Twitter-me-timbers!

15 Apr

Last September, I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal about using Twitter to find a job. I had no idea what I was talking about as a I fumbled my way around trying to justify spending time on Twitter as job searching. Now, I know better.

Twitter continues to mystify people who have never tried it. Many ask: why would you tweet about what you had for lunch today? The secret is that most people don’t tweet about their lunch or going to the bathroom. Twitter is incredibly flexible — it is what you make it. And recently, I’ve stumbled upon a great job use: participating in Twitter “chats.”

A Twitter chat is a scheduled time for people to tweet together about a single topic using a unified “hashtag.” Hashtags are denoted with a “#” in front of whatever topic it is, allowing everyone participating to follow a single conversation. Last week, I participated in #journchat — a chat about journalism run by @PRsarahevans (an “@” is like someone’s name in Twitter-speak). The chat involved the moderator asking a series of questions and the group discussing those questions. #journchat had 250-300 participants all talking about journalism, one my topics of interest.

How do you use a Twitter chat in a job search? Well, it’s a way to meet people who are industry-specific and to learn about the current hot topics in an industry. By “meeting” someone, I still mean you are interacting with them online. But part of the whole social media schtick is that it can go from online to offline pretty quickly, if you play your cards right. The key, like any networking event, is not to straight up yell: “I want a job!” No, listen first. Then participate. Show your confident and competent. Ask to stay in touch with people you “meet.” Another way to use twitter chats for job advice is to follow conversations about job hunting itself. This includes, my favorite, #jobhuntchat. But there’s also #CCchat and #HRhappyhour.

It’s no replacement for networking, but it’s something that’s fun, low-key and useful.

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4 Responses to “Twitter-me-timbers!”

  1. Sarah Evans April 21, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    Thank you for joining in #journchat. I hope you had a good experience. Industry chats on Twitter have risen in popularity during the past year. I believe there are more than 100! Pretty cool.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. links for 2010-04-16 « On Rye - April 16, 2010

    […] Twitter-me-timbers! « liberalart.us My latest post on liberalart.us is on using Twitter chats (like #journchat and #jobhuntchat) to find jobs: http://bit.ly/cfHs9U (tags: jobhuntchat journchat) « Coffee Time […]

  2. Generosity « liberalart.us - April 27, 2010

    […] have been dishing a bunch of “career advice” on this site, but I want to come back to one of the core tenants of why […]

  3. In Which Sarah Reveals the Extent of Her Nincompoopery « liberalart.us - June 2, 2010

    […] know how he manages to be this responsible.  His posts are all, “Look, I’m being journalistic and intelligent,” whereas mine are “adurrp buhh FEELINGS AND JUNK FOOD AND CARTOONS […]

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