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Taking Your Job Hunt to Twitter

Taking Your Job Hunt to Twitter

5-jobs-twitter-search

    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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    Last Updated on September 18, 2019

    How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

    How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

    Note-taking is one of those skills that rarely gets taught. Almost everyone assumes either that taking good notes comes naturally or, that someone else must have already taught about how to take notes. Then, we sit around and complain that our colleagues don’t know how to take notes.

    I figure it’s about time to do something about that. Whether you’re a student or a mid-level professional, the ability to take effective, meaningful notes is a crucial skill. Not only do good notes help us recall facts and ideas we may have forgotten, the act of writing things down helps many of us to remember them better in the first place.

    One of the reasons people have trouble taking effective notes is that they’re not really sure what notes are for. I think a lot of people, students and professionals alike, attempt to capture a complete record of a lecture, book, or meeting in their notes — to create, in effect, minutes. This is a recipe for failure.

    Trying to get every last fact and figure down like that leaves no room for thinking about what you’re writing and how it fits together. If you have a personal assistant, by all means, ask him or her to write minutes; if you’re on your own, though, your notes have a different purpose to fulfill.

    The purpose of note-taking is simple: to help you work better and more quickly. This means your notes don’t have to contain everything, they have to contain the most important things.

    And if you’re focused on capturing everything, you won’t have the spare mental “cycles” to recognize what’s truly important. Which means that later, when you’re studying for a big test or preparing a term paper, you’ll have to wade through all that extra garbage to uncover the few nuggets of important information?

    What to Write Down

    Your focus while taking notes should be two-fold. First, what’s new to you? There’s no point in writing down facts you already know. If you already know the Declaration of Independence was written and signed in 1776, there’s no reason to write that down. Anything you know you know, you can leave out of your notes.

    Second, what’s relevant? What information is most likely to be of use later, whether on a test, in an essay, or in completing a project? Focus on points that directly relate to or illustrate your reading (which means you’ll have to have actually done the reading…). The kinds of information to pay special attention to are:

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    Dates of Events

    Dates allow you to create a chronology, putting things in order according to when they happened, and understand the context of an event.

    For instance, knowing Isaac Newton was born in 1643 allows you to situate his work in relation to that of other physicists who came before and after him, as well as in relation to other trends of the 17th century.

    Names of People

    Being able to associate names with key ideas also helps remember ideas better and, when names come up again, to recognize ties between different ideas whether proposed by the same individuals or by people related in some way.

    Theories or Frameworks

    Any statement of a theory or frameworks should be recorded — they are the main points most of the time.

    Definitions

    Like theories, these are the main points and, unless you are positive you already know the definition of a term, should be written down.

    Keep in mind that many fields use everyday words in ways that are unfamiliar to us.

    Arguments and Debates

    Any list of pros and cons, any critique of a key idea, both sides of any debate or your reading should be recorded.

    This is the stuff that advancement in every discipline emerges from, and will help you understand both how ideas have changed (and why) but also the process of thought and development of the matter of subject.

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    Images

    Whenever an image is used to illustrate a point, a few words are in order to record the experience.

    Obviously it’s overkill to describe every tiny detail, but a short description of a painting or a short statement about what the class, session or meeting did should be enough to remind you and help reconstruct the experience.

    Other Stuff

    Just about anything a professor writes on a board should probably be written down, unless it’s either self-evident or something you already know. Titles of books, movies, TV series, and other media are usually useful, though they may be irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    I usually put this sort of stuff in the margin to look up later (it’s often useful for research papers, for example). Pay attention to other’s comments, too — try to capture at least the gist of comments that add to your understanding.

    Your Own Questions

    Make sure to record your own questions about the material as they occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the professor or look something up later, as well as prompt you to think through the gaps in your understanding.

    3 Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

    You don’t have to be super-fancy in your note-taking to be effective, but there are a few techniques that seem to work best for most people.

    1. Outlining

    Whether you use Roman numerals or bullet points, outlining is an effective way to capture the hierarchical relationships between ideas and data. For example, in a history class, you might write the name of an important leader, and under it the key events that he or she was involved in. Under each of them, a short description. And so on.

    Outlining is a great way to take notes from books, because the author has usually organized the material in a fairly effective way, and you can go from start to end of a chapter and simply reproduce that structure in your notes.

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    For lectures, however, outlining has limitations. The relationship between ideas isn’t always hierarchical, and the instructor might jump around a lot. A point later in the lecture might relate better to information earlier in the lecture, leaving you to either flip back and forth to find where the information goes best (and hope there’s still room to write it in), or risk losing the relationship between what the professor just said and what she said before.

    2. Mind-Mapping

    For lectures, a mind-map might be a more appropriate way of keeping track of the relationships between ideas. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of mind-mapping, but it might just fit the bill.

    Here’s the idea:

    In the center of a blank sheet of paper, you write the lecture’s main topic. As new sub-topics are introduced (the kind of thing you’d create a new heading for in an outline), you draw a branch outward from the center and write the sub-topic along the branch. Then each point under that heading gets its own, smaller branch off the main one. When another new sub-topic is mentioned, you draw a new main branch from the center. And so on.

    The thing is, if a point should go under the first heading but you’re on the fourth heading, you can easily just draw it in on the first branch. Likewise, if a point connects to two different ideas, you can connect it to two different branches.

    If you want to neaten things up later, you can re-draw the map or type it up using a program like FreeMind, a free mind-mapping program (some wikis even have plug-ins for FreeMind mind-maps, in case you’re using a wiki to keep track of your notes).

    You can learn more about mind-mapping here: How to Mind Map: Visualize Your Cluttered Thoughts in 3 Simple Steps

    3. The Cornell System

    The Cornell System is a simple but powerful system for increasing your recall and the usefulness of your notes.

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    About a quarter of the way from the bottom of a sheet of paper, draw a line across the width of the page. Draw another line from that line to the top, about 2 inches (5 cm) from the right-hand edge of the sheet.

    You’ve divided your page into three sections. In the largest section, you take notes normally — you can outline or mind-map or whatever. After the lecture, write a series of “cues” into the skinny column on the right, questions about the material you’ve just taken notes on. This will help you process the information from the lecture or reading, as well as providing a handy study tool when exams come along: simply cover the main section and try to answer the questions.

    In the bottom section, you write a short, 2-3 line summary in your own words of the material you’ve covered. Again, this helps you process the information by forcing you to use it in a new way; it also provides a useful reference when you’re trying to find something in your notes later.

    You can download instructions and templates from American Digest, though the beauty of the system is you can dash off a template “on the fly”.

    The Bottom Line

    I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface of the variety of techniques and strategies people have come up with to take good notes. Some people use highlighters or colored pens; others a baroque system of post-it notes.

    I’ve tried to keep it simple and general, but the bottom line is that your system has to reflect the way you think. The problem is, most haven’t given much thought to the way they think, leaving them scattered and at loose ends — and their notes reflect this.

    More About Note-Taking

    Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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