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Home arrow Articles arrow Glenn Letham arrow Using Social Media and Twitter To Land The Perfect Job - Tips, Tricks, Trends and a Happy Ending     

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Using Social Media and Twitter To Land The Perfect Job - Tips, Tricks, Trends and a Happy Ending PDF Print E-mail
Experts - Glenn Letham
Written by @gletham   
09 February 2012

Finding a job can be a daunting task but it doesn't have to be. Many are turning to social media, in particular Twitter, to help score a new gig. Here's some helpful social media job hunting resources, some pointers from a Twitter GeoGeek success story,  and a number of personal tips. Good luck!

More and more folks seem to be relocating and scoring new jobs. Seems also many people that are employed are constantly on the look for a new (better) gig and are actively scouring the online job boards and other resources. I've observed that recently, our own GISuser career board seems to be busier than ever with numerous new positions being added every week.

So how does one land that dream job? There's no question that it's tough, perhaps tougher than ever. Competition is heated and what makes it even more difficult is that the amount of resources posting job ads seems to be growing exponentially. When a job ad hits an online resource, lets say Monster or Dice for example) the ad seems to spread like wildfire being re-copied, recycled, mashed up and regenerated in many other apps and services. I recently noticed a mobile app, JobMo, designed specifically more mobile devices (smartphones and Tablet editions) does a fantastic job of scouring the web and reposting positions. What's really cool is that the app is also location aware so a person can easily search by keyword for areas in any geographic region of interest.

To be honest though, you have to realize that by the time many job ads hit the online boards, the recruiter has already received many applications from around the World. It seems so easy for people to have on hand a number of electronic cover letters and resumes, optimized for specific job titles, and ready to submit. So really, unless you happen to be the dream candidate with an amazing work history, educational background, and a resume that jumps off the page, you'll likely simply be store to receive a dreaded what I call "FOAD" letter (I'll let you decipher that one).


So how can you get an edge? Well, I'm a good listener and observer and I can tell you that having some contacts within the hiring org and hearing about the position prior to being widely posted can give you a massive advantage. Using web resources and social media streams is a perfect tool. But what can you do?
 

Follow Them - Many companies have career or HR twitter accounts. Follow and/or list these accounts to stay informed of opportunities - often companies will tweet a job opp before its even posted on a public job board. Try to also do daily twitter searches for hot buzzwords or hash tags like "jobs" " twitjobs" etc... and if there's companies that interest you follow some of their employees on twitter. You may also find some interesting Twitter lists that you can follow, for example, I have one called Geo Companies - see https://twitter.com/#!/gletham/giscompanies/members


RSS - If at all possible, add company job board RSS feeds to your reader. This can help you look for helpful articles from companies that you're interested in. For example, if Esri is on your radar you might be interested in an article they authored called "Resumé and Cover Letter Tips" - obviously these are helpful things here if you'll be applying for a spot with Esri - By the way, they have a TON of openings. http://www.esri.com/careers/process/resume-tips.html

Use LinkedIn - On LinkedIn you can follow companies that interest you (engage with key staffers so they can get to know you). LinkedIn also has a fine job search tool and will also send you weekly updates of jobs that mach your area of interest. This is also a great resource to find groups and share your interest in finding a job or secure yourself as an expert on a topic if you happen to be one!

Note: Our GISuser LinkedIn board (monitored by yours truly) boasts more than 18,000 members and is a fantastic resource!

Network - You may think you don't have the time (sorry but I just don't buy that excuse) but make time to get out and network. Attend industry relevant social and community events. If there's a LUG, whereCamp, hackday, Ignite, TweetUp or other social meetup taking place then get to it. Even more important, consider presenting at an event.. getting on stage is scary but the rewards are amazing and there's no better way to get "out there".

A Geo Gig Success Story

For a useful read about how one Geo professional, Leslie Zolman, found a dream job on Twitter check out what @317537leslie said in her blog post http://lesliezolman.com/blog/?p=44 Leslie started out with some hard-core networking (we've met in person at esriuc and are connected socially) and was doing all the right things then decided to turn to social media. She got active on twitter, used the fun social tool visualize.me to create an interactive resume (I personally think slideshare could also be a valuable tool for presenting your work, particularly visual works like maps and other graphics). Leslie stayed professional online and connected with professionals in the industry in order to stay in the know. She started following Twitter accounts that were specifically tweeting Geo jobs. Eventually she saw a tweet about a dream job and the rest is history! Kudos to Leslie and congrats on her new gig as a GIS Coordinator in Montana!

I think the huge thing about Leslie's story is how a newbie on Twitter managed to quickly learn to leverage the resource to her advantage, she was professional, and did all the right things. For many of us that are old-timers on social media and looking at hunting for a job it may be an idea to reinvent yourself on twitter and look at your history and historical data.

land a job using twitter

Some other helpful hints & tips:

  • Keep your resume and cover letter templates up to date
  • Create multiple resume versions and cover letters tailored for a specific type of job
  • Create a good LinkedIn profile - many if not most hiring agents use LinkedIn
  • Keep your social media profiles and accounts clean and professional - HR people will search you!
  • If you see jobs posted in discussion boards on LinkedIn then reply Privately to the posting person
  • If it doesn't jeopardize you in some way be open! Share on your social streams that you are searching for a new job and briefly tout your expertise.
  • Don't surf the web and apply for jobs while at work
  • If you know people at companies that interest you then come right out and ask if anything is available or perhaps coming available soon... be aggressive!
  • You may think business cards are "oild school" but don't fool yourself, carry one with you ALWAYS - get custom "ME" cards made at MOO.com
  • Provide logical, clear, professional contact information on your resume - don't use some lame email address like This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and be sure to also include a phone number. If you have to, secure a free Google Voice number, very handy!
  • Use niche job boards - Monster and Dice are great for job ads from big companies, however, if you're interested in smaller companies you'll want to hit the industry specific boards. For Geo tech brows the GJC.org, GeoSearch, GISlounge, GISjobs.com and our own GISuser job board.
  • For geeky, hard-core developer jobs (for example, companies like Ubisense, Geocommons, WeoGeo, Zekiah etc...) be sure to monitor their blogs. Quite often these companies will rely mainly on their social networks and blog to reach people that they know already believe in them and are fans!
  • Are you sure you are willing to relocate? Before you apply for a job that's 3,000 miles away make sure and don't waste everyone's time.
  • Will you hire foreign workers or will you move to another country? Believe me, I've been through this and there's MANY issues to deal with and its no cake walk, particularly for the worker on a visa.
  • Google yourself and double-check ALL your social media streams... it's amazing what you'll find!
  • Be genuine, don't lie on your resume and don't suck up {too much} - and don't call yourself an "expert" unless you can back up that statement!
  • For a helpful read check out Lifehacker and How to promote yourself without being Sleazy!


Did you land a job or find an employee using social media? Do you have a hard-to-fill position? Please contact me ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or @gletham) and tell me about it. 

SEE ALSO - 10 Awesome Technology Career Opportunities for GeoGeeks, Geo developers and Geo Pros

A few Related Articles:

2011 Salary Survey of GIS Professionals and How We Stack Up Against Others in Our Occupation

JobMo Mobile Application Achieves 20,000 Download Milestone - LBS Job search 

The Geography and Importance of Women as Employers in the USA

A MUST Read - Fast 50 Technology Job Trends and Fastest Growing Job Categories  

Last Updated ( 10 February 2012 )
 
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