Twitter is a fast growing tool, now being used for more serious purposes than advertise what you had for lunch. However, Twitter is a firehose of information, making it overwhelming for both the noobie and experienced user to find relevant information, or encourage relevant people to find your own information.
So how can job seekers make Twitter a part of their search strategy?
Getting found on Twitter: Recruiters and HR reps are now on Twitter looking for talent. In addition, Tweets are now indexed by Google, giving savvy candidates more visibility with recruiters and HR reps who search Google for candidates. Here are some ways you can encourage others to find you Twitter:
1. Tweet your resume: Store your resume online (suggestions: your ResuBlog or Online Portfolio, box.net, Google docs). Then tweet links along with industry information if you are a stealth candidate, or a statement that you are looking and some key words (ex: Java programmer) if you are active. Even stealth candidates can use this, since Twitter uses link shorteners, so the link you broadcast won't contain the word resume or your name.
2. reTweet industry articles: This is Twitter's way to "pass it on". reTweeting industry articles is especially effective for passive job seekers who want to be found, but not be seen as an active job hunters by a current employer. As Tweets are now indexed by Google and can't be erased once Tweeted, a direct statement that you're "looking for a job" may be risky for stealth candidates.
3. Tweet your own articles or comments: Even if you don't blog, if you comment, sending a Twitter link to your blog posts or comments shares the discussion with others, including industry recruiters.
5. Use Hashtags: Hashtags allow others to easily find your Tweets. Use hashtags with industry terms if you are stealth or job search terms (see below) if an active candidate. Hashtags can also serve as keywords for Google searches.
6. Engage in discussions: Follow Tweets that spark discussion about your industry and comment.
7. Twitter Profile: Use key words in your profile (and your Tweets) that allow you to be found by recruiters & hiring managers. Include a link to your resume and your email address in your profile.
Finding the right information and jobs:
8. Search - Use Twitter's search function (I find TweetDeck's search much easier). Search for "job finance" and you'll get a steam of job postings for finance professionals.
9. Hashtags - Hashtags are a way to search for Twitter topics. I publish job tips on Twitter under the hashtags #career #job #jobsearch #layoff. Also try #jobs #jobhunt #employment #hiring #laidoff #careers #hireme.
10. Lists - Twitter Lists are features that allow you to follow a group of posts. I've assembled Twitter's largest list of JobTweets at http://twitter.com/philreCareered/JobTweets . If you follow this list, you'll see a stream of job postings on twitter, and you can search this stream for job postings in your town, industry or function. Find other Twitter lists on Listorious (http://listorious.com/tags/jobs) .
11. Following people on Twitter lists - In addition to following lists, follow individual users on the lists that interest you.
For additional help in using Twitter to find jobs...and have employers find you check out additional resources at http://reCareered.blogspot.com - Click on the topic tag Twitter to gain additional ideas.
Phil Rosenberg is President of reCareered, an executive career coaching service, helping great people discover new career paths and beat the challenges of modern job searches. Phil runs the Career Change Central group, recently named one of Linkedin's top groups that job seekers must join. An active blogger about career change, Phil's articles are republished by Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, CIO, FastCompany and dozens of job and recruiting sites. Phil can be contacted at phil.reCareered@gmail.com. You can follow Phil on Twitter @philreCareered.