If you are looking for a job, you can't ignore Twitter. It's a great source of job leads. You don't need to have a Twitter id. But, you do need to know how to search Twitter.
Learn to Love Hashtags
Hashtags are your friend. Go to Twitter.com or and in the search box, enter job or jobsearch or job search. You will see the results of search with those keywords.
If you want to see a real-time stream of potential hashtags, go to monittor.com and start with job or job search. You will see what everyone is saying on Twitter. And, you will also see gems, such as when Susan Joyce, also known as @JobHuntOrg tweets about resources to help you with your job search or open jobs.
Hone Your Search Skills
When you search on hashtags, such as #programmer or #security, you might not find anything. If you remove the #, you might find something different.
Say you are a linguist looking for a job. Anywhere. You have experience in Middle Eastern and Asian languages. Here's how I would search: jobsearch linguist.
That returned one potential job the day I looked, in Farsi. But, you don't have experience in Farsi. So, it's time to try another search: linguist job. That search returned 12 Tweets in the last 24 hours, and another 6 Tweets from the previous week.
Now, that's not a lot of Tweets, but each of those is a lead. Each of those is a person or an organization you can introduce yourself to via the networking I discussed in the rest of this chapter. You look at that person's tweets, web page, LinkedIn page. You might consider introducing yourself.
If you are looking for a finance job, you search for finance. If you are searching for a nanny job, you search nanny. But what if you have a BA in philosophy and you don't know what you want to do? Or, what if you could do any number of things?
You have to decide on one thing at a time. You have to start a search. That's why you have your board with your todo's. Make your list of todo's, one sticky for each todo. Now you have your list. Make one of your todo's your #1 todo. Now you can start. Doesn't that feel better?
How to Start a Search
What if you're a new grad or you're new to the job search market after a long time away or you're making a big career shift? What then?
Maybe you know where you want to live. If so, find the hashtag for jobs near where you live. That will lead you to people with jobs in your area. Now you can search those jobs and see if you might like any of them.
Maybe you know the industry, such as pharma, or healthcare. You can search on those hashtags, plus your location or those hashtags, plus jobsearch.
Start somewhere and follow the links. You can't search for a job on Twitter unless you start.
Join the Twitterverse
I did say before you don't need a Twitter id. But, I do recommend you don't just watch, you participate.
When you are ready to join the Twitterverse, you can build your reputation and show potential employers you are more than your resume. The Twitter Job Search Guide recommends you tweet your cover letter and/or resume. That might not fit for you. Hey, if that works for you, great! But I do think you can use Twitter to make friends and network in a way that is different from networking in person.
If you are going to search on Twitter—and you should—why not join Twitter? You don't have to tweet much. You can read more than you write.
Think about being helpful. If you are helpful on Twitter, that might be good for building your reputation.
When you join Twitter, make sure you have professional sounding twitter id, that your profile looks professional, and that you have a picture.
Do You Have a Picture Yet?
Okay, here I go again on the picture. I nudged you about your LinkedIn picture. I'm going to nudge you about the Twitter picture.
People are more apt to follow you and link with you if they see a smiling picture of you. Why? Because this is social media.
Put up a picture and stop complaining. Do it now. Make it your #1 sticky. Stop making excuses. I bet your computer has a camera. I bet your phone has a camera. I bet someone near you has a phone with a camera. You can have a reasonable picture within 24 hours. Take a picture of your smiling face—just your face, please. Post it.
Remember, you can iterate on your picture just as you iterate on your resume. Take the picture and then I won't nudge you anymore. Now, aren't you happy you took your picture? I'm nudging someone else.
Follow People Who Have Useful Information and Jobs
If you do nothing else, you should follow Susan Joyce, @JobHuntOrg. Once you start searching, look for people who have jobs that appear to be similar to ones you might want. Those people might be recruiters. They might be hiring managers.
Don't think you will find the right job your first time searching Twitter. Remember at the beginning of this chapter I talked about location? Searching for a job on Twitter is a lot like looking for an apartment or a house. Networking is putting out the feelers, time and time again. Keep looking.
Keep following the people on Twitter (and on LinkedIn) who might be the right people. You can't tell if they are the right people unless you follow them.
Follow their tweets. Read their blogs. Look for their information. What's the worst thing that could happen? You waste a few minutes of your time reading. A good thing that could happen is you find a lead. The best thing that could happen is you find a job.
One caveat: Twitter is changing all the time. That's why I've called this a starting guide to Twitter. You, the jobseeker will have to keep your information current and keep searching.