These days, pretty much everyone I know seems to be looking for a new job, or they’re in the market for a side gig. And with the meteoric rise of social media, most, but not all, job hunters are hitting the keyboards hustling for new work. LinkedIn, of course, remains the big cheese of social networking for a job, and Facebook is increasingly becoming a source for employment opportunities. But what about Twitter? Not everyone uses it in their employment search, perhaps because it’s a bit different from the rest.
Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter allows anyone at all to follow you. You can, however, protect your tweets so that only those whom you approve can follow you, although that process can be more trouble than it’s worth. But Tweets are never private, and even when you address your tweet to someone in particular, anyone using Twitter can see it. So think very carefully before you send your tweet. Careers have been made (Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian) by clever (albeit vapid) use of Twitter. But careers have also been lost from indelicate, ham-fisted rambling. Remember the woman who tweeted a thoughtless comment about not getting AIDS on her vacation to Africa because she “was white?” Needless to say, she’s become well acquainted with the unemployment line. And if we had a dime for every politician who had to do the “Walkback Shuffle” due to 140 characters’ worth of nonsense…well, you get the point.
But in spite of its “Wild West,” slightly dangerous aura, where the “Twitter Mafia” can take you down like a cheetah bagging a wounded gazelle, job seekers can still turn it to their advantage. For instance, suppose you wanted to ask Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook for a job. She is most likely insulated, unapproachable, and otherwise busy leaning in. You might be able to email her your resume, but her gatekeepers would weed it out instantly. Instead, try a different tactic, one where Twitter comes into play. Sandberg has a Twitter handle and actively tweets. You may never meet the woman in person, but with a few keyboard strokes you just might be able to grab her attention.
So without much ado and a little help from the tips I’ve shared, fire up the Twitter Machine and start tweeting your way to fame and fortune. Or at least to a job with a bigger cubicle.
To use Twitter as a tool for job hunting, you need to start following some people who can help you. “But who should I follow?” you ask. I’m glad you raised that question, because Hannah Morgan of Career Sherpa has the answers for you, in the first post of a double-shot for The Help Files of March 2015. The best part of Hannah’s list is that she offers a function for you to use to follow the WHOLE list from your own Twitter account. I tried this function myself and it works like a charm. I clicked the link, the list opened in my @craigcardimon Twitter account (note that I gave you my Twitter handle – feel free to follow), and I clicked “Follow” on ALL the accounts. I am happily employed today, but you never know what tomorrow will bring. Thanks a bunch, Hannah Morgan, for making it easy!
We finish our Hannah Morgan double-shot with a post for U.S. News Money where she lists 11 solid tips to get you moving toward a new job on Twitter. First you need to start—by setting up a Twitter account. Then you need to attract attention for the right reasons.
Now that you’ve gotten started with Twitter, let’s try a little networking. Yes, networking. Come on, this won’t hurt. Even introverts network. Trust me. I’m as shy and introverted as they come, but even I network. The staff at Simply Hired put together a simple list for you to follow. The only thing you should take some time to remember is no negativity. The web never forgets. You don’t want to be in the position of asking John Doe for a job, only to have him dig up the tweet you sent last week or month or year, bashing an idea he tweeted. If you don’t like a tweet or otherwise disagree with it, leave it alone. Walk away. Let someone else have the argument. After all, you have better things to do, such as looking for a job.
After you dive in and actually sign up for a Twitter account, you can start digging in further. This post will help you network, find better content, get better known in your field, and even, gasp, find a new job. Lily Herman of The Muse has five, count ‘em, five ways that you can use Twitter to help you improve that career of yours.
Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com. Follow me on Twitter: @craigcardimon. Connect with me on LinkedIn here. Put me in your