Kaitlin Luna is a Student Affairs and Higher Education professional with six years (and counting) of experience working with college students as a career and academic advisor. Kaitlin is passionate about career development and is particularly knowledgeable about the job search, social networking, personal branding and interview preparation. You can tweet her @KaitlinLuna or find her on LinkedIn.
Let’s face it: you’re on Twitter following your favorite celebs and sports teams. It keeps you in the know about for everything from pop culture (you didn’t have to watch the VMAs to hear about Miley’s twerking), to sports scores to what your friend ate for dinner. The amount of information available is almost overwhelming! So how about using the network to land your dream job? It’s totally possible – it happened to me! And here is the key: Twitter Chats.
Think about it: Twitter is a space on the Internet where you can really brand yourself. It’s a space where you can claim your name, connect with others and create opportunities for yourself. And it all starts with following experts in your industry. Once you have followed key people, it’s time to retweet them, discover their blogs, favorite their tweets and participate in Twitter Chats where the experts gather to contribute their expertise. All of this will give you visibility. My campaign to claim my name and brand myself sure didn’t happen overnight, but it might have had I discovered Twitter Chats sooner.
The exposure gained through participating in a Twitter Chat is far better than the exposure you can gain almost anywhere else online. In most fields including yours, there are chats, designated by a hashtag (#) that allow like-minded people to connect, share ideas, resources and expertise. Find out what chats are popular for your field and start participating. It’s actually a wonder to me that not more job seekers and students are utilizing Twitter Chats to further their personal brand, online presence, networking and job search.
So, how do you get started?
- Create a Twitter handle with a name that supports your personal brand. For example, if you would like to work in marketing your Twitter handle could be @MarketingExpertJames, you can also use your name or a variation of your name depending on what available for example @JaneDoe.
- Learn the lingo! Here is a quick breakdown: A tweet is a 140 character update that you can share with your followers (if you’re using it to brand yourself or for your job search, keep it professional). Retweeting is when you repost someone else’s tweet with a comment, or you can simply retweet it to your followers. The Favorite option allows you to save a tweet for easy reference later. It also gives you visibility because the person who’s tweet you favorite will be notified. Similar to liking a post on Facebook, it makes people feel warm and fuzzy, and it gets you noticed! Twitter Lists allow you to organize those you follow into lists so you can categorize the information you follow.
- Fill out the Bio section with your branding statement or your area of expertise. Include a link to your website or LinkedIn profile.
- Follow: Use Twitters search feature to identify professionals to follow. Search keywords common to your field such as engineering, marketing, anthropologists and more! You might even take it a step further and send a direct message (DM) introducing yourself.
- Engage: Participate in chats specific to your industry! Follow other participants and continue the conversation. Ask and answer questions using popular hashtags. Offer your insights by commenting on others tweets. Be thoughtful and use correct grammar and punctuation.
- Connect: Find alumni from your college or university, follow them, introduce yourself, and ask about them. Invite your Twitter followers to connect with you on LinkedIn. Make it easy for others to see you by tweeting consistently, accurately and by using hashtags.
You’re on Twitter already and you probably navigate it at professional status. So why not use it to strengthen your brand and job search? It’s the perfect place to gain some fame for things your passionate about!
In your job search overlooking Twitter and more specifically Twitter Chats is like running a marathon with a broken leg. It’ll take you longer, it’ll be painful and you won’t get as far. And we don’t want that for you. We want you to win at this job search thing. Connect with me on Twitter for more tips! See you there.