New Twitter Tools for Job Seekers

Last week, my post featured a short video by my friendthe Recruiting Animal about how to stand out on Twitter. This week I thought I would go more in depth about how Twitter can be used in your job search.

Being in the job search is tough, and as a job seeker you are not alone (especially with the more than 15 million who are out of work and in the job hunt). People don’t always prepare adequately for the job search, although they should be giving themselves a solid six months to get everything in order before they can expect results. This provides the opportunity to grow and build your network using both traditional (face to face networking) and non-traditional methods (social media networking). Keep in mind that this can all be done while you’re still employed. Don’t wait until you’re actively looking to build your network!

One non-traditional networking tool is Twitter. Think of Twitter as a virtual cocktail party with more than 27 million people in attendance. Like any traditional cocktail party or networking event, there are conversations (known as your twitter stream) that happen all around you. Twitter is no different. If your goals for Twitter are primarily business-based, it is extremely important to selectively join and be present for key conversations among decision makers or influencers in the industry in which you are looking for work.

These tips will help you turn Twitter into the ultimate networking tool:

  • Follow People. Following others and retweeting or reposting their tweets is a great way to begin to build a relationship. Use Twitter directories which are essentially online yellow pages to search for influencers in your target industry, location, or by keyword like Twellow, and We Follow. Here are 15 more great Twitter directory sites courtesy of Mashable.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Be found by making sure to include keywords that are searched by recruiters and hiring managers in your Twitter bio. Consider words including industry specific software programs, certifications, and words that are repeatedly listed in job board advertisements. Recruiters use keywords within your tweets and your bio to find you. Make it easy to be found including key words and a link to your blog or profile.
  • Hash Tags (#). Hash tags are used in Twitter as a way to sort and search by topic. Some common hash tags for job seekers including #jobs, #jobhuntchat, #jobsearch, and #jobadvice. Using your iGoogle account, you can set up an RSS feed of common keywords and hash tags in Twitter Search. Setting up your RSS feed is a great time saving tip!
  • Find Recruiters. I almost always suggest that job seekers take an aggressive approach to their job search. Just as recruiters source and search for you, job seekers can seek out and connect with recruiters, human resource professionals, or hiring managers using social media search tools. Twitter directories are a great start, but there are more advanced tools like Follower Wonk andTwitter Search which can help you further focus your search. Both of these offer advanced search options, allowing you to search by keyword and even zip code. Follow Wonk provides advanced bio search options.
  • Building Relationships. Chris Brogan provides a crude yet effective example of social media networking and how to build relationships. He likens immediately asking for a job or sale just after meeting someone to sticking your tongue down someone’s throat just after meeting them. Basically, don’t ask for the sale until you have an established relationship. Social media is undoubtedly a great way to connect, but can be somewhat superficial. Networking takes time! Make sure you establish a meaningful relationship with someone before asking them to help you. is an award winning toolset that helps you proactively manage your online reputation and promote yourself across the social web. Create an account today to see how we can help you win new opportunities, jobs and clients online. It’s easy and it’s fun!

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is an author, new mother, and human resources professional with a passion for recruiting and all things social media. She has over 10 years of experience in human resources & recruiting.

Her company, Xceptional HR provides businesses with social media, recruitment, and human resources strategy and consulting. Jessica’s book, Tweet This! Twitter for Business was released January 2010. Follow Jessica on Twitter, LinkedIn, & FaceBook.