Last Updated Aug 6, 2010 12:01 PM EDT
When it comes to social networks and job-hunting, Twitter trumps Facebook, according to Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0, Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success. "Twitter is the best place because it's public networking," says Schawbel. Facebook, meanwhile, is just too personal a space to approach someone you don't know and with whom you share no friends. "I'd never say to send resumes to hiring managers on Facebook--It's like infringing on people," he says.
The second edition of Schawbel's book comes out in October. It has an extra 60 pages, including a chapter on how to use social networks to land a job. After another round of disappointing unemployment data Friday morning, I decided to pick his brain for more advice on Twitter to boost your chances of landing a job. Here are four steps.
1. Craft a Specific Network
Make a list of the top three to five companies in specific locations where you'd love to work, says Schawbel. Then head to Twellow.com, a sort of Twitter Yellow Pages that helps you find people based on keywords in their bios. For example, type in "Accounting California" or "Microsoft PR" and Twellow gives you a list of Twitter users who have those keywords in their bios. From there you can narrow down the most appropriate people to follow.
2. Organize Your List
Before reaching out to folks you've located via Twellow, create a Twitter list that includes all their names. Perhaps you want to call it "People I Need to Network With," says Schawbel. Those you are following on the list will be able to see that you're keeping track of them and it may spark some positive interest on their end.
Just remember that these folks will be able to see the name of your list â€" so choose something flattering, like "Accounting Industry Pros," instead of a more stalker-ish "Accountants to Keep Tabs On."
3. Ready, Set, Retweet
You're ready to make contact. "The best way to begin engaging is to retweet," says Schawbel. If, for example, you see someone on your list sharing a cool article on the industry, retweet it. It's a way of casually introducing yourself and showing interest. It's like being at a real networking event and you overhear a conversation that interests you. You may want to jump in somehow. Retweeting is the equivalent of jumping into a conversation and saying, "I totally agree. Hi, I'm Farnoosh, by the way."
4. Direct Message
After a few weeks of conversing on Twitter and introducing yourself to your select network (with them hopefully tweeting back to you), the time may now be right to send a direct message via Twitter or add them on LinkedIn to advance the conversation and talk about sending over a resume or a link to your Web site. Only at this point is it appropriate to bring Facebook into the picture. "Once they already know you from Twitter, it's much easier to connect on Facebook."
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