Twitter: How to make it work for you
The chances are high that you’re already using Twitter. Twitter's 140 character messages are perfect for keeping up with friends and events, both at your place of study and further afield. Social networks like Twitter are also being used for job hunting, as a portfolio, a search tool, and a means of reaching out to potential employers.
It can be difficult for a new graduate to get a foot in the door. Businesses and academic establishments are awash with very similar CVs every summer, so how can you stand out from the crowd? Twitter, with its informal structure, can be a great way to open a dialogue and get chatting to potential employers.
A good place to start is by finding the accounts of some of the big employers in your field. Read through their timeline and you may discover networking events or job advertisements. Take notice of the accounts they follow and retweet, too, so you can make some more connections yourself.
Do follow accounts that interest you. As well as getting an idea of the atmosphere and attitude of an employer, you will get their attention as they notice their new follower and check you out.
Use Twitter’s search function for keywords and hashtags to help you find the right people and businesses to follow. Once you discover some hashtags relevant to your course, or your interests, start using them yourself. Then, anyone watching for those hashtags will notice your tweets.
Use Twitter to its full potential to seek out opportunities
Twitter is a two-way street. As well as seeking out employment opportunities, use it to showcase what you’ve been doing. Any extracurricular activities, visits or volunteer work, especially if they’re relevant to your course, are great indications of your commitment and dedication. Use hashtags for greater visibility.
The trouble with using social media as part of your job search is that you may find yourself exposing more of your private life than you’re comfortable with. Twitter is an informal medium, but that doesn’t mean you want your party photos, or the stories of what you got up to, examined by the person who will be interviewing you for your first graduate role.
You’ll need to decide whether your Twitter account is purely for personal use or if you’re happy showing it to people you might end up sitting across a desk from, and tailor your content accordingly. Creating a second account, keeping one for purely social networking and one for business, is one solution, but you run the risk of looking as though you don’t have a social life; and employers like a well-rounded individual. It may be best to stick to one account, and balance your private and public lives. Employers know we’re all human, but you will still need to exercise a little discretion.