Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Fun! Tweet! Tweet!

Author:  Richard Pawlak (@esterrick on Twitter)
               Journalist and public relations professional, and
               volunteers as chair of PSG’s Public Relations Committee

Summer is here. Imagine yourself relaxing poolside in some summery place, enjoying a tall, cold glass of something delicious, while your vigorous job search continues on your nearby laptop, smartphone, or iPad. Just a summer fantasy? Not at all. 

Even though networking through social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn has become an important part of everyone’s career strategy, don’t leave the wildly popular Twitter out of your job search arsenal. With just a little legwork to set up some Twitter add-ons and companion services, you can propel your job-hunting efforts to the next level and still enjoy the sun, the sand, the surf, and some summertime sanity along with your nicely developing tan. 

If you’re not already using Twitter, it’s pretty easy to install on your computer, iPhone, iPad, Android, or BlackBerry mobile device. Then the job hunt fun begins when you check out TweetMyJOBS.com, a companion web site that harnesses the vast reach of Twitter to search jobs for you. There you can create multiple search channels by job type and location, and you can schedule daily, weekly, or monthly e-mail alerts. TweetMyJOBS.com’s search engines are pretty robust, too, and seem to be able to uncover job opportunities that aren’t posted on the more popular job search sites such as Monster, Dice, and CareerBuilder.

Other helpful Twitter companions are two dashboard programs that display your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media program activity all on one handy screen for at-a-glance convenience. TweetDeck.com and HootSuite.com are Web sites worth visiting to download and install one of those dashboard programs on your computer and mobile device. Such dashboard programs really showcase the amazing aggregate power of social media in the 21st century.

On TweetDeck, for example, you can create a column to search for particular jobs or job titles by using a hash tag (#) as your guide. By selecting the Create a Column tab on the screen, you can type “#Project Manager Jobs” and create a column that will search the Internet around the clock for that job title. Varying the job title to, say, “#Program Manager Jobs” can produce an entirely new set of search results in a separate column on TweetDeck. Depending on how you’ve branded yourself on your résumé, you could conceivably create several more column searches on TweetDeck, thereby unearthing jobs you may never have found elsewhere. If you’re open to relocation across the U.S. and overseas, you can watch the job search results from across the country and around the world accumulate in your TweetDeck search columns in real time, 24 hours a day. It can be an eye-opening—and entertaining—experience!

Becoming active on Twitter also has other benefits. You may find it fascinating to follow pro athletes, politicians, radio/TV talk show hosts (Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien and Craig Ferguson are consistently funny and David Letterman has just begun some sort of hashtag promotion on his show), restaurants, celebrities, and bloggers (our own alumnus Ed Han posts valuable information every day). Virtually every day, companies open Twitter accounts to promote their brands, products, and events; and they can give you valuable insight into their company cultures and work environments as well as their current career opportunities.

More importantly, having a personal or professional Twitter account also gives you the chance to promote yourself and your own job search on several levels. Crafting your personal brand statement into Twitter’s 140-character limit can help you self-edit and even redefine your own job search goals.

Alison Doyle (@AlisonDoyle on Twitter), writing for About.com, got the following Twitter job-hunting tips straight from Gary Zukowski, CEO and founder of TweetMyJOBS.com:
• Put your elevator pitch in your bio.
• Use a professional avatar.
• Have a custom background that gives more detail about your qualifications.
• Have a link to your online résumé. Tools like VisualCV can help.
Follow industry experts in your industry on Twitter. Tools like Twellow.com can help.
Establish yourself as an expert in your industry. Use your status updates to tweet about industry topics, offer tips, and provide advice.
• You don’t have to create all of the content. You just need to be viewed as someone in the know.
• Get targeted job tweets sent to your Twitter feed or mobile phone.
Be consistent on image throughout all of your online platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tweeting about your transition might actually help you vent some frustration and reduce unnecessary stress in your life (but do avoid angry rants and personal attacks). Like other types of networking, becoming a part of a group of people who share a common experience, similar to what we enjoy as members of PSG, can offer encouragement, guidance, tips, and, often, much-needed good humor during a difficult time in life. Twitter is a tremendous resource for all of those networking benefits.

And if that can help you enjoy even a few more sunny days with family and friends this summer, or dig your toes a little deeper into that Long Beach Island sand, or even relax poolside for a few extra minutes, it’s time for you to start tweeting!

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