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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Social Media: Facebook, whatever next? Part One - Twitter

So everyone knows that facebook is the social media must-have for students. Much has been written about the need for privacy settings being set to stop employers finding out a little too much about potential employees.

But what of all the other social media offerings? None have yet been favoured by students to the enormous extent of facebook, yet could be of more importance in the job-seeking world.

Take twitter for example. Sure, some students have embraced twitter and regularly engage with their followers. The majority still 'don't get it' or perhaps don't want to get it! Twitter has been adopted by the business community much more readily because they can see the benefits of an instant online presence and the ability to engage with their customers and potential customers almost on a personal level. They have not been slow to add it to their marketing mix.

So does it follow that students can also use twitter to market themselves to businesses who are a potential employer? The answer is an emphatic "Yes!"

Twitter is being increasingly used by organisations for recruitment.The benefits are obvious - after all, how long can it take to write 140 characters to say you are hiring  a new xxxxx? Additionally there are plenty of job boards feeding their latest vacancies on twitter in real time, including us, as well as feed aggregators who try to feed all jobs across multiple sources.

If you think twitter might help you in your job search process, here are some tips on how to go about it:

  1. Create a twitter account (with a sensible name) and make sure you complete all of the profile information including a photo/image.
  2. Follow people who interest you, whether that's because they are personal friends, celebs, interesting businesses, potential employers or just entertaining tweeters. Try and develop a good mix of people to follow and then by tweeting interesting things yourself you will build up your own list of followers. Responding to other tweets generally encourages people to follow you.
  3. Tweet regularly about things which interest you so that anyone looking at your profile will begin to build up a positive impression.
  4. Think about using an application like tweetdeck to organise your followers. then you can categorise them however you want, eg. friends, celebs, uni, news, employers, etc.
  5. Remember, twitter is instant. Be ready to react if you see something interesting. Comment straightaway while it's topical. If you see a job opportunity get details of how to send your CV immediately (and make sure your CV is up-to-date ready for that crucial moment!)
Is it really likely? Here's an example of one student, Sophie, who did just that. Following a well known businesswoman, Sophie saw a tweet saying they were hiring. Within 10 minutes she had replied and got an email address to send off her CV. Within another 5 minutes she had checked her CV, tweaked it slightly to emphasise the relevant bits for this particular role, and sent it off with a covering email reminding them she had seen the job on twitter 15 minutes earlier. Ok, this was for an internship not a full-time job, but she was successful and got a great high profile internship for her CV. Oh, and it was paid too! 

Finally, follow us on twitter for all the latest jobs, news and general ramblings! @studentgems - say hi and we'll follow you back :-)

Coming soon - Social Media: Facebook, whatever next? Part Two - Linked In

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