To Tweet or Not to Tweet

danny-0509Using Twitter and having Twitter work for you in your job search. Every morning I sit at my desk for about 30 minutes and do three things. First, I browse local job boards for any hot opportunities I may want to pursue for our customers. Second, I look at the local news websites to see if there is any hot local labor market information regarding new jobs or employment opportunities. Finally, I look at Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter searching some key words for possible local job leads.

In the last year or so, the social media search has become more and more lucrative for finding positions at all levels. While Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter are the dominant social media for job search, I have been most apprehensive about Twitter; specifically, because I thought, “How much effective recruiting can occur in 140 characters or less?” (140 characters is the limit for a “tweet”, the cutesy term for a publicized Twitter update by individuals and companies.) Well, let me tell you this, you can say a lot with a little. Let’s look at one tweet I recently found:

IT Project Manager – Bilin Eng/Spa – new job entry level – Oracle exp needed — $65-75k starting

Well, these 96 characters tell me so much more than I would have expected. This is a newly created entry-level IT job that requires a bilingual individual with Oracle experience and the pay is $65-75k per year. At the end of the tweet, there is a link to click on that takes me to a more comprehensive listing. But, how cool is that? This short tweet provides lots of information hitting the key qualifications and highlights of the job. I could browse through a ton of these quickly!

Now, how do you find these jobs on Twitter? First, if you are lost on this Twitter thing, here’s a brief explanation. Twitter is a platform that is also largely mobile-driven (i.e. you can tweet from your phone) to provide a quick snapshot or update in a small package for your “followers” to see. You sign up at http://www.twitter.com and then search for people, companies, events, and interests that have Twitter pages of interest. You can then choose to follow these pages, and people and companies can choose to follow you. If you are leery of being “followed”, Twitter allows for privacy settings that help control who has access to your tweets and page, so don’t worry!

Once you sign in and setup your page, you can then search for pages you’d like to follow. For job search, I recommend following companies you’d like to work for as well as staffing agencies and other employment related groups that have pages of interest to your profession. For example, because I consider myself a Human Resources Professional, I follow the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) tweets for Public Affairs: SHRMPress. I also follow other industry associations and companies of interest. Additionally, I follow news sources such as CNN and the Houston Chronicle.

For your job search, try searching a company of interest. Are you an Oil & Gas Engineer in Houston? Well then why not search “Oil & Gas Houston”? If you do, you’ll see a number of tweets for jobs available in Houston as well as links to pages to follow for companies such as Exxon Mobil. Some companies even have specific pages for employment opportunities with their company so make sure you follow these if available.

On the flip side, companies are also searching for YOU on Twitter. Make sure your current tweet is always relevant to your job search. Make sure you do not say anything silly or potentially offensive. Keep a personal Twitter account separate and private (i.e. not “searchable” by people and companies with whom you do not wish to share). Your professional Twitter account should have tweets about your skill sets, the type of position you are seeking, and any “must haves” including salary ranges and travel expectations.

Take some time and play around in Twitter. It’s a fascinating world of snapshots that can provide much information quickly. While all new media has its learning curves and challenges, Twitter is concisely packaged and fairly easy to learn. If you are not comfortable with this type of platform, it is time to catch up to the Information Age and learn. Twitter is a great starting point and as you use it for your job search, I am sure you will also enjoy the experience of sharing as well!

Danny Zendejas is the Senior Business Consultant specializing in the Education Industry for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. He has over eight years of experience in workforce development and is a native of San Antonio, Texas.



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