Career Advice For Me

Facebook done? Twitter jobs streams are next!

We have posted before how the digitally savvy employers are using Facebook as a way of communicating careers info and opportunities straight to jobseekers. It is easy – you just need to “Like” the organisation, or more specifically the careers/jobs page if they have one. Remember that your Facebook profile might not be “suitable” in its content to necessarilly sell you or promote you in the best possible light! Remove those dodgy comments and photos showing the effects of the night before……

Twitter is being used in a similar fashion. See the Guardian jobs twitter feed as an example.

[private]Simon Caine of Crab Creative talks you through it below:

In the past year I’ve seen hundreds of companies get Twitter accounts, which they use to keep you updated on what’s happening internally. This includes job vacancies. By tweeting a job they cut out the job listing sites and target a circle of people who are within a couple of degrees of separation of their current employers and consumers.

Recently Twitter announced a new record number of Tweets per second (7,196 during 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final). With that number of updates, here’s some useful ways to filter the results to find the roles you can apply for.

Use Google Search and official Twitter lists

When searching for a company’s Twitter profile you can use Twitter search functionality, but this doesn’t always get you the right account. Say you’re looking for jobs at ASOS. By typing ASOS into Twitter you’ll get the official Twitter feed, the customer care Twitter, the discount code Twitter and the Twitter account for the community manager.

Even when you click “view all” the careers feed is the tenth result. If you Follow any other Twitter account you’ll never hear about the jobs you’re interested in.

Most companies have several Twitter accounts. Because of the nature of Twitter it’s very easy to confuse messages when you only have one Twitter feed. So you must be specific in order to find the Twitter account for jobs and careers information. If you’re unsure if they have a Twitter feed for jobs, tweet a member of staff or the official account to check.

A good way of researching what Twitter accounts is to search on Google. This simple search will find you all accounts related to ASOS on Twitter.com.

Argos is a another good example of a company that is really engaged in social media. They have multiple Twitter accounts, one for each stream of information. They all have specific audiences meaning the likelihood of getting the news out to the right people is high. Argos has a Twitter account for news, offers, affiliates and careers.

If the industry you want to work in has trade magazines or newspapers it’s worth searching their jobs boards for vacancies. The vast majority of publications also have ‘Twitter-bots’ which tweet when a new job is added. This is a great way to keep up-to-date without having to check the site every 10 minutes. For example, you can find a comprehensive list of the Guardian job Twitter feeds here.

Tweet what you’re looking for

Although your bio is a more permanent way of advertising what roles you’re after, lots of recruiters are searching for people via their tweets. If you get to know the appropriate hashtags in your industry then your peers – and your own followers – may retweet your job application. This sounds like a “shot in the dark” method but I think it’s more effective than sending out hundreds of job applications.

This informal network is living proof “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” which is becoming increasingly true in the job market. A growing trend is to include a link to your LinkedIn account so recruiters can find out more about you.

Monitoring hashtags (and saving the searches)

By following people within your industry you can take part in hashtaged conversations which can help get you noticed. This sounds simple, but I’ve often taken part in conversations and gained followers in the industry because I tweeted as an authority and stuck to my opinions (even if not everyone agreed with them).

You can also take notice of hashtags industry people are using to advertise freelance jobs or requests. For example, I follow a lot of freelance journalists who are often looking for people to contribute to their stories. They’ll often use the hashtag #journorequest.

This wouldn’t have been something I would have automatically searched for. I’ve since saved the search so I don’t forget the hashtag. I will often help out other journalists by retweeting tweets and mentioning (@) friends who might be able to fill their request. This has also help gain me followers and in a few instances as well as got me blogging work because they thought of me after I helped them out.

Tweet like an expert

This doesn’t mean be arrogant – nothing is more unattractive in a potential employees. But I think you should tweet your opinions with courage and conviction. If there’s a discussion happening about a hot topic in your industry, tweet about it. If you put something succinctly and others agree this can help start an interaction, or gain you new industry followers. Then when you tweet about the roles you’re looking for (see above) you’ll be alerting people who are already aware that you know your stuff – nothing better than a giving a strong first impression before you’ve even entered the interview.

Your tweets don’t all need to be about work

Don’t forget that you’re a person as well as a job seeker. Retweet things that interest you outside of the industry. I have conversations about stand up with a few followers who happen to be in my industry, this interaction can help lead to roles. I once got an interview for a community manager role for an online comedy portal because they wanted an advocate who was in the offline comedy community.

Never miss a tweet

Set up alerts from an email alert system like Twilert. These services will send you an email update as frequently as you like – I would recommend daily while job hunting. You can use Twitter’s search terms to narrow down the results by location/users.

By doing this any tweets that go up when you’re away from the computer will be in your email box first thing in the morning. This will save you hours of browsing back in time.

Simon Caine is head of social media at digital agency Crab Creative. And a standup comedian. Find him on Twitter @thismademecool.