For all of my readers, but especially those of you who avoid social networking (you know who you are), I’m going to give you a quick overview of how I’m using Twitter to benefit job hunters, myself, and my community.
Let’s get a few assumptions out of the way. I am not trying to persuade you to use Twitter. I’m certainly not as comfortable with social networking as the digital natives who have used it since they were children. I don’t expect you to send tweets to Anderson Cooper 360 or follow Ashton Kutcher. Hopefully, you’re at least using LinkedIn to maintain your professional presence online. That said, the Twitterverse has some very redeeming benefits and it can be fun, too!
Here are some ways Twitter is valuable:
For job hunting. If you’re a job seeker living in Montana or trying to move here, social networking is one of the best ways to find job openings. Many opportunities are never advertised in print or posted on job boards. When I hear about a great job, I tweet the link. In the past few weeks, I’ve posted a tweet about the Yellowstone Park Foundation seeking a Senior Director of Development and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s North America Program recruiting a Conservation and Resource Associate (PhD required).
For staying well-informed. As a career coach, I need to stay on top of timely information about job prospects in Montana. On Twitter, I follow announcements by major employers and startups in the region as well as reports on economic trends in Montana and nationally. You can do the same and tailor it to your personal interests. Twitter makes it possible to tap a wide selection of media as well as very specific information. For example, I am tracking the impact of the sequester on jobs in Montana.
For publishing content. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll receive more than job announcements. I offer career advice and links to topical articles and websites, e.g., new online degree programs and certificates to enhance career advancement. In addition, I tweet announcements of events that benefit job seekers locally, such as the upcoming Veteran Stand Down at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds on June 15. Members of Gallatin Valley HR Association will be offering career advice.
For networking. Obviously, Twitter is a networking tool. But it’s way bigger and better than your address book or database. When you follow someone, you can also see their followers and the people they’re following. You can view their lists of people they follow (a Twitter creation), sorted by topic. For example, I’m building a list of people who tweet about online education. You can quickly accumulate a lot of information about areas of interest by topic, location, or whatever.
For getting involved. On Twitter, I’m able to hear updates from public policy leaders, entrepreneurs, and others who are committed to building a bright future for Montana’s talented workforce. It pains me to know that Montanans earn an average $37,100 per year, the 44th-lowest wage in the nation. We can do better and we must in order to grow a healthy economy. On Twitter, I follow a variety of economic development thought-leaders (a favorite title on Twitter and LinkedIn). Right now, I’m following tweets about Governor Bullock’s Main Street Montana Project (#mainstreetMT) as well as messages from Montana’s Congressional delegation.
If you’d like to find me on Twitter, my Twitter handle is @wendybaylewis. If you’re searching for my job-related tweets, use the keyword (hashtag in Twitter-ese) #montanacareers.