How to use Twitter to look for work

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 13: Logos for the microblogging site Twitter, displayed on the internet on September 13, 2013 in London, England. Twitter has announced plans to float on the stockmarket. (Photo by Mary Turner/Getty Images) Mary Turner

(MoneyWatch) Job-seekers are familiar with sites such as Monster.com, Careerbuilder or LinkedIn as places to look for work online. But have you tried Twitter?

Gozaik, a startup that uses the social network to link employers, recruiters and job hunters, is touting Twitter as a way to energize your job search. According to the firm:

  • More than 500,000 social job announcements are released on Twitter each month
  • More than 15 new jobs are posted on Twitter a minute
  • The average number of jobs on Twitter has grown by nearly 32 percent in just six months
  • By the close of 2014, total job announcements will reach more than 2 million per month
  • Jobs tweeted span a diverse range of industries, including medical, technology and sales and marketing
  • Of the top 50 positions posted on Twitter, medical/dental roles represent nearly 15 percent of positions, with IT and sales at more than 24 percent

Does this mean that you should cancel your LinkedIn account and go full bore on Twitter? Not at all. The value of LinkedIn is in its ability to help you make and maintain contacts with people. Your best bet for job-hunting is always going to be through networking with actual humans. Resumes often get lost in that black hole and if you can connect in person, it's your best chance.

So how do you take advantage of the jobs posted on Twitter to find your dream job? Service like Goziak can help, but as usual your best bet will be to make personal connections. Even Twitter itself uses their employees, not just an HR account, to get the word out there about open jobs. Following someone on Twitter who is working in your area may just get you the first chance at a job. And, if you are following a human rather than, say, a generic recruiting account, he or she just may follow you back and -- here's the important part -- read what you have to say.

If you want to use Twitter to help you land a job, you can do so, of course, by simply searching and clicking on links and following the specified job application process. But it will be so much more effective if you have already created a relationship with someone in a company's department, and have had interesting and important things to say about industry relevant ideas.

Because it's not always easy to reduce complex ideas into 140 characters, one tip for gaining interest is to regularly link to interesting articles related to your area of expertise. With regular tweeting, people come to see you as an expert, even if all you're really doing is quoting experts.

It's also a good idea to respond and engage in conversations via Twitter. It shows that you're paying attention to what someone at a company is doing -- people like others to be interested in their thoughts.

Remember to keep the conversation professional. If you want to have a Twitter account so you can complain about your neighbors, the price of ketchup and whatever silly things certain politicians are saying, create a separate one than your "professional" account.

But, regardless of whether you want to tweet anything, if you're looking for a job it makes sense to give Twitter a try. You may find that dream job in 140 characters or less.

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