Job searching is serious business, who has time to Tweet?
5 Myths about Twitter, and why you should reconsider using Twitter as a Job Search Tool
Job searching is serious business, right? That’s why I want to share with you how Twitter has actually made it easier for job seekers believe it or not! Your next job might be 200 Tweets away – it was for Brandon Savage, who literally did find his job via Twitter.I know the majority of you out there are skeptics and that’s why this is such an important post to write.
For the uninitiated, Twitter, is quite perplexing, in fact I think it might be one the most misunderstood tools on the web. Granted, its’ name does not suggest anything serious and I am sure this might be where many get stuck. Whenever I read an article mentioning its relevance, or ask a non-user what they know about it, there is almost always reference to its more casual and inane usage- Yes, we don’t care what you ate for breakfast, unless it was with Nelson Mandela.
After talking with a lot of people about their Twitter hang-ups I realized there are five myths clouding people’s impressions and precluding their exploration of this highly compelling tool. If the number of passionate professionals using is any indication, then Twitter is much more than just frivolous banter.
1. Twitter is an inane and frivolous activity and a waste of time.
Okay, getting serious now Twitter is not just fun and games. In fact, if you use it with intention and purpose- to secure or share specific and current information- you just might find it can be a very effective way to connect and network with new people in your field, or career of interest. For the millions of people who have been drawn in by its real-time, cutting edge, social networking technology, Twitter can be job search or business networking on steroids, expanding your networking abilities and business outreach capacity beyond what you ever imagined.
Who would have though that “Tweeting” would have played a key role in alleviating political crises in Madagascar or Iran. While there certainly may be some childlike, whimsical activity going on, there is also a whole lot of serious information being exchanged too, only it is in digital form, and it’s infectious, in a good way.
Twitter, along with other social networking tools is revolutionizing how people job search, network and share information. Within a five-minute time span, I watched over HUNDREDS of jobs be posted live on Twitter. If used strategically, and pay attention to the time, Twitter can be an incredible time saver. Time is of the essence when you are in job search, and the fact that you can receive targeted and current job openings, in real-time, to your phone or computer, instead of wasting time on a job board is invaluable.
2. Twitter is only for social media savvy people
Of all the social networking sites, believe it or not, Twitter is the least demanding in terms of “figuring it out”. Of course, like any new tool, it takes some getting used to, but after observing how it works, it is quite literally plug and play. And, anyway, are you saying that you have given up learning new things? In today’s ever-changing world, there really isn’t room for that type of thinking, unless you are ready to retire from life! Everyone has to start somewhere, and in fact the new job search paradigm obliges everyone to learn a new approach to promoting him or herself in the marketplace. The social media is integral to this process, and as one of my “boomer” clients accurately corrected me the other day when I said this technology is about the future, he corrected me: “No, it’s the present!”
3. You’re too old for Twitter.
If you are too old to learn something new, expand your network, or meet new and interesting people, then, yes, Twitter is not for you. But if you don’t let your age impede your professional development, then Twitter is absolutely a tool for everyone. Just like my client I mentioned above, he is putting himself out there and absorbing as much as possible and he is finding it exhilarating. Something I say to every job seeker who uses age as an excuse, “It’s mind over matter, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”. Ironically, I have younger clients ask me, “Isn’t Twitter for older folks” while the older ones suggest the opposite. Either way, if you want to be first to hear about the ideal job, Twitter might be where you find it. Can you afford to not be there?
4. What on earth has Twitter got to do with me Job Search or Business?
Everything actually! In many ways, it’s the brand new job board. Recruiters love it, so who’s arguing? Plug in any keyword into the twitter search mechanism and you might be quite surprised see what comes up in relation to your interest. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Sarah Needleman agrees that “A new job is “Just a tweet away” mentioning that “many big companies, including Microsoft Corp., Verizon Communications Inc., and Viacom Inc.’s MTV Networks, now list job openings on Twitter “
For me, the final proof that Twitter is now considered legitimate by the business Community is Linkedin’s partnership with the blue bird. As the defacto number one online networking tool for professionals, this is quite a bold move.
Then again, you just need to take a look at the numbers on Tweetmyjobs.com, the world’s largest Twitter Job Board: In 30 days: 350,553 job tweets, in just one hour: 3,723.
5. I won’t be able to protect my privacy
In the new world of Social Media, privacy is probably an oxymoron, but then again, there was identity theft long before Twitter and other social networking sites were invented. The point is that while participating on Twitter is an “anything goes” roof party, or if you wish, London’s (in)famous “Speakers Corner” the fact that all powerful Google can find almost anything, people will be “listening” to what you say, so tweet wisely. That being said, Twitter, like all the sites, you can establish your Privacy Settings so that your profile and tweets are protected from random spam, followers, and anybody you don’t want to associate with. You have a choice of how public you want your twitter profile to be, if at all. Certainly set these up if you prefer, but maintain a highly professional presence, no matter what. Social media is viral, by nature, and you never know what will make it out into the Google sphere of influence!
Ultimately, everything that you do online today is trackable, however the benefits of participating in the conversation so that you can ultimately expand your professional networking capabilities and connect with people you may not have other, far outweigh the negatives, of a little spam, or not being found online at all.
The Twitter Job Search Guide promises to be great… You can buy it here. But if you need a little hand holding in order to get on, and make the most of it. Give me a shout, or sign up for my next Twitter for Job Search Webinar on April 13th