5 Rules For Finding a Job on Twitter

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I don’t know how the unemployed spent their time before social media.

After graduating from Syracuse University, while in my wait, I’m not in college anymore? slump, I spent a good portion (okay, a very good portion) of my time on Twitter. For the most part, my news feed was rife with articles about the spike in recent grads moving back home and the crushing unemployment numbers. Sigh.

Then, one morning, I noticed that a senior editor at The Huffington Post (whom I followed) had re-tweeted a tweet from HuffPost’s technology editor (whom I didn’t follow) about an opening in the department. Not only had I long dreamt of writing for The Huffington Post, but I was extremely passionate about technology. It was the ideal opportunity.

Ignoring the little voice that told me it was ridiculous to expect a reply email, much less an interview, I sent along my resume and cover letter to the email address listed in the tweet. Hours later, I had set up an interview – and a few weeks later, I had nailed the position.

But finding a job on Twitter isn’t just a matter of luck. Get the most out of your search by following these tips and suggestions.

1. Establish yourself as an expert and choose a niche for your tweets. It’s more important to have a specialty on Twitter rather than a stream of consciousness. In other words, if you’re looking for a job in health and nutrition, tweet about industry news and trends and re-tweet authorities in the field. That said, be sure to maintain a voice and personality. Tip: sites like Klout measure and help to build your online social influence.

2. Heard the phrase, It’s who you know, not what you know? Now, it’s about who you follow. Do a little digging on companies you’d like to work for; in addition to simply following their corporate Twitter account, find their top executives on Twitter — or editors and columnists. (Since I loved The Huffington Post and technology, I should have already been following the tech editor.) Some companies even have separate recruiting accounts, like @VerizonCareers and @WSJcareers, which solely post job news.

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3. Participate in hashtag chats. These are organized conversations where users interested in a particular topic can join and contribute with a given hashtag, such as #careerchat. Hashtag chats make it easy for anyone watching along to identify the chat. They are excellent opportunities to network, increase your influence, and learn about a topic. Check out Mediabistro’s 15 hashtag chats to follow.

4. Tweet directly at people or companies you admire. But make each of those 140 characters count! Ask intelligent questions, or comment on company news; many companies use their Twitter accounts to boast corporate accomplishments and post links. This increases your likelihood of getting noticed by a job recruiter – and, more importantly, starting a conversation.

  • Don’t tweet: “Hey @MarieClaire, I’d love to work for you guys!! Love your magazine!” Sweet, but vacuous.
  • Instead, tweet: “Editors at @MarieClaire, loved your Aug issue, but was wondering XYZ about the article on bone marrow since I’m a donor.” Specific and a call to action. Ideally, you want to spark a discussion, not just move on after receiving a response.

5. Use Twitter’s list feature. If you’re like me and are following 1,000+ Twitter accounts, it’s easy to miss some important tweets throughout the day (potentially ones about job openings). Creating lists allows you to organize the people you’re following, and then easily scan through tweets later. In other words: exclude your annoying friends that tweet 50 times per hour about shopping and their cute dogs.

Any tips for finding a job on Twitter that I missed? Want to share your Twitter success story? Comment below! You can also find me at @mhess4.

Check out other tips & advice from No Joe Schmo, such as ways to create virtual business cards and maximize your resume.

7 Questions to Ask at the End of Every Interview

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The interview is coming to a close, and you can’t wait to get out of the spotlight. The interviewer asks if you have any questions. You smile, shake your head, and end with a firm handshake.

Don’t expect a call back.

The number-one way to ruin an interview is not asking follow-up questions (even if you really don’t have any, ask anyway!). If you get flustered and nervous and can’t remember the question you intended to ask, write it down on a notepad beforehand, and refer to it once you’ve been asked. That said, you don’t necessarily have to wait to be asked if you have any questions. An interview should be a two-way dialogue; you and your potential employer should be getting to know each other.

Seven questions might be a bit much for one interview, so pick and choose those that best fit your needs.

1) Why did you decide to join this company, and what’s kept you here? The more your potential employer talks about him or herself, the better.

2) Where do you see the company in five years? Tailor to the company’s longevity. If you’re interviewing at a relatively new start-up, ask where your potential employer sees the company in a year or two. There’s likely to be much more change within a year than at a firmly established corporation with branches across the country.

3) What makes someone successful at this company? And/or: How do you measure and determine success for this position?

4) Research the company’s recent activity on relevant blogs and business websites. Perhaps they just opened an international office, or underwent a merger. You should reference your knowledge of their activity with a question about how that affects day-to-day business or what it means long-term. (Don’t simply state that you read the news — anyone can do that.)

It's important to find a working environment that fits your needs. Photo credit: stopstressingnow.com

5) How would you describe work culture here? This portrays your interest in the company working as a whole, rather than the individual position you’re interviewing for.

6) Integrate your career goals. Ask about the values and opportunities that are important to you in a potential career, such as training, collaborating with different departments, and travel. Remember, the job interview is just as much about making sure the company is a right fit for you.

7) What are the next steps in the interview process?

In first interviews, stay away from questions about salary — the time for talking about compensation will come later. Also avoid questions that can be easily answered by the company’s website, such as how many people they employ and where other offices are located.

Any suggestions for questions that should be added to the list? Comment below!