Twitter is becoming the new job board—or so says the Wall Street Journal. The sprawling site, with its disjointed snippets of conversation, endless links and retweets, and tangled webs of followers can be tough to navigate. But master the waters, and you'll have world of opportunity on your hands. Here's why:
1. Links are clickable
Online resume? 6-second Vine video? LinkedIn profile? Work samples? Infographic? It's so easy to link to your stuff on Twitter, where employer mouses will be at the ready. And you can even track traffic with tools like bit.ly to see how effective your tweets are at getting clicks.
2. You're talking to people, not at them
Through retweets and questions, you can start a dialogue—and build rapport—with your targets at a company, be it hiring managers or employees of interest. That goes a lot further than a me, me, me cover letter—and gives you the chance to adjust your tone and message as you go.
3. Your elevator pitch will always be flawless
Maybe you trip over your words in person, but a ready-to-go 140-character resume in your profile will be at the ready for anyone who clicks over from your tweets. Just be sure to have a nice photo of you as part of your profile too--blank fields and a default image can take away from your message.
4. You get multiple chances to make an impression
Since tweets are so short, it's very unlikely that an interested hiring manager would read just one… which means they'll scroll through your history, finding links you liked, conversations you had, questions you asked. The result is a better, clearer picture of who you are: your interests, sense of humor, level of professionalism. That means you get a better chance to impress on multiple levels, and the hiring manager has a means of making a great fit.
5. You don't have to go looking
It's no secret that employers are more fond of poaching than they are taking a shot on the unemployed. Having a digital trail is an easy way to be seen even if you're not committed to trying too hard.
6. It's an all access pass to the big boys
Tweeting is sort of like barreling into the CEO's office—just much more socially acceptable. By using Twitter to ask a question, retweet, or start a conversation, you're engaging someone you could never otherwise get on the phone or to answer an email.
7. You can learn company culture
Following your target company and employees isn't just about staying on their radar—it's also a great way to get a peek into day-to-day life. You'll get a feel for formality levels, senses of humor, that the breaking news is at the company—all invaluable information to use from the first online conversation to your in-person interview.
--Cathy Vandewater, Vault.com
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