How To Job Hunt In The 'Twittersphere'

The Twitter icon, displayed on a laptop i i

hide captionMany adults are turning to the microblogging Web site Twitter to find jobs.

Press Association via AP
The Twitter icon, displayed on a laptop

Many adults are turning to the microblogging Web site Twitter to find jobs.

Press Association via AP

With the job market still in the doldrums, the tech-savvy unemployed are trying to figure out new ways to use Twitter to find jobs.

Twitter can be used to post a job, ask around about one, learn more about a potential boss or keep your network of former co-workers and friends updated on your job hunt.

Best of all, it's free, and faster than Facebook.

Microblogging services like Twitter sound simple, but it can be really hard. If you're a serious "Twitterer," you have to fit incredibly complicated opinions into a compact 140 characters. That's a real art. So why shouldn't it be considered a job skill, as well?

Becoming An Expert On Twitter

Jen McCabe says she got her current job in San Francisco through being an avid Tweeter.

"I absolutely would not be where I am today without the following and support of the people I meet on Twitter," said McCabe.

In fact, McCabe has been called the Queen of Twitter among her health care colleagues. She used it to become an expert in a niche field inside the health care industry and would tweet updates from conferences and comment on breaking news. Powerful people in that niche field started to notice her and follow what she had to say.

For many, Twitter is a meritocracy. You are known for what you tweet. If you come across as a smart, hard-working thoughtful person, people are going to pay attention. That's one way to get a job.

Twitter As Networking Tool

The other way to use Twitter and other microblogging networks — such as Jaiku — is to simply network.

That's according to Josh Bernoff of the Forrester Group, a technology research firm. And for him, one particular feature of Twitter makes it invaluable for job hunters.

"The thing that makes a difference for people looking for jobs is the ability to retweet," said Bernoff.

That's when people pass along your tweet to other people in a different network. Bernoff says it's a cyberextension of the adage, "It's not what you know, it's whom you know."

"That creates a real echo effect for people who've got friends who have a lot of friends," said Bernoff.

Filtering Out The Twitter Junk

Rich Trombetta has another idea. He co-founded a Web site called TweetMyJobs.com.

"We connect job seekers and job posters instantaneously via Twitter," said Trombetta. "We take the noise out of the twittersphere."

The idea is, there may be dozens of companies you want to follow on Twitter, but if you get every piece of info those companies tweet out, you could be swamped. So Trombetta filters out only the job-related info and sends those out as alerts. Microblogs, he says, are not just for fun anymore.

"You're going to see that perception change as more and more businesses realize that ... this could be the most powerful tool since e-mail," said Trombetta.

So if you're job hunting on Twitter, it's not whom you know, or even what you know, but how you say it — 140 characters at a time.

Correction Nov. 3, 2009

We referred to a network called Pownce, which actually went out of business last year. Also, we said microblogging sites "used to be mostly used by youngsters, but life on Twitter has changed." In fact, according to the social media guide mashable.com, Twitter is "aging in reverse" — it was first popular among older users, but now those under 25 are flocking to the network.

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