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Social Media for Job Search: Using Twitter to Network

Written by Judith Hart, Employment Specialist with Next-Steps Employment Centre – Mississauga Meadowvale

Twitter is a remarkable FREE social media tool that allows you to easily sort and find information you want based on key word search. Likewise, others can also find you by the keywords you are using while building your content.  Twitter is a powerful tool for connecting to others in your industry, allowing you an opportunity to connect directly with employers, leaders in your field and to promote your skills and knowledge while building up your online personal brand.

What is Twitter? It is a social media platform, a microblogging site that allows users to:

  • Join or start a conversation
  • Post content (“tweet” something) in up to 280 characters, or share content posted by others (“retweet”)
  • Build your image and personal brand
  • Follow others: i.e. industry opinion leaders, companies, Next-Steps Employment Centres in which you are interested
  • Follow world events and obtain real-time information of what’s happening around the world
  • Search for information in a segmented and targeted way by using the sorting tool: #hashtags

The staggering statistics of 500 million tweets sent PER DAY renders Twitter an important social media platform you do not want to miss while searching for the next step in your career.

Good news: LinkedIn and Twitter have joint agreements, so once you feature an article on LinkedIn you also have the option (in the privacy settings) to simultaneously share the same post on your Twitter. This will allow you to save time and energy while using both social media platforms.

Twitter has its own language and symbols. Here is a list of important lingo to understand so you can use the platform with ease:

  • #hashtag – is the “#” symbol that precedes any word or phrase you are looking for on Twitter. When someone uses a hashtag in a tweet, it becomes a link that you can click on; this will allow you to see all other Tweets that also used the same hashtag. The hashtag is a link to a greater conversation of all the people who used the same hashtag, allowing you to easily search for tweets related to your interest. ie. you might want to search the hashtag #HiringToronto to see tweets that were posted by employers and companies with positions currently available in Toronto.
  • @ – is the symbol used before your username to identify each user on Twitter. A username is a unique identifying tool, with only one username assigned to each user. You can include the @ symbol and username of an account in your tweet if you want to identify to whom you are referring. ie. “Looking forward to applying for this @TD_Careers position as a Financial Analyst” or “Thanks @NextStepsEC for these great employment tips & free resources!”
  • Bio – is a short write up of personal description that must fit into 160 characters which will appear on your profile and employers can get a glimpse on your scope.
  • Direct Messages – you can send direct messages to other Twitter members and use it for private conversations. It is recommended to be short and succinct in your writing; Twitter is not for novels!
  • Follow – When you subscribe to Twitter, you can ‘follow’ someone or companies/groups. Anyone can follow or be followed by anyone (except when you block someone). Following allows you to get updates on latest tweets and information shared by that account.  Make sure to follow us (@NextStepsEC) as we’re always tweeting our latest hiring events, workshops and more.
  • Header Photo – Similarly to other social media (i.e. Linkedin) you want to use a professional photo which will appear on top of your profile. It will boost the ranking of your profile when employers are looking for job candidates.

Remember that you don’t have to do it alone! Want to get some help with your job search? Check out our monthly calendars to see upcoming events and workshops, and register at one of our 7 GTA locations. From one-on-one sessions to group workshops, our knowledgeable staff can help with your job search needs. All services are FREE!

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