3 killer reasons to include Twitter in your job search
When Twitter first launched in 2006, some people eyed it with ‘big-brother-watching-you’ type suspicion; some dismissed it as the latest social media “craze”, and a large part of society (myself included) ignored it – after all, we were still trying to get our heads round this whole Facebook thing.
Fast forward just six years and there are few people left in Western society who have not yet heard of Twitter – in fact, the online text messaging/micro-blogging site now has over 300 million users and is growing in popularity daily.
Twitter most recently made the news for that Diane Abott story, but controversy aside, if you’re looking for a job right now, here are three killer reasons to include Twitter in your job search:
- It gives you direct access to employers and organisations – in other words, the people making the hiring decisions;
- It allows you to follow conversations and key thought leaders in your industry so you can stay up to date with what’s happening;
- You can actually get a job through it!
There are several ways to get a job through Twitter – you can subscribe to dedicated Twitter job boards, sign up to alerts from job sites in your industry, or conduct regular searches for your ideal jobs using the Twitter search box itself.
Alternatively, you can get REALLY creative and start a campaign around your job hunt – just like Ulrike Schulz.
Ulrike’s story: How I found a job through Twitter
Ulrike Schulz graduated from university in Vienna, Austria, last year with a degree in theatre, film and media. Born and raised in Germany, Ulrike’s dream was to land a creative advertising job in London but with no contacts in the UK to guide the way, she turned to Twitter for help.
In February 2011, Ulrike started her Twitter job hunt with a 140-character CV (Twitter’s maximum word count) aimed at creative service agencies:
“In 140: born in SecondLife, met boyfriend via Couchsurfing, stay in touch with friends on Facebook, looking for a job as @TheLondonJob :D”.
This soon developed into a full blown ‘#HireUlrike’ campaign (read more about it here) which saw random strangers get involved with Ulrike’s job search.
Ulrike now has her dream job as a German Account Executive at the social media agency, We Are Social. I caught up with her to find out how it all happened and also to pick her brains for her three top tips for using Twitter for job search:
How did you hear get started on Twitter?
Ulrike: I applied for the graduate scheme of Saatchi & Saatchi. In their application, they asked the graduates to open a Twitter account with any content to gain as many followers as possible. I thought, “2 in 1, let’s start to look for a job on Twitter”!
How did the #HireUlrike campaign come about?
Ulrike: After a while on Twitter I thought I need to push my job hunt a little bit. I already experienced a lot of support on Twitter from strangers and new friends and thought maybe I can make this support visible for others as well. With a friend I shot a video of myself (see below) explaining that I’m looking for a job in advertising and that people can support me. All they had to do was write #HireUlrike on a piece of paper and take a photo of themselves with it so I could show a gallery of the photos. The purpose was to gain a bit more attention with it from other people and companies.
What sort of response did you get from employers as a result of the campaign?
Ulrike: I have to admit the response wasn’t huge but it was enough to carry on. One person from a media agency took a photo of himself with the question: “Should we #HireUlrike?” I later met him in London for an interview. Another Social Media agency asked me to come in to the office for an interview also. In general, it was a great possibility to mention my campaign in my applications and interviews which was very helpful to show who I am and what my skills are.
How did you come to land your current role at We Are Social?
Ulrike: Long story short, I had three encounters with We Are Social. The first person I met through Twitter worked at We Are Social. We met in London and he wanted to show me what I did right with my job hunt on Twitter and why I should keep doing what I started. Although he didn’t offer me a job, he later played a role in my interview at the agency again. Second time I met the Managing Director of We Are Social at an event where the “Should we #HireUlrike?” guy took me with him. We had a nice chat but still it didn’t lead to a job.
The third must have been destiny – through a recruiter I met on Twitter (and later offline in London), I knew We Are Social was looking for a German Account Executive. At the same time the Managing Director remembered me from this event and wrote me an email to invite me in for an interview. Before I had the interview the person I met first from We Are Social (he doesn’t work there anymore) wrote the interviewer an email about me. I don’t know what he said but I think it was a positive email! After two interviews they offered me the job.
“Twitter is like a business card for me – if people want to get to know me a little bit better I always mention my Twitter account and we connect on the social media platform”
Do you think landing your dream job would have been possible without Twitter?
Ulrike: I’m sure there are hundreds of other possibilities to get a job – it’s all about creativity – but Twitter was perfect for me in different ways. First of all, it was great to build up a network (even if it was only online in the first place) since I was located in Vienna/Munich; second, Twitter is like a business card for me – if people want to get to know me a little bit better I always mention my Twitter account and we connect on the social media platform, which would be my third point: I connect with people on Twitter and stay in touch with them. The contacts are more often and smoother on a social media platform than via email. I would say Twitter was essential for me!
What would you say to other jobseekers who have not yet found themselves on Twitter?
Ulrike: Twitter is a great possibility to get in touch with real people from companies. It’s definitely worth a try. I didn’t know what to do on Twitter when I started using it. But through following people from the industry and observing their professional content, I totally got into it and quickly learned what is interesting to post which caused me to read a lot of articles myself. I would highly recommend using Twitter.
How do you use your Twitter account today?
Ulrike: I’m still very active on Twitter. I stay in touch with all the friends I made and still connect with new people. I still meet people offline to exchange experiences and stories; I like to have a great network. I think that is part of my personality, too – I like to communicate with people online and offline. I tweet a lot of articles about Social Media and advertising because I find it very interesting and so do my followers.
Ulrike’s top three tips for using Twitter in your job search:
1) Show your personality – e.g your creativity, skills, know-how, interest, hobbies, blog, own website…
2) Connect with people in your preferred industry – follow them, comment on their tweets, ask questions about the company…
3) Don’t be shy to ask for a meeting – meet the people you connect with on Twitter in real life. I had 99% good experience of people being very nice and supportive; they appreciate the effort you make.
Follow Ulrike on Twitter: @TheLondonJob
Follow Mildred on Twitter: @mildredtalabi
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