using-twitter-in-your-job-search-segunakiode

To a social media rookie, Twitter is a hard nut to crack. They just don’t get it. In simple terms, Twitter ‘forces’ you to learn how to communicate and share insightful ideas in tweets, which are no more than 140 characters.

Actually, Twitter is the simplest of the social networks. The simplicity of Twitter makes it possible for real social communication/networking with exchange of or Direct Messages (DMs) just like exchange of SMS. Can you relate with that?

Twitter isn’t the first social network someone typically thinks about when applying for a job. Platforms such as LinkedIn come first to mind; but it does have some unique advantages over other social platforms. Twitter is a great platform for sharing resources and information. Job- related information is not left out as well.

Jobvite, a social recruiting intelligence and technology firm, in 2014 conducted a study of how job seekers use social networking sites in their job search and they came up with a 2014 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study. The study showed that there is a growth in the use of Twitter by applicants in their job search. In 2013, 34 per cent of job seekers said they were using Twitter to find a job; and in 2014, the number jumped to 40 per cent. This indicated that job seekers are beginning to adopt the use of Twitter in their job search with a high tendency that the 2015 figures would be higher.

So how useful can twitter be to your job search? Explained below are some useful tips on how job seekers can use twitter as a job searching tool:

#1 – Start with a Professional Twitter Account with a Well-Crafted Twitter Bio:

It is usually advisable from a recruiting stand point that when job seekers create Twitter accounts, it should be one that showcases a professional outlook. Many social media addicts would disagree with me on this, as they believe social media is their ‘fun-time or hang-out spot’, so why be professional about it? Take your twitter account/handle as an extension of your online personal brand, so take it seriously. Be professional in your choice of twitter handles. A twitter bio is the section provide on your twitter account for you to write about yourself in 160 characters or less. Make your bio concise and let it be full of meaning as well.

#2 – Upload a Professional Profile Photo/Twitter Avatar: a twitter avatar or twitter profile photo is this photo is your identity on twitter and appears with your tweets. For the purpose of maintaining a professional outlook on twitter, do well to upload a professional photo/avatar for this purpose. Remember the whole essence is to make a good impression on a potential employer. So upload your profile photo wisely.

#3 – Follow Thought Leaders and Organizations In Your Field Of Interest:

Your twitter timeline (TL) is usually flooded with tweets from people you follow on twitter. In order for you to learn from professionals in your field, do well to follow them. Thought leaders are tweeting cool and valuable information and you have to follow them to profit from it. The easiest way to scope out credible people that are most relevant to you is by searching for them. For example, to find HR related thought leaders, search “HR” in the left hand side of the twitter screen, then click “search all people for HR” to find HR thought leaders. Do a similar search for organizations to follow, that way you get to see job information from the organizations tweets on your TL.

#4 – Use Hashtags (#) In Your Job Search:

The hash # symbol, called a hashtag on twitter, is used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet. It was created organically by twitter users as a way to categorize messages. It is not about simply adding a #hashtag #to #everything #you #type. It’s about using hashtags that are actually useful. For your job search, there are a few hashtags that you can search and get valuable information from them, they are but not limited to – #hiring #nowhiring #jobsearch #jobadvice #HR #CareerAdvice etc. Also, job related hashtags would help you keep tab on jobs been tweeted per time.

#5 – Be an Active Participant of Twitter Chat:

Since everything happens in real-time, twitter is a great way to conduct live conversations with people you might never be able to meet in person. Twitter Chats are a live, Q&A session that typically discuss specific niche, industry issues. Try to Google and look for Twitter chats that are relevant to your area of expertise. Usually, one moderator asks questions (Q1, Q2, Q3) and any Tweeps can answer (A1, A2, A3). It’s usually an hour-long discussion once a week. I would want to add that this is a growing trend in the Nigerian ‘twitter-sphere’ today, so join the rave.

In closing, let me conclude this post this way. Value is the rule of the game on twitter. So in order to stand out of the crowd of tweeps, endeavor to share valuable tweets and not trash. Do well to engage and network with other tweeps by sharing insightful information to get conversations started. Before long you would tweet yourself to your desired job in no time.

***This post first appeared on the iPunch column of The Punch Newspaper and was published on Friday, January 9, 2015 both online and in print.

iPunch_Using Twitter In Your Job Search_SegunAkiode

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