No doubt, you've already heard that networking is the best way to find a job? Unfortunately, networking can be a bit of a dirty word. People hate having to network; they think it means asking people for help. Luckily, social networking tools, such as Twitter, allow job seekers to redefine networking. Instead of contacting people you don't know to ask for favors, you network by demonstrating your expertise and providing useful resources and information to people you want to notice you.
Can you find a job on Twitter? Yes, you can. Follow these steps to help you take advantage of this tool that provides access to everyone from CEOs of companies where you want to work to potential colleagues at those companies.
Use Twitter to highlight what you know.
If you're an expert in your field and a valuable employee, but only your office mates know about you, it is more difficult to land a new job. Use Twitter to post information, news and commentary about your industry, When you demonstrate that you have your finger on the pulse of what's going on in your field, you extend your influence and attract people to want to learn more about you, even if you're not currently employed.
How can you find great information to share via Twitter? One useful resource is SmartBrief.com. You can subscribe to free newsletters in an array of categories and receive vetted news and information that you can read and share with your Twitter community. (Don't forget to sign up for AOL Jobs' weekly newsletter, too.)
Show, don't tell.
Soft skills, or emotional intelligence, have become very valuable to hiring managers. Managers are beginning to put more weight on abilities that are difficult to teach, such as leadership, communication and adaptability. When you use Twitter, you can easily demonstrate many of the most valued soft skills. For example, if your target job requires good judgment and a positive demeanor, your active Twitter stream, devoid of negative comments and without any questionable content, becomes a living example of how you may perform on the job.
Additionally, Twitter provides an opportunity to consistently demonstrate your ability to communicate concisely and completely, even in only 140 characters, which is the length of the longest tweet. Do not underestimate the value of being able to prove what you state on your resume or application materials via your social networks.
If leadership is a skill you'd like to demonstrate, consider finding a Twitter chat to join. These chats, which exist in just about any field you can imagine, are great ways to improve your standing in your online community. Once you become active in a chat, you can offer to help the chat leaders administer the chat by guest hosting. Ultimately, you may find starting your own chat is a useful way to highlight your leadership abilities.
Expand your circle of influence.
Can you get a job by networking only with the people you know in person? Perhaps, but since referrals continue to be a prime source of hiring, you're even better off if you can grow your network of people who know, like and trust you and who may submit your name for a job opportunity. When you use Twitter to connect with people in your field whom you don't already know, and you impress them with your command of your field, you give yourself more chances to connect to jobs.
Use WeFollow.com to identify people who tweet about topics that relate to your field. Connect with them, retweet (forward along) their content with attribution and get to know some new people.
Learn new things.
It's difficult to keep up with all of the news and information you need to know to stay competitive for jobs. When you tap into a well-connected, informed group on Twitter, you'll never need much more than to sign into your Twitter account to learn what's new and what's hot in your industry.
Once you get started on Twitter and find a few useful accounts to follow, it's easy to access additional, helpful resources. Since Twitter doesn't require or expect users to gain introductions in order to connect with people, simply click through to view the list of people your favorite Twitter users follow. Add them to your Twitter stream and prepare to learn from these new resources.
More from Miriam Salpeter
How Twitter Chats Can Help You Land a Job
Common LInkedIn Mistakes
10 Reasons Why You Didn't Get Hired