Twitter tales of job leads. (Thinkstock)By Amy Levin-Epstein for CBS MoneyWatch.com
I used to think of LinkedIn as a career tool, Facebook as a way to catch up with friends, and Twitter as an outlet for procrastinating. Over the six months I've been writing On The Job, however, I've learned how Facebook can help get you hired, and how we can all use LinkedIn more effectively.
I still had my doubts about the usefulness of Twitter, but I've discovered that Twitter can be a wonderful way to promote a work project, publicize your "brand" as a freelancer or small business owner, and learn about potential employers. Still, I wondered - can Twitter help you land an actual job? After putting feelers out, the resounding answer is yes!
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1. Twitter Introduced Me to an Internship Opportunity - and a Job
I graduated from UCLA last June and was looking for PR jobs to apply to [in Austin]. I started following Bread & Butter's Twitter account along with many other firms, and soon saw they were looking for interns. After interviewing, I was offered the internship but because I needed to pay the bills, I declined it. I ended up back in San Francisco but kept in contact with the Bread and Butter team in Austin and I saw they were tweeting about an opening in their new San Francisco office this past May. [The team in Austin] gave me great recommendations and I quickly began working at the SF office. -Jessica Humphrey, Assistant Account Executive, Bread & Butter Public Relations
2. Participating In Twitter Chats Got Me Noticed
I was at the South by Southwest interactive conference and tweeting during a specific panel. Some panels use particular hashtags so people in the room can follow the conversation. Fast forward - one week after I got home I got a message via LinkedIn asking if I'd be interested in interviewing for an open Community Manager position. After agreeing to the interview, I found out that he discovered me via that one session's Twitter conversation, and then spent a few days seeing how my online engagement skills related to the job he was hiring for. So essentially, I was being "interviewed" before I even knew about the position. -Elysa Rice, community manager at Red Urban
3. A Random Tweet Got Me a Job I Never Expected
I was tweeting about how interesting and fun I thought the @Banjo app was and how it had enhanced my social life by converting social media interaction into physical interaction. The small Palo Alto start up saw my tweets and reached out to me asking if I would be interested in helping them with social media strategy and becoming a bit of a spokesperson. If only my Justin Timberlake tweets had the same effect! [My advice is to] voice your interests and passions and communicate with your favorite brands. Follow key figures/employees. Ask them questions and communicate with them regularly. You never know when someone might take your passion and turn it into an opportunity. -Kinsey Schofield, social media strategist and spokesperson, Banjo App
4. Twitter Helped Me Find A Position That Was A Better Fit
Springboard PR was hiring and had reached out to me through tweets and direct messages. I ended up taking a different job with an internet marketing company [but] that job was less than ideal. I began to tweet my frustrations, not so much about the job but that I was unhappy in general. A follower of mine noticed this and mentioned my name in a lunch meeting to someone at Springboard, not knowing that I had already interviewed with them. I then received a few direct messages asking if I was happy with my current position and if I'd like to come in for an interview, as the position was still open…and a week later, the job was mine. -Allyson Pryor, digital media specialist, Springboard PR
5. Twitter Helped Me Prepare for My Interview
Like most job applicants, I pulled as many strings as I could, sent my cover letter to practically everyone in the department, went through hours of interviewing (some were via Skype), and followed up like it was my job. However, Twitter was incredibly helpful in preparing for meeting my potential employers. I followed them. Read their tweets. Tried to get into their mindset. Worked to find that winning insight. Using Twitter (and other social media), I covertly prepared a list of conversation topics for each person before I ever met them. I talked with one supervisor about his love of soccer and the New England Revolution team. I talked with another supervisor about her favorite brand of soft drink, bringing it up subtly, of course. Twitter allowed me to start the conversation before I had ever even met them. -Geoff Brownell, Assistant Account Executive in Social Influence/Public Relations at Mullen
©2011 CBS Interactive Inc., a CBS Company. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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