7 Steps to Tweet your way to an Internship or First Job

Savvy students and new grads are using Twitter to find internships and network with interesting new contacts. And why not? Twitter is an incredible resource for just about anything, including a job search.

Decide now if you are going to use Twitter for your job search. Many students keep their tweets “protected” but if you have decided to leverage it for job search, keep the content clean and change your settings to “public”.

Tweet your way into your next internship

Start with a Great Profile:

With 160 characters, your Twitter bio is short so make it powerful.  Create a professional handle and photograph. You can add a URL which will link to your personal website or to your LinkedIn profile.  List  your location. You may also select a background and design for your profile. Your Twitter profile is a great opportunity to impress potential employers.

Create a strategy to build your network:

Twitter is an amazing platform for networking. The barrier to entry is low and even industry leaders, corporate executives and celebrities are relatively easy to network with and get to know.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, CEO of Workology and author of Tweet This!, has over 111,000 followers on @blogging4jobs.  Jessica’s advice to job seekers: “Listen more than tweet in the beginning.  If you are a job seeker, create a short list of companies and super- influencers in your target industry. This is who you should follow and ultimately network with using twitter and other social media.”

Once you start networking, being helpful on Twitter is just as important as in all your other personal interactions.  Jessica Miller-Merrell, offers this additional advice about networking from her book:  “What is important to remember about Twitter is that in order to get, you must give. Giving can be accomplished through quotes, posting links to articles or Web sites that interest you, and retweeting.  It is also important to tweet about others and those you follow and are interested in. Developing relationships and growing followers takes time and preparation, and it involves interacting with others.”

Following and Networking @ Handles

Take the time to figure out which Twitter handles align with your dreams and goals and follow accordingly:

  • Industry leaders, authors, bloggers and super-influencers will give you great new insight.  Maybe it’s @java or @google? You can also find industry leaders on Twitter lists.
  • Companies that interest you. Is it @Microsoft or @GoldmanSachs?  Also, be sure to follow Careers or Jobs handles such as @GEICOCareers or @GECareers or @AOLJobs
  • Career and internship resources and experts such as @jobhunting @tweetmyjobs    @YouTern   @InternMatch  @internships @MyInternCoach
  • Geographic accounts such as  @BostonInternshp  @InternArizona @ConnInternships
  • Industry sites, associations and conferences such as @ EngineerJobs;  @SXSW for music,film and tech and @PRSA for public relations
  • Your college or university department and the Career Center. For example, Quinnipiac University School of Communications tweets advice and job opportunities to students under @QUCommCareers.

Organize your @ handles in lists for an easy way to segment your career targets and industry experts.

Following and Networking # Hashtags

Hashtags are used to organize and group an online conversation. In your job search, use hashtags to help you locate resources and to extend the life of your own tweets. Find and use the right hashtags for your search. Here are some examples:

* Internship and jobs:    #internships  #genyjobs   #intern  #hiring  #jobs

  • Geographic such as #DCjobs  #bostonjobs  #NYCinternship  #LAinternship
  • Industry such as  #prjobs   #engineerjobs

* Company Chatter such as  #GE  #google  #GoldmanSachs

Tweeting to Impress

Your tweets and engagement with recruiters, hiring managers and industry leaders will illustrate that you are connected to the industry and knowledgeable. Here are some ideas of tweet topics:

  • Your industry insights and news updates
  • Links to blog articles of yours or others
  • Your questions or comments about another’s insightful tweet
  • Retweets of industry leaders
  • Comments or questions about industry conferences

Says Jessica Miller-Merrell: “Your content is more important than follower count. Good content, insightful comments, and a clear and consistent message will organically grow your followers.”

Join Twitter Chats

Well connected students and new grads are using Twitter chats to converse with industry leaders and corporate recruiters. Check tweetreports.com for a list of several hundred chats with their schedules. Be aware of specific chats recommended in your industry because there are many more than those on any list. You will need to know the time and be ready for tweeting and networking on a topic with like minded individuals.

Employers and job seekers like chats to identify and network directly with each other. Blake McCammon landed two internships using Twitter chats. He took an active role and was quickly noticed by employers. Blake was even a co-host for one of the chats. Today, as a recent grad, Blake is a successful social media community manager.

#internpro  #jobhuntchat  #genychat

Prepare for Recruiters on Twitter:

One of latest trends is the requirement from employers for a Twitter resume and cover letter. Joseph Catrino is actively helping students at Quinnipiac University as employers move increasingly to social media. “More and more I am seeing social media change the landscape of job searching. Resumes are being tweeted. Recently, I had a student who was required to submit a 140-character cover letter for an internship. We worked on this “letter” for some time pulling out the key descriptive words for her application. “

Expect to see more social media interaction with recruiters and hiring managers. Twitter is piloting “job cards” now which give recruiters more than 140 characters in which to post a job.

Are you ready to start networking on Twitter on the way to your next internship or first job?  We know you have some more ideas for Twitter and job search, so can you share with us what has worked for you?

© Copyright 2014. Sandra Long. All rights reserved.

Sandra Long

Sandra Long is the author of the bestselling book LinkedIn For Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guide. She is also the managing partner of Post Road Consulting LLC. Sandra and her team work with corporations, universities, and individuals to drive successful sales, career, and talent acquisition results.

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