Yes, Twitter is crude and simple but it offers something few services can—access to the world as it unfolds. It’s called real time search, a powerful concept that’s redefining the web and opening new doors for job seekers willing to brave off the beaten path. For those that do, job searching in real time means instant access to employers, recruiters and executives the moment they mention a job or talk about a need you can fill.
Here’s the real time web in a nutshell: Basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal was recently traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers to play with Lebron James. Maybe you heard about it from a friend or on ESPN, but believe it or not Shaq first learned about his new job on Twitter. He didn’t hear it from his agent, he heard it from @allonso (an everyday fan from Phoenix). It was amusing to read Shaq’s tweets that morning because he got caught off guard, but it goes to show how quickly information travels on Twitter and how easily you can access just about anybody.
Here are five steps to get your real time job search started now:
- Over 230,000 new jobs were posted on Twitter in the last 30 days. That’s up over 20% from last month as reported by TwitterJobSearch.com, a terrific resource for job listings on Twitter and one of the world’s first real time job search engines. Another fantastic resource is the search tool on Twitter, its timeliness and utility are the envy of Google and Facebook.
- See a job opportunity? Reply instantly with your “Twitter Resume” from twtjobs.com. After you’ve distilled your resume to 140 characters, TwtJobs creates a unique page you can forward to employers. It includes your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, a picture and a link to your blog or website. Here’s one I created as an example: twtjobs.com/09klcn.
- Employers read your Twitter profile so why not read theirs? Learn about who posted the job, check out their website, scan through their tweets and use that intelligence to personalize your application. A quick Twitter search may turn up other employees as well as valuable insights on how customers talk about that company.
- Knowing who to follow on Twitter is essential. I follow experts that regularly talk about how to improve every aspect of my career. I’ve done most of the leg work to get you started by publishing the top 100 must-follow career mavens on Twitter. @TheCareer100 is comprised of select employers, executives, recruiters, bloggers, resume writers and outplacement firms. I suggest you follow all 100.
- Further leverage your LinkedIn connections by importing them to Twitter. It’s a two or three step process: first export your contacts from LinkedIn to your desktop; then import that file to your Gmail, Yahoo or AOL account (start an account if you don’t have one); finally import those contacts into your Twitter account. Only a select few will be on Twitter, but they’ll likely be exceptional networkers.
Ready or not, real time job search powered by Twitter is here. With that said, Twitter probably should not be the central focus of your search. I recommend it as a supplement to your other activities with an emphasis on finding some precious nuggets of information to give your application an edge.
Had any good or bad job search experiences on Twitter? Share them below as comments so we can all benefit from your experiences.