I recently read an article (in a newsletter, sorry, no link) about how to use Twitter in a job search. In short, the suggestions were:
- Get on Twitter,
- Tweet and get your brand out there, and
- follow key job people, including coaches, recruiters, etc.
I absolutely, fundamentally disagree.
Not to sound like a pessimist, but the people who usually listen to me are (a) busy, (b) not necessarily early adopters to technology, and (c) busy. Because of (b) I have to be careful when I recommend any technology.
I’m not opposed to technology, but telling a job seeker to do the three steps above, I think, will give them a false sense of “I’m doing the right thing in my job search!” I bet I can come up with 20 (non-twitter) activities that are more important than those three steps. I would not put this as a top priority.
But I do tell job seekers to include Twitter as part of their job search strategy. In a nutshell, I suggest:
- Use Twitter to find people who you can/should network with. Best place to do this? Twellow.com. You don’t have to have a Twitter account to do this.
- Once you find a key contact, see if they have any lists, or are listed in any lists… if so, look for other key contacts to contact. You don’t have to have a Twitter account to do this.
- IF you want to contact people, consider doing it through Twitter. Now you need to get an account, but you can do this in a way that gets you in front of key people who you are targeting (instead of throwing twitter-mud on the wall). Be onbrand and realize the purpose of this is to get a discussion with that person, not to do a general branding tweet.
Addressing point 2 above, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to use Twitter as a branding tool – in fact, it has been quite a tool for me. But I have resources allocated to branding and marketing, and this fits into that. Job seekers, like I said, could have at least 20 other activities that are more productive.
Addressing point 3 above, I don’t think there is as much value in following recruiters and those posting jobs on Twitter… no offense to @tweetmyjobs and such services, but if you are spending a considerable amount of time looking at job postings anywhere, there is something wrong with your job search.
Active job seekers should be as wary of posted jobs as recruiters are of active job seekers.
(if you didn’t get that last line, read it again – it might be one of the most important sentences I’ve written on this blog, ever)
I would suggest you follow job search coaches, resume writers, etc…. because they will throw out tips and advice… but if you find yourself reading and reading and reading most of the day, I’d tell you to stop your Twitter activity and go do some of the hard stuff in the job search.