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Time to Twitter

This month it's TWITTER. Twitter is HUGE with an estimated 100 million people registered (though figures vary). If you haven't discovered it yet, it's probably time you did! We, well me anyway, tend to think that these social media sites are for the 'young' but only about 10% of Twitter users are in the 12-18 age group which leaves lots of scope for us!! But it's true to say that whilst Twitter says it's worldwide, this actually means predominantly US! Traffic is heavier from UK than other European countries and although there is a French language version ( this isn't used very much.

So Twitter is possibly going to be more useful if you are a freelance and want to attract people to your website or if you sell something online and want to create a following for your product. It is still worth looking at though as you never know who might find you.

Unlike LinkedIn, Twitter is not exclusively for business use so you need to be careful if you are serious job seeker not to post irrelevant messages (or 'Tweets' as they are called).  We obviously can't go into too many details here, but there are some key features of Twitter:

·    You are restricted to 140 characters for each message (it was set up as a sort of online Text messaging platform)
·    You can 'follow' and have 'followers' – take a look at the site and there are tutorials for you to learn more about this
·    There's a search feature for you to find people (but not everyone uses their real name)

Using Twitter to find a job

It is really easy to get caught up in 'conversations' on Twitter and waste an awful lot of time following what other people are saying.  Here are some tips for jobseekers:

·    Use your profile wisely (you only have 160 characters so if you are looking for a certain job, say so in the profile)
·    Upload a professional looking photo (I suggest you use the same one you put on Linked In so you begin to establish your 'brand' across the web)
·    Include a link in your profile to an online CV (this can be posted on your website if you have one, or your blog or use a 'text hosting' site where you can store your CV for free on the internet somewhere)
·    Add a link to your Linked In profile too
·    Tweet about your job search – for example "Looking for ways to get into advertising" or "looking for MD jobs in IT"
·    Don't tweet about irrelevancies like what you're having for lunch or the fact that you're just going to pick the kids up if you want to appear serious!


You can also use the search bar to put in the job you are looking for and look at the results you get. But be warned; the majority of jobs are in US or UK! I just put in "banking jobs London" and got over 50 results but nothing when I put in "banking jobs Paris " and only 3 results for "jobs south of France" . You will however find which French job recruiters use Twitter so you can contact them. If you aren't restricted to France then you get moreout of the search bar.

In any case, it's a growing social phenomenon and you need to be up to date so go and have a look, play around with it and see what use you can make of it. You can set up an account for free and if you are just investigating I suggest you register under an assumed name (make up anything you like) so this gets you in. Later on if you think it's useful to you, you can create another account under your real name where prospective recruiters can find you.

Good luck

Kate Cobb

Tuesday, 27 April 2010    Section: Careers    Author: Kate Cobb
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