have that extra edge over other candidates by speaking confidently about your knowledge of their field.
Like any real-world networking situation, a Twitter presence cannot be expected to build overnight. It takes time and patience; however, by connecting with the right people, you might very well find your way to your dream career. The key to a successful Twitter profile is keeping it professional with a glimpse of your personality, hobbies and interests outside of work as well.
Until next time…
Good Luck and Good Tweeting!!!!!!