Social Media

Tweet Your Way to a Job Offer

twitter for a jobTwitter is kind of a big deal – more than 140 million active users posting 340 million tweets daily big. I was pretty skeptical of Twitter when I first heard about it in 2007, but like most people, it’s become one of the biggest sources of instant information on what’s happening right now across the world.

It’s a social media site where users post small elements of information in less than 140 characters and share them with other Twitter users. Not only is it a great source of info, but it’s also a large market of influencers, recruiters, employers, and an opportunity for find work. Here are four ways you can use Twitter to find a job.

You’ve Got the Look
The first thing to do is make sure your profile is employer friendly. The ideal profile picture should portray you in a professional manner, and your about paragraph should include your elevator pitch, a to the point overview about yourself. Utilize your background space to best promote yourself. The Closet Entrepreneur has an easy method to create a good looking Twitter background. Don’t forget to link to your LinkedIn profile in your bio section.

Join the Conversation
What makes Twitter powerful is the interaction and engagement with other users. Use the Twitter search to look for interesting companies, industry experts, recruiters, or even local leaders.  When you follow them, you’ll notice the people they talk to and the hashtag (#) conversations they participate in. That’s your chance to start a conversation with them or jump in a group discussion. Contributing to chats can help you get advice and get noticed. You don’t have to blast them with your job search story or experience, but you can build the relationships naturally.

When using Twitter, you should post relevant content and comments. No one will follow you if you talk about what you had for lunch or where you’re about to shop. Post thoughts about what’s going on in your industry, link to interesting blog posts or news articles, or retweet, something that was posted by someone you’re following that you found interesting. The more professional content you post, the more business/industry followers you’ll get.

Give, Give, Give
Don’t just promote yourself, help others promote themselves too. Job hunting as a community can have a much bigger impact. Nothing gets more credibility than helping others as opposed to always self-promoting. Hear of a job lead that’s not fit for you?  Tweet about it so that others might apply to it.

Treat Your Followers Like a Garden
It’s not about how many followers you can have under your name, but the quality of followers you interact with. You’ll find more success by developing fewer, but stronger, relationships with Twitter users than having a huge list of unengaged followers. Just like a garden, developing connections on Twitter takes lot of time, attention, and care to grow.

What are some ways you’ve used twitter to help your job search? Sound off in the comments below.

If You Don’t LinkedIn Now, You’ll Regret it Later

Linkedin_march2012_web“Let’s connect on LinkedIn” is a phrase often heard from speakers, leaders, and peers during networking events or work-related meetings. If you’ve never heard of LinkedIn or don’t see the point in having another online profile to update along with your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blog profiles, you could be missing out on an opportunity to connect and market yourself in a network of more than 150 million professionals and recruiters.

LinkedIn is a business-related networking site for professionals in more than 200 countries to connect with others, build relationships, and learn from each other. To get started, LinkedIn has a great tutorial for college grads and beginners. If you’re already on LinkedIn, here’s how you can make the most out of your profile so you don’t get left behind.

Give and Receive Recommendations

A profile that has multiple recommendations from co-workers can carry a lot of weight. If you still have strong connections from your previous employment, ask some of your former co-workers or managers with LinkedIn accounts to write you a quick recommendation. Recruiters searching for candidates online take special note when someone is highly recommended by their peers.  Don’t forget to write some recommendations to others you have worked with who you think have done an exceptional job.

It’s All About Who You Know

The biggest feature LinkedIn has to offer is giving you the ability to foster your professional networks and keep in touch with those who might help you find a job. It’s not a race to see how many connections you can get or to instantly connect with a decision maker you’ve never met before in hopes of getting a foot in the door. Connect with those you have already met in real life and nurture those relationships. Send a congratulatory note if they win an award, ask a question, or just comment on their update or share an interesting article. You never know when those contacts will think of you when opportunity comes.

If you really would like to connect with someone who is connected to someone in your network, LinkedIn offers a “Get Connected Through a Connection” link that will send a note to your contact asking to introduce you to the person of interest. If approved, you can send that person a note.

They’ve Got Questions, You’ve Got Answers

LinkedIn Answers is an interesting feature on the site for users to ask and answer questions on specific subject matters from personal finance to technology. Browse through the different sections and find a thread that matches your job skills and start answering questions. If your answers are chosen, it’ll be showcased on your profile and you’ll be listed as an expert. The more you answer, the higher you’ll be on the expert list. By demonstrating your expertise on LinkedIn you earn recognition that helps you build your credibility.

LinkedIn’s Special Uses

There are several features on LinkedIn that can help you in your job search. LinkedIn Jobs has thousands of job postings for several industries. Most of the time, you don’t have to upload a résumé or cover letter. You generally answer a few questions along with your profile. That’s why it’s important to have recommendations, a detailed work history, expertise, and a strong network to help you stand out.

You can also follow companies and receive updates on job openings, staff changes, and general news updates. If you’re interested in working for a specific organization, you can stay up to date with the latest details. There are also more than 500,000 groups for you to join. Look for professional societies and groups that are relevant in your industry and get involved. The more active you are, the better off you’ll be.

Relevant companies like Ebay, Microsoft, Netflix, and Target have used LinkedIn to recruit employees. More and more employers are sending recruiters to look for passive candidates. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to keep in touch with fellow workers and market yourself to find a job. Have you landed a job with LinkedIn? Share in the comments below.

I Know What You Tweeted Last Summer, Can Social Media Harm Your Job Search?

Dangersocialmedia_Jan2011_webSocial media has become an amazing tool millions of people use every day to meet, connect, and stay in touch with each other all over the world. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ help their users express themselves and meet like-minded individuals to share their thoughts and passions to build communities like never before.

They are also tools for potential employers to get a better picture of who you are outside of the interview or résumé. According to a recent survey conducted by the recruiting and applicant tracking software company Jobvite, 90% of employers will refer to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin before making a hire. Many employers feel that whatever you do in your normal social life will reflect in your work life. With the newest Facebook Timeline feature, it will be even easier for companies to see posts from your crazy college days, outbursts from teenage angst, or outrageous decisions as a young adult from two or three years ago. Here are some ways social media may keep you from getting hired and how to avoid it.

Trash Talkin’

Any vicious or ill-tempered comments you make on your social media sites can make you look bad. These are reflections on you as a person outside of the job interview where you are actively trying to put your best foot forward and impress.

One of the most famous examples of this is the “Cisco Fatty” incident in 2009. Job seeker, Connor Riley was offered a position with consumer electronics company Cisco. Later that day, Riley posted the on her Twitter account:

 

“Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”

 

Soon, a manager at Cisco found the tweet in a search and responded:

 

“Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.”

 

Needless to say, her job offer was soon withdrawn. Be careful when posting your thoughts and opinions online no matter what frame of mind you’re in at the time. You never know who is reading it. A safe bet is if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.

Picture Postin’

Pictures are great ways to highlight the best memories from your past. They can also be proof of some of the most unprofessional and embarrassing moments in your life. What you do in your free time reflects the kind of person you are. Potential employers will not see you as a reliable, serious candidate if your profiles are littered with party and prank photos. You might also want to avoid showcasing your record number of tattoos or piercings if looking for a job with a lot of face-to-face and direct business meetings.

Go Googlin’

Have you ever typed your name into Google and searched yourself? What do you think you’ll find? You should search your name regularly during your job hunt to see what pops up. If you want to use your profiles for silly pictures and rants, set your profiles to private. It won’t keep everything from those looking for you, it will help. If you want your name to appear more professional, sign up for several other professional social networking sites like Ziggs, Ecademy, or Networking for Professionals, The more your name is out there producing positive content, the more good things will show up on Google.

Some employers really do use online profiles to help make hiring decisions. Online image company Reppler reports almost 65% of employers say they have passed on prospective hires after taking a look at their social profiles. What have you done to help boost your professional image online?