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Taking Your Job Hunt to Twitter

Taking Your Job Hunt to Twitter

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    Some Twitter users update about everything — including when they’re hiring. Some do it just to mention what’s going on in their day, while others like the thought of reaching out and finding someone in their online network. Either way, Twitter can offer a quick way to learn about who actually has a job to fill and perhaps even help you get your application on the top of the pile.

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    It’s All About the Hashtags

    There are three hashtags that can come in handy to someone on a search for a new job. Keeping an eye on #rtjobs, #jobangels and #jobs can give you a look at who’s looking to actively recruit on Twitter. Even recruiters from companies like AT&T have started posting job listings, often labeling them with #jobs. While #jobs may be the most obvious tag, there’s a reason behind both #jobangels and #rtjobs tag.

    JobAngels is a Twitter account dedicated to helping individuals get back to work. Through retweets and reply messages, a number of Twitter users direct JobAngels’ attention to mentions of job listings on Twitter. Those listings are then broadcast to JobAngels’ 700+ followers on Twitter. Using the #jobangels tag provides another layer of tracking, for both individuals passing jobs along to JobAngels, as well as letting them listen in on another layer of the discussion about jobs that are available.

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    For the most part, #rtjobs seems quite similar to #jobangels. But rather than having one central Twitter account bringing job opportunities together, #rtjobs relies more on Twitter users including the appropriate hashtag in their messages. One Twitter user, Aaron Brazell, has created a site to help organize all the information labeled with #rtjobs. The site is based on the Twitter API, the #rtjobs site brings all #rtjobs tweets together in one place and makes them searchable. It makes using all the information flowing through Twitter that much easier to use — and it can be a much faster way to search through tweets to find a job opportunity than any other approach. You can even follow it through an RSS feeder if you aren’t so inclined to rely on Twitter.

    Running a Search or Two

    Looking at job opportunities that a recruiter labeled with a hashtag — or one of his followers retweeted with a tag — may be one of the easiest ways to use Twitter for job hunting. But not all Twitter users in charge of finding a new employee are so kind as to label that fact. In order to catch a few additional job leads, it can be a good idea to search for phrases like “looking for a writer,” substituting in your job title of choice for writer. The results can be pretty hit or miss, but if you automate the process a little, you can scan through the results and follow up on them quickly.

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    There are several services that will run automatic searches on Twitter for you. I use Twilert to have search results for a few variations on “looking for a writer” emailed to me each day. It takes only a minute or two to scan through the results and follow up — and I’ve found a few projects this way already.

    Ask Your Network

    If you’re a Twitter user, it’s worth posting a mention that you’re job hunting (unless your current boss follows you on the site, of course). Even if your network of followers isn’t the largest, if you can convince a few people in your circle to repeat your comment, you can have a surprisingly good chance of reaching someone who may be looking for your particular skill set. You can make mention of specific job titles you’re interested in: just as job hunters who use Twitter regularly have turned to it as a way to find job leads, so have recruiters. Some are even running searches for specific job titles they’re hiring for.

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    It’s worth noting that you’ll likely have better results if you’re an active Twitter user and you communicate with your followers beyond automatically tweeting your blog posts. And remember that if you respond to a job mentioned on Twitter, it’s pretty much a given that the recruiter will look you up on Twitter. Keeping up a professional appearance on Twitter can come in handy during a job hunt.

    You can have just as much luck looking for freelance gigs and projects for your own business through Twitter as finding full-time employment. You may need to adjust your methods, slightly — most Twitter users seem more likely to consistently tag a full-time job than a project or freelance gig. However, it can still be useful.

    Whether you’re looking for a new full-time job, or just a project to fill in the gaps, it’s worth having a resume (and possibly a portfolio) online. Being able to link to your resume in a tweet can move you to the top of the stack in a hurry — especially if a recruiter is wary of handing out his email address over Twitter.

    Twitter is a Tool

    Just like email or a blog, Twitter is a tool. You can use it to communicate just about anything, including a job listing. Of course, it’s not the only option out there and I wouldn’t recommend relying entirely and only on Twitter to land you your dream job. But it is an option for finding some job leads. I’ve actually found several projects there myself over the past few months and I’m keeping an eye out for more.

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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