Using Twitter For Business Networking And Even Finding A Job on SmartPhone

In case you weren’t aware, social sites such as Twitter are not just being used for killing time. I’m sure you have heard over and over by now that networking is the best way to come across new career opportunities. Well, Twitter is another way to grow your business network.

I believe it can be used effectively to find anything from entry-level internships to high-level executive positions. This is primarily because of the fact that many of Twitter’s users are HR reps, regular employees, and even CEO’s. They may have signed up just for fun, but now they have begun using Twitter (along with other online tools) to recruit and even to make hiring decisions.

With unemployment rates the highest they have been in several years in this highly competitive job market, going above and beyond and keeping up with social networking as part of your job search is more important than ever.

I personally have found Twitter to be more effective than LinkedIn in growing my professional network. This is mainly because on LinkedIn, I generally only add colleagues and friends I have already worked with in the past or know personally. You are free to follow anyone on Twitter you want to connect with that may have similar or common interests. Therefore, Twitter will help you find and network with new people worldwide.

Here are a few steps to help you build your professional network followed by some tips on using Twitter to find a job:

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  1. If you haven’t already, obviously create an account on Twitter.
  2. Search for people and even brands in the same industry as the one you are currently working in or the industry you would like to get into. To do this, use the search field in the upper right-hand corner or search.twitter.com to search for keywords that relate to your industry. For example, I wanted to find other people already working in or just interested in the mobile space in NYC, so I searched for terms like ‘mobile marketing’ and ‘mobile NYC’. The search will return results with these keywords in each user-profiles and from there you can click on the account to find out more about the person. (Note: If you are searching for a job in the social media/pr/marketing industry, checklists that highlight Twitter’s top users because many of them are people well known in this industry. A great list of brands on Twitter that is constantly updated can be found here.)
  3. Build your network of people you are following and followers. Step 2 is only one way. There is no need to rush this, as it will happen with time and as you come across Twitter links on the blogs you visit and on other social networking sites. Make sure to fill out your Twitter Bio completely and if you make it clear you have the same interests, the people you decide to follow will most likely check out your Bio and follow you back.
  4. Build your presence by not only using Twitter to update your friends and followers on what you are up to, but also to post interesting links and info you come across. This can be from around the web and wherever else you are spending your time. I personally prefer to follow people that share information but I also don’t mind reading about their life to get a better idea of what they are doing and their personal interests. Twitter can be very serious or very fun, so make sure you use it for both.
  5. Start participating by replying to open ended questions, giving feedback about blog posts or mentioned articles, or even introducing yourself with a personalized direct message. Thoughtful replies will get noticed especially because some people even like to reply to all messages directed to them. If they don’t right away, they may add you at a later point after they see one of your tweets, direct messages, or replies. I try to only reply to other tweets when I have something valuable to add or when my input is wanted for a question that was asked. Lastly, Twitter is also a great way to find out about local networking events and meetups (aka tweetups). Attend some of these tweetups and you will meet new people who will then follow you to keep in touch.
  6. Use the search at search.twitter.com to find specific tweets about companies and recruiters hiring. Search for specific titles you are interested in like ‘community manager‘ or more generic terms like ‘now hiring‘. Also, check out TwitHire which is a free service that has begun aggregating all job related tweets. Take a look at this article which explains TwitHire in more detail.
  7. Get creative with the ways you network on Twitter (or any other social networking site). Plain and simple, more followers will equal more opportunities. The people with the most followers on Twitter gained those followers from doing something very creative or because they are very knowledgeable in what they do and love to share that knowledge. That’s why they have thousand’s of people listening and why you should be to. They way I think about it, using Twitter effectively to follow an industry expert is similar to reading a book written by them. There is a huge potential to learn more from the person both ways.
  8. Sharing your knowledge related to your career interests will create a different type of online resume that may be the deciding factor between you and 30 other qualified candidates. I know if I was a hiring manager and found a Twitter account of a potential candidate, I would browse it.

The fact that you are on Twitter alone should be a great selling point in an interview or if your potential employer Google’s your name and sees you are active in online communities. (Again, especially if you are looking to get into a social media or PR role.)

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Furthermore, expanding your network on Twitter will probably lead to more connections on other social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Community and Social Media expert Chris Brogan has recently been writing several great articles which are very valuable to anyone serious about expanding their network.

Of course, you must use your own judgment when posting anything to your account that may ultimately have a negative effect on your image. Just use common sense and you should be fine. The same goes for not only Twitter; but Facebook, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, and even the stories you digg on Digg.

Personally, I occasionally tweet about fun nights in the city and funny videos online because it is part of who I am and my personality. I am not worried about an employer seeing this because I am not interested in working for them anyway if their hiring decisions are based on personal hobbies that are in no way harmful to their business and brand.

I came across one digital agency that even created a dedicated Twitter account for recruiting, which I believe will be a new trend to keep an eye on. Below are screenshots of some of the job-related entries on Twitter I recently came across:

Final Words

If you are still here with me, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my blog www.loveforbiz.com.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment.

By Pichan

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