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Taking Your Job Hunt to Twitter
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.
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.
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.
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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