A few weeks ago I interviewed a designer named Hal Thomas who got a job using Twitter. To see the replay, you can visit it here.
I had MANY questions about the use of Twitter in the job search we simply didn't have time to answer. So I'm going to answer them here.
If you're just getting started on Twitter, what's the best way to find people that will target the people you're looking for to build your relationships?
There are essentially two ways to find people; either through their profile or through their tweets.
You can search for different key-terms that may appear on someone's profile by using a tool called Twellow. For example, you may be looking for a marketing director for Hasboro. So you can search for Hasboro and find anyone who uses it in their profile. Then you can filter by job title, director, executive, etc. This is a great strategy for adding key contacts to your Twitter list.
Sometimes, people tweet about topics that might not appear on their profile. For example, someone might work at Hasboro, but not declare this fact in their bio. However, it is likely they'll tweet about their job every once in a while. In this case, you would use a tool called Twitter Search. I've given a brief video tutorial on how to use this tool on Youtube. You can watch it here.
Are you turned off by people who Tweet every 10 minutes about mundane stuff, like what they had for breakfast?
Twitter can get mundane, but if that breakfast you had was AMAZING, why not share the experience. The whole point of Twitter is to get personal and form relationships. Be learning about what you experience in your life, your values are revealed and people feel like they get to know you.
One of the comments Sloan Kelly made, she was the one who hired Hal via Twitter, was she felt she already knew him before he even walked in the door.
So, what are your suggestions for what you should post on Twitter?
When you are first getting started, it's easiest to retweet what other people have to say. Once you get a sense of what others are saying, it will become easy to find material of your own. I suggest you start off with these:
1. A quote you heard or read from someone famous recently.
2. An open ended question about a topic you've been thinking about.
3. An experience you had that was noteworthy or somehow related to your future job.
4. Something that made you happy.
5. Something that made you sad.
If you want a perspective employer to see you on Twitter, do you tag their site in your tweets?
Many companies monitor their brand using Twitter. They want to know what people are saying about their products or services. Even authors are monitoring Twitter for reviews which they can quote from. Often times, when you mention a company by name, you'll get a response.
I recently purchased by multi-vitamin on an online herb store. I tweeted about my shopping experience and what a great price I got. That store wrote me back personally to thank me for my business.
Job seekers can take advantage of this back-door approach. Just remember you don't really know who is on the other side of that tweet.
If you would like to learn more about bringing social media into your job search, please join Neal Schaffer, author of Windmill Networking, and myself for a free webinar on Feb 16, 2010. You can learn more about this opportunity here.