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The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that more than 14 million people are currently unemployed in the United States, as of the time of this publication. This makes the job search even tougher and the avenues to employment more difficult to find. You must use every route available to open the doors to new job opportunities, including social media networking, such as Twitter. Many job seekers are turning to Twitter as another resource for their job search. Since Twitter has more than 175 million registered users, this is a great non-traditional method to employ, as well as all the other traditional methods of job searching.
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Twitter is a networking resource that opens the door to the decision makers. The website is more like a cocktail party over the Internet, with millions of people attending. Like any networking event, you must employ conversations, known as your Twitter stream, to engage other users. Since your intent is to find a job, you must be selective when joining who to follow. You want to do research to find the decision makers or recruiters in your industry. Make sure you are present for key conversations or tweets from these users. A tactful approach is important when engaging these job recruiters.
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The first step when using Twitter as a job seeking tool is properly using your bio to sell yourself. You must pitch yourself in your bio. The bio allows you to use 160 characters to describe yourself. Part of describing yourself is adding a professional looking avatar or picture to your bio. Add a link to your online resume so recruiters have a route for more information about your qualifications. Do not overstate your qualifications and experience. Always remember you are using Twitter to find a new job, so do not post items, statements or other materials that would put you in a bad light to decision makers.
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Search Engine Optimization or SEO
Another way to get found on Twitter by job recruiters is by adding the right key words to every tweet and within your bio. Use words that are common to your industry, industry specific software programs, industry certifications and words that hiring managers commonly use on job boards and job advertisements. Hiring managers and recruiters use key words to search for possible job candidates and qualified employees. Using the right key words will make it easy for these decision makers to find you.
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You must build relationships before asking any recruiter or hiring manager for a job. Like any relationship, you have to pay more attention to them, then they do to you. Following others, reposting and retweeting a decision maker's tweets is a great start to building a relationship. Twitter has directories that are like online yellow pages. You can search for hiring managers in your target industry. Twellow, We Follow and Mashable are all great Twitter directory sites -- there are many great Twitter tools to show you who are good people to follow. Remember you are selling yourself, but do not sell yourself before you have established a relationship. Attempting to sell something to someone before they are ready is like sticking your tongue down that person's throat after just meeting them.
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The Twitter community has established a Hire Friday movement to assist job seekers in finding employment. You begin working with this movement by following #HireFriday, the Twitter name for this movement. You need to write a tweet that promotes yourself, your skills and qualifications. The success of the HireFriday movement is based on the number of retweets the community members perform. Each Twitter user that is part of this movement retweets other user's posts and you pay everyone circulating your tweet by retweeting their posts.
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Using hash tags is a great Twitter resource for job seekers. This tag is used by Twitter to search for things or people by topic and to sort people by topic. Many job seekers use hash tags like, #jobhuntchat, #jobsearch, #jobadvice or #jobs. Get an iGoogle account and make an RSS feed on key words and hash tags for Twitter Search. This will save you a lot of time when searching for new job openings on Twitter.
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You must be aggressive when searching for a job on Twitter. Millions of other job seekers are employing the same methods you are using. Even though many recruiters in your industry are searching for you and your skills, you must also seek the recruiters in your field out and connect with them. You must find hiring managers and human resource professionals when using this social media tool. The directories on Twitter is a great start, but you can also use the advanced search tools found on Follower Wonk and Twitter Search. These two search tools offer advanced options the Twitter directory does not employ. You can search by location or zip code, as well as insert your industry's key words.
- Business Insider, Chart of the Day: How Many Users Does Twitter Really Have?: Nicholas Carlson, Marc. 31, 2011: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-how-many-users-does-twitter-really-have-2011-3
- Photo Provided by HAAP Media Ltd. http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1165448/?forcedownload=1
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Household Survey Data: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
- Examiner.com, Great Twitter Resource for Job Hunters... Write This One Down!, Brenda Neckvatal, Aug. 10, 2010: http://www.examiner.com/career-management-in-national/great-twitter-resource-for-job-hunters-write-this-one-down