For those of us in college or recent graduates hoping to land a job in spite of the current economy, Twitter can be a great way to network with individuals in our field of interest on a more informal level than an informational interview.
Heather Huhman has some tips for those individuals hoping to use Twitter as a way to get a job or internship. All of her 10 tips are solid and should be followed to ensure that Twitter is used properly as a way to network with others in the industry.
She suggests that Twitter users to first do your homework and pay attention. Basically, you should first get a grasp of what are the kinds of things fellow Twitterers are talking about and if you see someone say or ask something that you can respond to, make sure you do. By sharing relevant information and links, you can show others that you know what you’re talking about.
What you say on Twitter will stay on the web so it’s important that you don’t post or link to anything that could damage your brand like saying that you got trashed last night. While you want to avoid negative tweets like that, don’t be afraid to talk about a variety of things and follow a wide range of users.
Your Twitter profile is also important in the networking process. When you start to follow someone or send your first @reply to another user, they are likely to visit your page and read your profile to see who you are. This 160 area gives you a great chance to quickly introduce yourself and link to your LinkedIn page, website, blog, or online resume. You can even create your own personal background image that offers URLs to other relevant websites, blogs, or accounts. For examples, you can check out the accounts of Chris Brogan, Darren Rowse, and Jennifer Leggio.
Her other two tips that I found to be really helpful were the following:
7. When appropriate, send a direct message. “After ‘following’ select individuals, I begin by sending them a direct message introducing myself. This method has lead to at least two face-to-face encounters, which I credit to obtaining one job offer from a start-up interactive agency and a tentative internship offer. These are commonly called ‘Tweetups,’” said Paul Matson, president of the Public Relations Student Society of America.8. Call out specific companies. “Mention company names in your tweets – especially those that are of interest to you. It will connect you to others interested in those companies – some of whom may be employers!” said Robbie Kellman Baxter of Peninsula Strategies.
While I’d love for Twitter to eventually help me get a job when I graduate, I’m on Twitter primarily because it gives me an opportunity to interact and engage with individuals I never would be able to otherwise and I have learned so much from them in the process.