Twitter is a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it! Rest assured though, if you’re looking for opportunities in particular sectors like media, marketing, the start-up and charity sector, and want to hear about opportunities or roles not advertised elsewhere, then Twitter should become part of your job search toolkit. Here Gina Visram, a freelance careers consultant at LSE with a background in marketing and PR shares her six top tips on how to use Twitter to job hunt.
“When we think about social media platforms for professional networking, the platform that generally comes to mind is LinkedIn. That’s not surprising as it is the most obvious platform for professional purposes, however there’s another quality platform which can be used to help you create powerful connections and achieve your professional ambitions and you’ll be missing a trick if you don’t explore its possibilities.
Twitter’s mission is to “Give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly” yet it often gets overlooked by those who don’t realise that a solid profile, some targeted following and consistently using 140 characters well can yield great results. While Twitter is popular with politicians and celebrities, it is also used by organisations throughout the world, from start-ups to international corporations and it is this realisation which can lead you to some brilliant opportunities, which you may not access if you recognise the power of this platform.”
Here are 6 ways that you can use Twitter to find you next opportunity:
1. Create a descriptive personal profile: The description on your profile provides a short, sharp snapshot of who you are and may even provide an opportunity for a call to action if that’s relevant for you. This may be something like “Read my most recent blog article via *insert link*. It’s not a problem if you don’t have a call to action but if you do, share it here.
2. Follow LSE Careers and other profiles that share useful careers information: There are countless Twitter profiles that provide incredibly useful careers advice and prospects for job seekers and opportunity hunters and the best place to start includes some of LSE’s own sites. You can follow @LSECareers @LSEVolunteering and @LSEGenerate for example and more widely, profiles including @Prospects, @GuardianCareers, @AllAboutCareers, @TheStudentRoom, @RateMyPlacement, @InspiringInterns, @LawCareersNetUK, @IndeedUK, @Monster_UK and many more.
3. Follow a trail of organisations you are interested in: One of the greatest things about Twitter is the ability to get up close and personal with organisations you are interested in. Yes you can go to their websites and look at their “news and events” pages, and you should if applying to the organisation – but following a wide range of organisations you are interested in means that in effect, the information, job opportunities and commercial insights come directly to you. Try this now. If you’re interested in consulting and look up BCG, you can choose to follow it and often suggested similar profiles will appear on the right hand side, which may include organisations like Bain and McKinsey. Same applies if you’re interested in roles in international development. Search Save the Children and it’s a short hop, skip and a jump to Plan UK, Amnesty International as well as many other relevant organisations of varying sizes within that sector.
4. Explore profiles those organisations follow: A stealth move beyond following organisations you are interested in is to click on the link which takes you to who they follow. Do that and “ta-dah” – you have just gained insight into who these companies consider to be influencers / relevant / important. You have now graduated from sensibly following an organisation to perhaps specifically following members of its staff or leadership team or its competitors or publications and media outlets it follows. It then of course becomes sensible to follow some of these organisations and people too as this all contributes to valuable insights not just about the organisation but also some of the profiles it considers significant enough to follow itself.
5. Connect through retweets and replies: Chances are you will have a higher success rate of successfully engaging with a specific person or organisation via a Tweet than you will via an e-mail. While Twitter certainly doesn’t replace the power of email, it does have that potential to provide a non-committal ‘foot in the door’ through the casual interaction possibilities that the platform provides. More often than not – it can provide more direct access than email does as emails may often be screened by an assistant whereas Twitter accounts are often managed by the person themselves. Try it and see – and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when an MP, CEO or even celebrity that you follow interacts with you when you reply or retweet something that they have shared. Applying for the civil service fast stream, The Guardian or M&G Investments? Interact with their corporate or individual accounts and this may result in receiving a direct response from someone who encourages you to send in your CV and have a further conversation about possibilities of securing an opportunity.
6. Be yourself: Remember that ‘people hire people’ so in addition to sharing your professional side, Twitter provides a unique opportunity to give and gain insight into the values and interests of the companies and individuals you are following. For example, tweets from one of the team you are being interviewed by may reveal that they run marathons, are the parent of a toddler and recently travelled to your favourite country in Asia. Likewise, your profile provides your opportunity to share interesting articles that you have read, your favourite podcast (or gif of the moment) and a photo from the top of a mountain!
Certainly more than 140 characters here but happy tweeting!