Thursday, March 25, 2010

5 Tips for Job Hunting in the Twittersphere

Gaining a great deal of support from career industry professionals, recruiters and human resource specialists worldwide, Twitter is revolutionizing how people hunt for jobs in today's economy.

How? Susan Britton Whitcomb, co-author of "The Twitter Job Search Guide," explains: "In the past, you had to go through a maze of gatekeepers to get to the cloistered person in charge of hiring decisions. Now you can have access to them with the click of a Follow button. The ability to level the playing field -- placing you nearly peer-to-peer with influencers, leaders and hiring authorities -- is extremely powerful."

And that's not all. "Using Twitter you can find insight, encouragement, connections, job leads and company insider information in bite-sized messages of 140 characters or less," co-author Chandlee Bryan adds. "You can also get advice from some of the world's most respected career experts on everything from starting your search to negotiating salary. It's like fishing for trout at a pond that's been stocked in advance."

Whether you're job hunting via Twitter now or plan to in the future, there are some key guidelines to keep in mind. Whitcomb, Bryan and co-author Deb Dib offer the following advice for writing high-impact tweets and succeeding in the Twittersphere:

  1. "Active participation is essential," Bryan says. "If you build a community, help will come. Job seekers who get the most out of Twitter use it to expand their networks and achieve a sense of community. They not only ask for help, but also engage with others."

  2. "Be upfront about interests and career objectives," Whitcomb stresses. "We talked to several job seekers who searched for new positions after being laid off. While their individual approaches varied in terms of when and how they chose to advertise their availability, a common theme emerged: successful job seekers were specific about what they wanted. They let others know their skills, strengths and preferred job function."

  3. "Acknowledge that the job search is a relationship-building process -- not an 'I-need-a-job' transaction," Dib says. "The job search is like dating; it takes time to build a relationship. If you ask for a long-term commitment the first time you meet someone, chances are good that you will be disappointed. And so it is with Twitter -- building a strong network that can generate job leads takes time. You may find job listings overnight, but it takes time to grow connections with hiring managers and influencers."

  4. "Be transparent in expressing appreciation and progress," Bryan advises. "While some job searches require confidentiality, many of the job seekers we spoke with used a very transparent approach. This included posting regular updates on the status of their job search, as well as shout-outs to individuals who had helped them."

  5. "Be clear about your brand," Dib says. "Successful job seekers have a distinct brand that helps their networking contacts and prospective employers get a quick picture of who they are, how they work and how their talents would bring value to the table."

Selena Dehne is a career writer for JIST Publishing who shares the latest occupational, career and job search information available with job seekers and career changers. She is also the author of JIST's Job Search and Career Blog (

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