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Can Twitter Help Me Find a Job?

By  Feb 9, 2009

Topics: Certification

In my last post in this series I told you that I planned to demonstrate how social networking tools can help you to secure employment in the event that today’s terrible economic climate has resulted in your becoming (a) unexpectedly unemployed; or (b) proactively searching for your next position.

The question for today is, “What is Twitter, and how can I leverage this social networking platform to help me find my next job?”

Personally, I define Twitter as a microblogging platform. A blog, in my humble or not-so-humble opinion, is an online journal in which the author is free to share his or her thoughts on any subject that moves…um…him or her. :)

However, with Twitter you must be brief. Similar to how the short message service (SMS) works, you have 140 characters to work with when posting your updates. No 2,000 word expositions here— you must get to the point, and succinctly.

The cutesy term that we use to denote Twitter posts is tweets. A Twitter feed is simply the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) URL for that user’s Twitter page. If you like what a person has to say, you can elect to follow that Twitter user. Conversely, that Twitter person can choose to follow you. And so it goes.

A few months ago I assembled a brief, albeit clunky, multimedia tutorial that attempts to cover the basic elements of Twitter; check it out:

InformIT Certification Reference Guide: Twitter QuickStart

While many Twitter updates are banal, inane, cliché, or just downright stupid, there is indeed a method to its madness. If you select the Twitter users whom you follow carefully, you find that you are connected to other (it is hoped) like-minded individuals in a highly intimate, meaningful way.

With Twitter, you can also send Tweets directly to other users; these users can send replies directly back to you (again, much like standard text messaging).

Flexibility is key with Twitter. There exist so many method for posting updates to one’s Twitter account:

  • The Twitter Web site
  • Your mobile phone
  • A browser toolbar or extension
  • A standalone application

Twitter integrates with many other Web 2.0 services as well, most particularly Facebook.

By using Twitter (both as an author and a reader), you can become very intimately familiar with the goings-on of the lives of those people and/or organizations whom you follow, and vice-versa.

For you job seekers in my readership, this conveys obvious benefits. At the risk of sounding like the proverbial broken record, let me repeat our IT professional job seeker’s mantras:

It’s not necessarily what you know, but who you know, that will be instrumental in your securing your next job.

It’s not necessarily what you know, but in knowing how and where to find the answer to the problem you are trying to solve.

More later.

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