Using Twitter for Your Job Search Finding Job Leads, Researching Employers, and Preparing for Interviews

When looking for a job, people may think of numerous sites to use as resources: LinkedIn, Monster, and CareerBuilder just to name a few. However, if job seekers do not have Twitter in their job search arsenal, they may actually be missing out on opportunities that are not advertised otherwise. In this guide, job hunters can find information on why Twitter is such an effective job search tool, how to use the platform to find the hidden job market and prepare for an interview, and the Twitter users all job hunters should follow.

8 Reasons Job Seekers Should Use Twitter

Twitter may not be the most common platform to find a job, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective. The following are some reasons why job hunters should spend some of their search time on Twitter.

  • Simplicity.

    Using Twitter to get the attention of people in an industry is relatively easy compared to other activities job seekers may do, such as maintaining a blog. Within 280 characters, people can discuss industry news and share their insights, which go a long way toward attracting potential hiring managers.

  • Access to organizational decision makers.

    “You can follow anyone on Twitter, at any level in an organization. It really levels the playing field,” said Kyra Mancine, Social Media Specialist for the Recruiting Team at CRH Americas, Inc. “Unlike LinkedIn, where you have to be approved to be a connection, you can be connected with anyone instantly—other than protected accounts.”

  • Ability to show off other content.

    Job hunters who have portfolios, websites, and blogs that show off their expertise and experience can use Twitter to get people to that content. By mentioning links to their sites in their Twitter profile, and in tweets, people can drive traffic to the places that showcase their work.

  • Learn about a new field.

    “You can use Twitter to educate yourself about a new field. Always wondered what it would take to make films? Start following the filmmakers, actors, writers, and directors whose work has inspired you,” said career coach Carlota Zee. “Find out about workshops, lectures, and table reads. Discover what the people you admire are reading, thinking and doing, and make room for yourself in their public conversation. Find out about educational and professional opportunities.”

  • Recommendations.

    “Follow Friday,” which is represented by the hashtag #FF, is a great way for job hunters to get connected with the industry professionals they want to meet. Every Friday, people use this hashtag to make recommendations about who their own followers should pay attention to. People can leverage this feature by recommending the professionals they want to speak to, which increases the chances of getting their attention and making a connection with them.

  • Branding opportunities.

    “Build a professional brand. Get noticed, strike up conversations in your industry to make ‘noise’,” said Catt Medina, Senior Talent Consultant at Ingenia Talent. “Companies often go to social media when considering a candidate and are able to ‘get to know’ the candidate through their profile. This allows the candidates to share things they find professionally interesting, whether articles to share and start a conversation or a blog you write.”

  • Constant connections.

    Platforms like SocialOomph and TweetDeck allow users to schedule tweets, so job hunters can share their ideas about their industry on a regular basis—even during times when they’re busy with other job search activities. This way, they can increase the chances of getting noticed by the people they want to connect with the next time they log in.

  • Notifications.

    “Save time and energy in your everyday Twitter search and have new tweets sent directly to your phone via text with notifications. Like searches, you can use specific terms or keywords for Twitter to use to know what to send,” said Adam Earnheardt, Chair and Professor of the Department of Communication at Youngstown State University. “Last month, one of my students looking for work in health communication, set notifications with terms related to her industry and within a week had applied for six jobs she found through Twitter. Once you get a notification, open it in Twitter and, in some cases, be the first to know about a job opening.”

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Twitter can be an effective job search tool—but only if it’s used in the right way. This means job hunters need to use the platform to project a professional image at all times. To find out more information on how to use Twitter properly during a job search, click on the guide below, which details how to set up an account, build a professional network, and follow Twitter etiquette.

Finding Hidden Job Leads on Twitter

Since a significant amount of available positions don’t find their way to a job board, it’s important for people to go the extra mile to find those opportunities. This section provides tips on how people can user Twitter to find these hidden leads.

  • “Using lists is helpful tool. You can create lists of target companies, HR people, and other experts. You could even name a list “Companies I admire” or “Industry Experts,” said Mancine. “People are notified when they are added to a list, are flattered, and most likely will follow you back. Lists can also be a nice way to organize your job search. For example, we have lists of career experts, so I can then click on that list and see the tweets of all the experts and easily retweet things.”

  • When people are connected with industry professionals they’re interested in working for, they can send private messages to those people. Job hunters can use this to their advantage by striking up conversations and creating a deeper rapport with prospective employers. However, this should only be done sparingly.

  • “Check what’s trending on Twitter on a regular basis. A lot of the time it’s going to be odd topics like #Dogsdroolcatsrule but trust that over time, you’ll see the issues you care about trending, and once they are trending, you can see who else you should be following,” said Zee. “Ideally, you want to portray yourself as an expert, so if something is trending in your field, consider how you can add—intelligently—to the conversation.”

  • People who follow the alumni association of their college can connect with those in their industry they already have something in common with. By following a school’s alumni association, they can meet new people and reminisce about their school—which will ultimately build relationships that can help job hunters get a leg up on their competition.

  • “Twitter has a built-in search bar for job openings, you are able to filter by location, hiring, seniority level, etc.,” said Medina. “Once you’ve created your search, you are able to save it as a list so when you go back into Twitter, instead of seeing your entire feed, you should be able to click on that list and filter updates that way.”

  • “A job lead is a job lead. If you read a rumor tweet from an industry insider about a new department (i.e., new jobs) or a departing executive before an official posting is made, it might give you a chance to apply before anyone else even knows that company is hiring. You’ll only read those rumors if you’re following the right people on Twitter,” said Earnheardt. “For example, let’s say you’re in the fastener industry (i.e., Grainger, Fastenal), you should really be following accounts like @FastenerNews. You can choose to like or retweet the rumor or use that information to your advantage in the search. It shows that you’re in tune with industry news, and if you apply before a job opening is even announced, it might show that you’re appropriately aggressive.”

  • Following job search related hashtags can help people get the most out of their time on Twitter by sorting the information they’re looking for in an instant. The following are some helpful hashtags people can follow during their job search.

Expert Perspective: Don’t Give Up Too Soon

Many job hunters create the bare bones of a Twitter account, use it for a week and then, since they don’t suddenly have three million followers, they give up. But remember, successful social media isn’t about numbers, it’s what you do with the attention the numbers give you. I have clients who, despite having all of 16 followers on Twitter, got great job opportunities, because every single day they logged in, checked the accounts of the influencers and companies they wanted to work at, and liked and commented. Every. Single Day. Eventually, the companies took note, or my clients and I were able to identify and network a way in.

Carlota Zee, Career Coach

Using Twitter to Help You Prepare for and Nail Your Interview

Finding positions to apply to is just the beginning of how people can use Twitter in their job search. Just as they may leverage Twitter to find a position, they can also use it to ace an interview. The following details how.

  • Join a chat.

    “Find a career-related Twitter chat to get interview and job search advice,” said Mancine. “For instance, #OMCChat on Friday at noon (EST) is moderated by job search professionals on a variety of topics. They often discuss interviewing.”

  • Practice elevator pitch.

    Twitter forces people to communicate succinctly, so they can say a lot in few words. This can be useful for job seekers when they go to interviews, because posting on Twitter gives them practice talking about their background and accomplishments in an organized, concise way.

  • Follow interviewers.

    “Follow and read through the Twitter accounts of the businesses and people, if possible, who will be interviewing you. I’ve had clients who secured great jobs because they smiled sweetly at an interview and said, ‘Your TedTalk was so inspirational…,’ or, ‘I’ve been reading your series of articles on Twitter about cryptocurrency, and they’re fascinating,’” said Zee. “Interviewers want to connect with you, they want to know you have thoughts and opinions, and that you know how, and why, to research.”

  • Get used to talking to decision makers.

    When people go into interviews, part of what makes them nervous is the fact they put the people who are hiring on a pedestal. By chatting with other professionals on Twitter, people can humanize the decision makers of an organization in their mind and practice relating to them on a personal level—which will help them better perform in their job interviews.

  • Learn about work culture.

    “Companies today are all about attracting and retaining talent, and Twitter is a great way to highlight that using pictures of company events, team, etc.,” said Medina. “This is a great way to get an understanding of the company culture and allow you to decide whether or not this is a company you would want to be a part of.”

  • Keep up on industry news.

    In order to impress an interviewer and show how serious they are about their career, candidates can bring up what’s going on in their industry. Twitter can help with this because users are able to access up-to-the-minute information about a particular field.

  • Use information about the competition.

    “Knowing the largest competitors of your ‘dream job’ employer could be the ticket to a successful job interview. How are competitors using Twitter to find new customers? Maintain existing customers? Leveraging connections with brand ambassadors and influencers? You can use this information during the interview process, but be careful not to be hypercritical,” said Earnheardt. “It's always good to start with a, ‘I see you posted this great tweet last week that got a ton of engagement. Your competitor did something similar with this slight tweak and look at how their engagement was through the roof.’ Have your smartphone ready to show them your quick research in case they ask.”

Expert Perspective: Create a Professional Handle

“You should always use your real name in your Twitter profile. I once had a student who used ‘Unicorns 24/7’ and an employer commented on it. Yes, she got the job, but she changed it to her real name as soon as she left the interview for fear it would prevent her from landing other jobs. If you're setting up a Twitter account, select a handle (everything after the @ sign) that is as close to your name as possible. This makes it much easier for employers to find you.”

Adam Earnheardt, Chair and Professor of the Department
of Communication at Youngstown State University

Twitter Accounts for Interview Advice and Preparation Help

  • Interview Success

    @InterviewSucess – Provides answers to common interview questions and other tips for acing an interview.

  • The Resume Genius

    @TheResumeGenius – Has resume templates and provides access to a free resume building tool.

  • Heather R. Huhman

    @heatherhuhman – Expert that provides advice to college students looking for internships, as well as recent graduates searching for entry-level jobs.

  • Сareerealism

    @CAREEREALISM – Provides information on best practices when job hunting. Includes advice on resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, and earning a promotion.

  • Hannah Morgan

    @careersherpa – Provides advice on using social media for a job search.

  • Abby Kohut

    @Absolutely_Abby – Career expert that provides daily advice.

  • CareerBliss

    @CareerBliss – Includes information on available jobs, hiring trends, and interview tips. Also has company reviews.

  • The Job Guy

    @betterjobsearch – Provides advice and motivation for job seekers.

  • Jessica Stillman

    @EntryLevelRebel – Provides advice to younger workers, including how to pursue unconventional career paths.

  • The Muse

    @dailymuse – Includes advice to help people pursue careers that are meaningful to them.

Additional Resources for Job Seekers

  • 15 Best Job Search Sites

    This guide evaluates job search sites so readers can choose the one that best suits their needs. Provides information on sites that cater to entry-level workers, executives, those in the technology industry, and government workers.

  • How to Answer Tough Interview Questions

    Guide gives the ideal answers to some tough job interview questions job seekers may encounter. Also provides information on tools to help people prepare for interviews.

  • How to Personalize Your Hunt for Jobs

    Not every job seeker has the same needs, so this guide provides advice on how to make a search as personal as possible. Includes information on job sites targeted toward specific kinds of workers.

  • How to Nail Your Next Interview

    Interviews can be stressful, and that may lead to mistakes that cause people to lose out on a job. This guide provides advice to help job seekers take control and impress hiring managers while avoiding costly faux pas.