Twitter is much more than social networking. First and foremost, it is a personal learning network. This blog post explains how Twitter can be used as a PLN for a better defined personal brand and a more successful job search.
I love the smell of Twitter in the morning.
The Twitter app on my iPhone opens to a delectable delight of discovery as I check for mentions, new followers, and the slumbering content from my Twitter Top Lists.
However, for you dear job seeker, Twitter offers so much more.
What if every morning you could awaken to a report that compiles the thoughts, special interests, and professional reading habits of CEOs, management, and hiring decision makers from your favorite companies, or specifically from the company you are interviewing with later in the week?
Yes, you can.
It is called Twitter.
Yes, I said Twitter.
Twitter is the New Breakfast for Job Search Champions.
Once upon a time I awakened to read the newspaper while having breakfast and planning for the day. Nowadays, my good morning habits have changed for the digital. Twitter is my first choice personal learning network (PLN) in the mornings.
Accordingly, this is why I call Twitter my breakfast for champions.
“If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” ~ Sir Isaac Newton
A properly balanced diet of Twitter for the morning breakfast requires that you set aside those first social media thoughts about social sharing, retweets, and follower counts.
Instead, you should begin with a focused Twitter search and the creation and use of Twitter Lists.
“When it comes to personal branding, the job search, and personal learning networks, Twitter is essentially a better search engine than Google.”
Think about it.
When you search for something on Google, you will quickly find the most popular web pages on that subject, along with thousands of other web pages that you will never find time to sort through. All these results are tabulated by algorithms and computers and sometimes influenced by black hat SEO tricksters.
By comparison, if you follow the right person(s) or conduct a focused search for that same subject on Twitter, you will get search results that are handpicked, recommended, and endorsed by others with far greater skills and experiences than mere Google assisted mortals such as you and I.
If I confused you with that last paragraph, then give me a few minutes to explain further.
Twitter and the Breakfast Club List.
Let’s say you are a student (or a career changer) with career ambitions leaning toward a career in advertising. To glean more insight about the assumed wondrous life of an advertising executive, you would first make a Twitter List called “Advertising Breakfast Club” or something jazzy like that.
Second, you would use Google to identify the top ad agencies in a preferred geographical area (or the world can be your oyster). Then continue with Google to find each ad agency’s blog or web page and Twitter ID, so you can click through to Twitter and add them to your career focused Twitter List.
Third, you would use a Twitter search to find the appropriately targeted people that work at all these ad agencies and click through and add them to your Twitter List, too. You could also dip into LinkedIn for a people search of these same ad agencies, review their profiles to find their Twitter IDs, and click through and also add them to your Twitter List.
Whenever you feel you need a dose of the real and professional world of an ad agency, you just go to your Twitter List to join their breakfast club and read what these targeted advertising professionals are sharing, thinking about, and recommending to read.
Twitter: Not Just For Breakfast Anymore.
Now, skip forward to nearing graduation (or new in the job market) and happy to have snagged a job interview with one of those ad agencies. You would immediately start a new list focused on the important employees of that ad agency, especially those with whom you will meet in your forthcoming interview.
With this Twitter job search strategy you will have supplemented your already thorough and expected “company research” with some rarely done “people at the company” research.
Advanced Twitter Tip: If you do not want your targeted company employee to know of your advanced research, remember that: (1) a Twitter list can remain private; and (2) you do not have to follow someone to add them to a list. If you follow someone in Twitter, or if you add them to a Twitter List, then these actions will show up in their Twitter Notifications stream.
So, how many of your job interview competitors do you think have done this level of job interview prep research?
Are you kidding?
Most of your job interview competitors have not even done their company research.
So congratulations on the job search genius of using Twitter Lists to beat your best competition at two levels of research. Not to mention the career insight and breakfast club learning along the way.
For additional advanced and creative ways to use Twitter Lists, read: How to Use Twitter Lists to Follow Thousands (and Appear Superhuman).
Twitter is much more than social networking.
If used with finesse, Twitter can be used to amplify your personal brand, advance your career connections, and provide a personal learning network for augmenting your job search.
Do you have any advanced tips for using Twitter to improve a job search?
Image credit: by Denny McCorkle.
Author’s Note: This blog post is an update of a previously published post.
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