Monday 18 May 2009

Using Twitter for the Job Search

While Twitter can be about the mundane details of people’s lives, for the most part, it’s about people connecting with others who have similar interests. Since I tend to follow people who are also interested in marketing and social media, it is a great way to share information on topics relevant to us.

It has also allowed me to make more meaningful connections.

With traditional networking, someone I know introduces me to someone they think I should talk to. I then email or call that person and set up a time to get together for coffee. We meet, and talk about their work, what I’m looking for, any opportunities they know of, other people they think I should talk to and any advice they have for me. I get home and send them a thank you note, and usually connect with them on LinkedIn. And, that’s it. We go our separate ways. They go back into their life, and may remember me, but within a couple of months, I have most likely slipped into the depths of their memory.

With Twitter the process continues. After we go our separate ways, we continue to interact on Twitter. They get to see the value I’m bringing; instead of making an impression on them in an hour long coffee meeting, I am making an impression in the coffee meeting, and on a regular basis after that. I am staying much more top of mind. I have had many situations with people I have had coffee with, where they spontaneously write me a couple months later, saying that they are still keeping me in mind for any opportunities they come across. That doesn’t happen as much with non-Twitter networking.

The other benefit is being able to find new people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Oftentimes, I’ll see someone interesting on Twitter and ask them to get together, which has happened more than ten times. Or, if I have a specific company in mind that I want to talk to, I look the company up on an application called Twellow, find out who works there who I am following (the term for being connected with someone on Twitter), and I ask them to meet with me. In both these cases, it’s like a ‘cold call,’ but there is a lot of information about me at their fingertips to make me less ‘random’ to them. They can read my bio, click through to my website, see what I am doing on Twitter, and the value I provide.

I’ve also been doing more casual networking. Twitter is basically a big networking meeting going on 24/7, that you come and go into. I have had so many people just contact me and say that they have seen me on Twitter, and they know of an opportunity they think would be perfect for me. There are also a variety of ‘Tweetups’ (events run by people on Twitter) that are basically networking meetings. That, again, provides a whole new group of people to network with that I might not have otherwise met.

Here is one specific success story about networking on Twitter. I registered for an event at Harvard Business School to listen to a panel about the future of marketing. Coincidentally, the day after I registered, one of the panelists started following me on Twitter. I sent her a private message saying that I was looking forward to hearing her and meeting her at the panel. She wrote back and said she was impressed with my background and she would see me at the panel. When I met her in person, our introduction was much more meaningful, as she already knew who I was, and I could stand out from the other people she was meeting. Fast forward three months later, and she just referred two potential consulting clients to me.

In addition to this, I have been referred to countless potential new clients and potential jobs. Twitter is definitely a great way to network.

To read the WSJ article, please click HERE

No comments: