How a Bluebird Can Lead You to Job Opportunities
From Career Services - October 12, 2012
When it comes to job searching, social media plays a vital role in helping you network and discover unique career opportunities. One type of social media that many job seekers find effective is Twitter. Twitter, symbolized by a little bluebird, is not always portrayed by media in the best light (even though its truthful and actual); someone is tweeting something they probably shouldn’t have said and then they have to re-tweet an apology. Personally, I spent a year or two refusing to buy into this type of social media as I felt I didn’t need to inform my “followers” what type of laundry detergent I was purchasing at my local Target store nor did I want to end up saying something I shouldn’t have. However, it wasn’t until recently when I caught a showing of an old Disney film called Song of the South and the lyrics to Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah that I discovered the potential Twitter could have. For those not familiar with the song, part of the lyrics include “…Oh, Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder. (What’s up Mr. Bluebird?) It’s the truth, its actual. And everything is satisfactual.”
Like many of types of social media (e.g. Facebook, Tumblr, Youtube, etc.), the truth and actuality is there are always two paths one can choose to take when deciding how they want to use it. Twitter is no exception; you could choose to use it casually or for personal purposes, or you could choose to use it a professional manner – which ever gives you satisfaction. After having talked with a few users who strictly use it for professional purposes, I decided to jump onto Twitter and give it a shot. For the past two years, the risk and choice of joining Twitter has paid off dividends. It has lead me to follow professionals in my field, receive relevant news feeds, learn about career opportunities and be a source of communication regarding blog posts I have written. How about you? Do you want to take the leap and join Twitter? Here are a few characteristics and resources about Twitter that just may convince you.
WHAT IS TWITTER?
For those not familiar with Twitter, Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you with the latest information that YOU find the most interesting. Twitter allows users to simply find the public streams that they find the most compelling and follow the conversations (learn more at http://twitter.com/about). And for those who like numbers, there currently exists over 150 million accounts on Twitter (over 300,000 new users every day) and over 3 Billion tweets per day.
Like LinkedIn, Twitter allows you to make and maintain quality connections with professionals, as well as follow industry leaders. It is also a good learning tool for your field of interest (e.g. what are the expects saying? what are the current trends in the field? what relevant news feeds are coming out regarding my field of interest?, etc.). In addition, Twitter allows you to share knowledge and interact with others, will also gaining advice. By simply sharing your knowledge with others, you are demonstrating your level of expertise while also maintaining and marketing your personal brand. Last, but certainly not least, did you know that according to the Wall Street Journal, 90% of jobs are filled through employee referrals or networking connections and that 85% of hiring managers use social networking sites like Twitter and LinkedIn to look for potential candidates. Twitter is an excellent resource to learn about occupations, employers, recruiters and job opportunities. There are thousands of recruiters and employers who continuously tweet job announcements daily, while also providing resources and tips on how to find opportunities related to your field. For more information on job tweets or who to follow, please visit: http://tweetmyjob.com, http://www.twitjobsearch.com, http://tinyurl.com/twitterjobsfollow, http://mashable.com/2009/03/13/twitter-jobs/, or go to http://search.twitter.com and follow these trends (#jobsearch, #resume, #jobs, #jobtips, #jobhunting, #employment, #career, #findajob, or #hiring).
WHAT RECRUITERS LOOK FOR ONLINE?
When it comes to Twitter, recruiters are reviewing or following potential candidates to see if the individual does one or more of the following:
- Tweets often (between 2-10 times per day is considered reasonable)
- Has developed a “healthy” list of followers balanced with a healthy set of individuals you are following
- Keeps a healthy balance between personal and professional tweets
- Doesn’t just update, but also responds to others tweets
When on Twitter, make sure your presence is “employer-friendly.” Put your job search interest in your Twitter bio, use a professional looking avatar, and don’t hesitate to tweet about your job search. Moreover, we recommend including a link to your online Resume, CV or LinkedIn profile in your bio and remember to make sure to establish yourself as an expert in your field. It should be noted that you shouldn’t try to misrepresent yourself (e.g. if you are not CEO, don’t play one on Twitter). As professionals on Twitter become interested in your content and follow you, when employers review your Twitter account, you’ll have more than just your resume or CV to back up your knowledge, experience and expertise.