Twitter groups. For many, they serve as a way to connect and brainstorm with a group of like-minded professionals. For those on the job hunt, they serve as a referral to a first-round interview. The following is a real-life example of how a student, who is now a colleague, leveraged a Twitter group to jump-start her job search.
I am a member of the Twitter group #SAchat, organized through Twibes. We are a group of Student Affairs professionals who take part in weekly moderated chats on twitter, using the hashtag #sachat. In addition to the chats, we communicate daily through the hashtag, and also try to come together at various Student Affairs conferences through organized Tweetups.
The #SAchat is comprised of both current and aspiring professionals. One of the aspiring (now current) professionals in this group was in the midst of her job search last spring. In addition to building her personal brand with Twitter, she became a regular voice within the group. As a result, current professionals were coming to her with interview requests and fellow members of the Twibe were direct messaging her job postings. Professionals she had not yet met in person were willing to serve as referrals, as they had spent much time working with and mentoring her within the Twittersphere. Instead of seeking out opportunities in a rough job market, opportunities came to her…all because she took the time to build and actively promote her personal brand on Twitter.
Once she had formally accepted interviews, the first-round interview became more of a formality, as the hiring manager(s) already had a clear vision of who she was as an aspiring professional. At the conclusion of her search, she had multiple offers to choose from. She credits this Twitter group for not only helping to open up doors, but for providing moral support during a challenging job hunt.
If used strategically, Twitter can be a powerful tool in your job search. It provides a platform for your brand and a means to connect with hiring managers. While building your profile and following companies will give you an edge, it is critical that you find your voice and actively engage in Twitter groups in order to receive the highest return on investment for your time and effort. Hopefully you too will be able to jump-start your job search with Twitter!
Heather currently serves as the Associate Director of Student Services for the Undergraduate Career Services Office in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. In her role, Heather guides students throughout their career development, lectures on career-related topics and personal branding, presents career workshops for students, supervises a team of career coaches, and develops/manages the social media efforts for her office. Before making the switch to Student Affairs, Heather worked in Marketing, Sales, and Promotion within the Music & Entertainment industry. Originally from New Jersey, Heather attended Indiana University for her undergraduate degree and The Ohio State University for her graduate studies. You can connect with Heather on Twitter and LinkedIn.