Lindsay Olson is a partner and recruiter with Paradigm Staffing (and PRNewser guest columnist). She specializes in helping companies and agencies find public relations and communications professionals throughout the United States. She has over ten years experience recruiting in the PR industry and also writes a career-related blog at LindsayOlson.com. You can find her on Twitter via @prjobs.
In her latest column, Olson gives essential tips on how to use Twitter when job hunting.
If you are not already on it, you have probably heard of Twitter by now. Twitter can be a powerful tool to aid in your job search. There are numerous success stories in the blogosphere about how people have received and accepted job offers through Twitter. See examples from David Murray or Michael Litman.
Here are some of my observations and tips on how to use Twitter as a tool for your job search and to make sure you are getting noticed.
Use your real name.
Make your profile searchable and easy to be found. Tell the world what you do in the bio line. Be specific. If you do tech PR, say it in your one line bio. You will find more like-minded people will connect with you. If you make people work too hard to figure out who you are and what you do, you will never see the benefit of Twitter because people won’t find you. Make it easy for someone to decide if they should start following your updates or follow you back and for Twitter directories to index you properly.
Add a website. Your company’s website, your LinkedIn profile, or your blog.
Don’t make your updates private. It’s my personal pet peeve, but one I know many others share. Many people won’t follow you back if your updates are private. It also defeats the purpose of having a searchable profile. Twitter is about sharing and if you want others to find you, particularly for a job search, your tweets need to be searchable and seen by those outside of your followers.
If you are setting up a profile for the first time, add several interesting updates first before following groups of people.Many people determine if they will follow you by the content in your feed.
Try to update everyday. Twitter does take take time and effort, but not as much as you might expect and it is easy to integrate into your day. It is also important to scan the updates of the people you are following and find opportunities to respond or use a third party application like TweetDeck to see a steady stream of updates and responses to your updates.
Use Twitter Search to uncover potential job leads. Use the keywords someone might use to post a job opportunity in 140 characters or less. “Looking for” combined with “PR” or “public relations” is a good start.
Develop online relationships your followers before you ask for help. The Twitter community tends to ignore those who are only self-concerned. Share interesting information and links. Promote others through “retweets” and recognize their efforts, add value to your community and join conversations.
If you are in a position to be public about your job search, let people know when the time is right. Make sure your entire Twitter feed isn’t entirely about your job search though.
You can follow me at @PRjobs. Good luck!